It’s Easter time which means A LOT of sugar for the kiddies. I know my girls are going to get plenty of candy and chocolate at school and from family, so I really don’t want to add to the sugar overload. Having said that, I still want to give them a couple of homemade treats.
You may have seen those Easter egg nest cookies making the rounds lately. You know, the nests made from chocolate and coconut then filled with jellybeans or candy-coated chocolate eggs? Neat idea, but too much sugar! I decided to make a paleo-friendly, dairy-free, and lower-sugar version for my girls. I used dark chocolate and unsweetened coconut, and raspberries instead of candy. The tart raspberries go wonderfully well with the sweet chocolate and rich coconut.
Start by toasting your unsweetened shredded coconut until it’s golden brown and crispy. You can toast shredded coconut on the stove top or in the oven. I prefer the stove top method because it’s quicker and easier for me (I’m all about the easy). Just toss the coconut in a skillet and toast it over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until the coconut is golden brown. You can also toast coconut in the oven if you prefer. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and spread the coconut in a thin layer on a baking pan. Toast for about 10-20 minutes until golden brown, stirring regularly.
Next melt two 100 gram (3.5 oz.) bars of 70% dark chocolate. You could use a double boiler to do this, but it’s simpler to do it in the microwave. Break the chocolate into small pieces, place it in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat it on medium in short bursts of no more than 30-45 seconds. All microwaves differ, so check your chocolate each time and adjust accordingly. As the chocolate starts to melt, stir it after every time and nuke it on shorter time increments. Stop heating when the chocolate is almost melted and allow the heat of the already melted chocolate to finish the job while you stir.
Stir in a touch of vanilla extract then mix in the toasted coconut. Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate coconut mixture on a sheet of parchment paper laid out on a cookie sheet. I was able to make eight nests with my mixture. Press the back of the spoon to make a depression in the middle. Use your fingers if necessary to help make the nest shape. Put three washed, drained, and dried raspberries in the centre for your eggs. I also made some with macadamia nuts as another paleo-friendly alternative to the candy eggs. Refrigerate the cookies for at least a couple of hours before serving.
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 x 100 gram (3.5 oz.) dark chocolate bars
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 24 raspberries
- Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
- Toast shredded coconut in skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly approximately 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
- Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave on medium in 30-45 second increments. Stir after each time. Shorten time as chocolate melts, and stop heating when chocolate almost melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
- Add vanilla extract and toasted coconut, and mix well.
- Drop large spoonfuls of the chocolate coconut mixture on the parchment paper. Use the back of the spoon to make a depression in the middle of each spoonful.
- Place three washed, drained, and dried raspberries in the centre for your eggs.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until fully solidified.
- Macadamia nuts or blueberries also work well as low sugar, paleo-friendly eggs in your Easter egg nests.