Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Easter Kitchen - Bird's Nests

From the Kitchens of Cheesecake Farms
www.CheesecakeFarms.com


Bird's Nests
Yummy, Spring-y and Easy
I love Easter candy but, apart from marshmallow chickens, it all tastes the same.

Think the expensive stuff will taste better?  It doesn't.

Most Easter candy comes from a handful of companies so it's not surprising that it all tastes the same even though it's packaged under different names and labels.

When a company makes a product for another company it's called "private labeling".  It's done all the time from pasta to laundry detergent and there's nothing wrong with that. 

But, when it comes to Easter candy,  most of it is cheap, waxy chocolate all dressed up with fancy foil wrapping and stylish bows.

You deserve better!!!

Can't make candy, you say?
Too much trouble?

Here's a little recipe that will change your mind forever.

Easy, yummy and not the least bit expensive plus you'll impress the socks off your gourmet friends!


Bird's Nests
Easy for Easter.  Special for Spring.
Great gift for your gardening pals.
Simple enough to make for wedding or shower favors, too!

>>>>>>>>>
Chow mein noodles are
available in the Oriental
food sections of grocery
stores every where
Makes 3 (4 inch) candies
Special equipment - parchment paper and a cookie sheet
>>>>>>>>>>

3/4 cup Chinese chow mein noodles (the regular thin kind)
9 pastel colored, malted milk, candy bird's eggs (usually available around Easter)
1/2 cup butterscotch (toffee) chocolate chips (morsels - about 1/3 an 11oz bag)
2 teaspoons white vegetable shortening (like Crisco - butter, oil or margarine not recommended)


Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Measure the chow mein noodles and count out the malted balls.
(You have to work quickly once the chocolate is melted so measure and count now.)


Use a dish big enough
to add noodles after
melting chocolate
Microwave the chips and shortening together until the shortening has melted - about 1 1/2 minutes. 

Chips will be soft but will not be melted.  Do not over heat.



Stir to finish melting






Using a rubber spatula, mix the softened chocolate and shortening together until smooth and blended. 


Fold in the chow mein noodles mixing well to coat.   (Be gentle so you don't break the noodles but if your break a few it's OK.)

Evenly divide the mixture into 3 piles on the parchment lined cookie sheet. 

Form each pile into a 4 inch round. 
Don't be too fussy or neat.  It should look free form.
A spoon works well to
form the nest

Make a well in the center to resemble a bird's nest.  Try not to press the mixture down.  To look authentic, it should look fluffy. 


Immediately position 3 malted eggs in center.  Press down very lightly so they'll stick to the chocolate when set but not so hard that you break the noodles.

(I'm giving you a lot of cautions here but it's really easy -just work with a light touch and you'll be OK.)

Refrigerate till set - about 15 minutes.  You can freeze them, too.  It takes about 5 minutes in the freezer.

When candies are set, they'll be sturdy enough to pick up from the paper.  If you can't pick them up, they're not cold enough.

Work quickly when
adding the "eggs"

Wrap as desired for gift giving or pile onto a serving dish.  

Store at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
Freeze, packed in sturdy containers, for longer storage.  Keeps 6 months to 1 year frozen.   


Karla's Tips
I buy a couple of extra bags of the pastel, malted milk eggs at Easter and freeze them (unopened) in a sturdy container.  This way I have the eggs if I want to make the nests at other times of the year - like for party favors or gifts.

Ready to chill
You can double the recipe, if you work quickly making the nests, but don't make a bigger batch because the chocolate will harden before you have it all formed. 

You can make the nests smaller and use mini eggs, if desired, but don't make them bigger than 4 inches or they'll loose their cache.

Freeze leftover chow mein noodles to keep them fresh tasting for next time.  They won't freeze solid but do let them come to room temperature before using.  Cold noodles will cause the chocolate to set too quickly. 


No comments: