I love Spring and Easter. It’s not just the beautiful weather or fresh, new life springing up every where, I love the fun, pretty, delicious spring-themed treats that you can make. I have been doing a lot of brainstorming with different ideas and it has been very difficult narrowing down what I wanted to share! When I came up with this article’s idea, though, I knew I had to show you all!!
I wanted a treat that would taste very yummy, and look very yummy, but would also be really fast and easy. I decided to go with an old favorite for the main part of the cookie: no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookies. You know, those little chocolaty cookies full of oatmeal? Yeah, those! But with a Springy twist!
Most people probably already have their own version of this recipe, but for those who don’t, I have a no fail version. You’re going to need cocoa powder, milk, unsalted butter, creamy peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, and quick oats.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the sugar, milk, and cocoa powder and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and cook for a minute to a minute and a half. It’s very important to pay attention to the time here because it plays a huge role in the texture of the cookies. If you cook them for less than a minute, they will stay soft and sticky, never setting up. However, if you cook them too long (I’ve found anything over one and a half minutes is too long) they will become dry and crumbly. I typically aim for a minute and 15 seconds, so that I have a little leeway in either direction. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla. Once the peanut butter is melted and combined, add the oats and stir well to combine. Immediately shape the cookies.
To shape the cookies, drop one tablespoon of the mixture onto waxed or parchment paper using a spring-loaded scoop or a tablespoon. Allow to cool for about five minutes. Now we’re going to make these into pretty little birds’ nests!
Before the cookies cool completely (and set up), use your thumb to press the centers of the cookies down, making an indentation in each one. Be careful here, as some of the cookies will still be very warm in the center.
There are a lot of options to use for the eggs, such as fondant or candy. I wanted to keep this very fast and easy, so I ruled out fondant and chose to use Whoppers Mini Robin Eggs. They compliment the flavor of the cookies, and they look the most fun in the little nests. Another great candy option would be jelly beans, although I don’t think they would taste as good.
While the cookies are still wet, place two or three eggs in each nest, arranging them so they look more natural. That’s all there is to it! From start to finish, these only took just under 15 minutes!! Now just allow the cookies to finish hardening at room temperature for at least an hour.
No-bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Robins’ Nests
Makes 2 dozen
**Except for the candy, these cookies can be made vegan/dairy-free, as well as gluten-free, just be sure to buy vegan and gluten-free versions of the necessary ingredients.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk or soy milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups quick oats
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar, milk, and cocoa powder and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and cook for a minute to a minute and a half. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla. Once the peanut butter is melted and combined, add the oats and mix well. Once combined, drop tablespoonfuls onto waxed or parchment paper and allow to cool for at least an hour or make into birds’ nests.
To make birds’ nests: After dropping tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the paper, allow to set up for 5 minutes then indent the centers by pressing down gently on them with your thumb. Add fondant or candy eggs (or jelly beans) to the nests and allow to cool and harden for at least 1 hour before serving.
Recipe adapted and idea by Darla