I love themed holiday desserts, and couldn't resist the idea of whipping up little coconut "nests" filled with jelly bean and Cadbury Easter "eggs." A relatively simple recipe, the final product is a sweet little jewel of a macaroon (gluten-free, and more "confection" than "cookie") that makes a delightful addition to any Easter meal!
Easter Coconut Macaroons with Jelly Beans and Cadbury Eggs
12 oz. Bob's Red Mill
unsweetened flaked coconut
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 t. vanilla extract
2 extra large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 t. Kosher salt
1/3 c. green-tinted white chocolate curls*
Cadbury Royal Dark Mini Eggs
Trader Joe's Gourmet Jelly Beans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare 2-3 baking sheets by placing parchment paper on top of each. (If using only one sheet, simply slide off cooked macaroons on parchment paper and refit with new parchment paper to continue baking the batch.)
In medium mixing bowl combine coconut flakes, condensed milk and vanilla and stir to blend. In separate bowl whip two egg whites and salt until medium-firm peaks form (an electric mixer works best for this). Then, gently combine whipped whites into mixing bowl with coconut mixture.
Using ice cream scooper mound "dough" to form haystacks on parchment paper (I used about 2 T. per mound). Bake 10 minutes and then remove sheet momentarily from oven and make an indentation on top of each partially baked cookie (I used a measuring spoon to do this) and fill with 1-1/2 teaspoons of green-tinted white chocolate curls; return sheet to oven and bake until macaroons are set, turning light golden brown (on tops and bottoms), about 10 minutes more.
Remove sheet from oven and immediately fill each macaroon indentation with Cadbury mini eggs or jelly beans (three per "nest"). The melted green-tinted white chocolate is both the grass and glue to secure the candies in place. Let rest until macaroons are firmly set on parchment paper on counter top. Makes 24-36 cookies, depending on size of macaroons.
*Note: I had green-tinted white chocolate curls on hand (bought from a specialty store) to use as my grass/glue. In place of the curls, a small amount of white chocolate can be carefully melted and tinted green while the cookies are baking. I filled mine with the curls midway through the baking to allow the curls to melt and hold the candies. If using freshly melted chocolate instead, reserve it and simply fill the indentations when the macaroons are completely baked, before decorating with the candy eggs.