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How adorable are these cookies?

I first made these Bird’s Nest Cookies when Son #1 had his first preschool Easter party.  The idea came to me one morning in the shower, and I thought I was a genius.  I whipped them up before the party, and walked in feeling pretty smug.

That is until literally everyone at the party exclaimed at one point or another “Oh! Bird’s Nest Cookies! My Mom/Grandma/Aunt/Mail Carrier/Neighbor’s Dog used to make these when I was a kid!”

So much for creative genius.

In any case, I still make these cookies every year for Easter. What a better way to celebrate the season of new life than with sweet little eggs in a nest?  The best part? Four ingredients, and only about 30 minutes of effort before you can feel pretty smug with your own creativity.

All you need is a little butter, some marshmallows, crunchy Chow Mein Noodles, and candy coated chocolate eggs.  Think of them as crispy rice treats–only with less crispy rice, and more Chow Mein Noodles and chocolate involved.

Start by pouring the candy coated chocolate eggs into a bowl, so that they are ready to go.

Then carefully inspect the eggs, and eat any broken ones. Because broken eggs in a nest are just sad. Then eat a few of the whole eggs just because…well, because it’s chocolate.

Heat the butter in a large saucepan, over low heat.

Toss in the marshmallows, and continue heating on low heat, stirring frequently so the marshmallows don’t burn.

Continue stirring until the marshmallow mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

Measure 5 cups of Chow Mein noodles–typically 2 large cans of noodles.

Fold in the noodles, and stir until they are completely coated.

I’m going to assume that you washed your hands before starting to cook, because that is standard kitchen protocol. Right? If your forgot, wash them now. Go ahead–I won’t tell.  Then decide which is going to be your “sticky” hand, and which is going to be your “wet” hand.  Grab a golf ball (ish) sized clump of noodles with the “sticky” hand. Wet your other hand with water, and use it to shape the sticky marshmallow clump into a round, and place it on the waxed paper.  The cookies set up pretty fast, so you’ll have to work quickly.

I end up running my hand under water in between each cookie so that I don’t end up with two “sticky” hands. Once all of the cookies have been formed, take a good look at your “sticky” hand. Then unabashedly eat every last Chow Mein noodle off that hand before washing it. You know you want to.

Push 2 or 3 chocolate eggs into the center of the cookies to flatten them a bit. Actually you can press as many eggs as you like into the cookies. I like the look of 2 or 3, depending on the size of the nest.

Two eggs. Cute.

Three eggs. Still cute.

I tried to put on 4 chocolate eggs on a cookie once, to represent my four boys, but then I felt bad about eating it. OK, not really. Four eggs didn’t fit on the cookie.

No matter the amount of eggs on the cookie, these little nests make an adorable addition to a dessert table.  And if you are like me, they will make you feel like a creative genius–even if they’ve been around forever.

Bird’s Nest Cookies


Makes about 28 cookies

5 C. Chow Mein noodles

3 Tbs. butter

40 large marshmallows (or 3 C. mini-marshmallows)

1 ½ C. candy coated chocolate eggs

  1. Line a clean work surface with parchment paper or waxed paper.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over low heat; stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Fold the Chow Mein noodles into the marshmallow mixture; stirring until fully coated.
  4. Working quickly, use one (dry) hand to grab golf ball sized portions of the coated Chow Mein noodles.  Dampen your other hand with water, and use that hand to form the coated noodles into a ball, and place on the waxed paper. Continue forming balls with the rest of the coated noodles, re-moistening your hand, as necessary.
  5. Once all balls are formed, quickly wash hands, then push 2-3 candy coated chocolate eggs into the center of each ball of noodles.
  6. Cookies will cook very quickly. Let cookies set for 10-15 minutes to set.