Sunday, April 10, 2011
There's no sweeter time to shop at the Variety Store than right now, while Easter candy fills the center aisle shelves. I had promised to bake cookies for a Spring musicale, and when I saw these mini Cadbury eggs I thought of a recipe I hadn't made since my older daughter was in Mrs. Deyermond's third grade class. The little nests were just as pretty and tasty as I remembered.
Bird's Nest Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies
1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
About 60 small milk chocolate eggs with sugar shells, such as Cadbury Mini Eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until pale golden, stirring once or twice, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size bowl.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Add the egg, vanilla, and coconut extract and beat until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture on low until just incorporated.
4. Shape the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll the balls in the toasted coconut to coat. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. With your thumb, make an indentation int eh center of each ball large enough to hold 2 to 3 chocolate eggs. Shape the sides of the cookies with your thumb and index finger so they stand up and have nice bird's next shapes.
5. Bake in two batches until golden, about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets. Just before serving, place 2 or 3 chocolate eggs in the indentation of each cookie.