What do you think about when you think of spring? For me, and maybe for many of you, spring means warmer temperatures, budding flowers, and baby animals! In fact, one of the telltale signs of spring in my neighborhood are lines of waddling ducklings, following their mother. Here in the Mr. Food Test Kitchen, it’s the arrival of baby birds. I can already hear them chirping outside my window.
In the spirit of spring’s baby animals, I thought I’d try my hand at making some fun bird’s nests, as well as share other foodies’ bird’s nests that I found online. This recipe is kid-friendly and perfect for a spring potluck, Easter get-together, or any animal-themed party, too.
You only need five ingredients to make these egg nests.
During the spring, and especially nearing Easter, there are a ton of different varieties of egg-shaped candies, so obviously, pick your favorite. I chose mine for their color and because they had a light speckled pattern that made them look more realistic to me.
Once you’ve got your ingredients, you’ll want to make sure you’ve lined a couple of baking sheets with waxed paper and that you’ve measured out all of your ingredients, including the broken pretzel sticks.
At first, I started out by cutting the pretzel sticks with a knife, but I found that this was pretty difficult and resulted in a lot of flying pretzel pieces. So instead, I just broke them up with my hands. I’d grab a bunch and just break in half and break some more if I needed to. Nests aren’t supposed to be perfect and neat, so there really is no bad way to break them up. You can definitely get kids to help with this part!
Once that was done, I put my butter and marshmallows into a large saucepan over medium-high heat and melted until smooth, stirring frequently so that it wouldn’t get stuck to the sides. Then, I added in the chocolate chips and stirred until those melted too. (They melt pretty quickly!)
The next step is to take the chocolate mixture off the stove and stir in the pretzel pieces. From here on out, you have to work pretty fast because the chocolate mixture will start to harden almost immediately. (Older kids may be able to help stir in the chocolate pieces, but make sure they’re aware that the pan just came off the stove and will be hot!)
Once your pretzels are evenly coated, use a large spoon to drop them onto your prepared baking sheets. Again, the chocolate hardens pretty fast, so you’ll have to work fast to build your nests, or they’ll harden up before you’ve put the eggs on them. (Don’t worry, if the mixture does harden before you’ve built all your nests, just stick it back on the stove and warm it over low heat for one minute and it’ll soften back up!)
I found that working with another person was actually the best way to go about this, since one person could be building the nest, while the other could be adding the little eggs on top before the chocolate hardened. (The chocolate acts as a glue to keep the eggs in place!)
Finally, stick them in the refrigerator to cool until the nests have firmed up. Once they’re cooled they’ll look like this:
This is just one way to make an egg nest. Here are some others I thought were pretty cute too!
Okay, so now the question is…
Would your bird’s eggs be made of chocolate or jelly beans?