These cute Easter Treats are so easy to make and the kids can help - it will just be hard to keep them from licking their fingers! I developed this recipe when my own kids were young as an attempt to get more fibre into their diet naturally - well it worked. They now expect their nest pie plate sized with no intention of sharing.
The ingredients and technique are so simple:
quarter cup butter or margarine
5 cups of mini marshmallows
half a tsp of vanilla
3 cups of Shredded Wheat or muffets (not the sugary mini variety)
2 cups of All Bran (not the flakes or buds, but the original that looks like twigs)
Before you start, crush the shredded wheat or muffets into a large bowl and mix with the All Bran.
Melt the butter/margarine in a good sized pot over medium low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir constantly until melted. Continue to stir as you add the vanilla and then cereal. Once combined the nests can be shaped several ways - into assorted sized muffin tins, cake or pie pans or molded by hand on parchment paper. This is the part for the kids (or not) you only need depress the center if using a pan or shape a free form nest with your hands (the secret is to keep your hands moist with cold water so the mixture does not stick to your hands). Leave them to set. They can be made in advance and stored in an air tight container. The recipe doubles well.
So now it is time to use your nests. They are great decorations for the table at Easter dinner as you can see from the photos. They can be place card holders and the possibilities are endless to fill them. Almonds, marshmallows, mints, mini eggs or foil wrapped as you see, BUT here is my sage advice. I did perhaps cause psychological damage to my children by convincing my children early on that kidney beans were jelly beans and while brightly colored jelly beans work - kidney beans do not. Trust me on that! In addition while going to the dollar store for the bright colored fun stuff to decorate the table works well, I would recommend good quality chocolate eggs to finish the meal. My favorites that you see in the display are from Aarden's Chocolates in Stayner. Each one has a different flavor and they will delight each and EVERY guest.
Special thanks to the folks at the Collingwood Library for their assistance with the photo shoot.
Jean Lewis Knight