Eggs Nest Macaroons

With all that’s been happening in the world, I’ve almost forgotten that Easter is right around the corner.

I’ve been quarantining for about 3 weeks now, but it feels like a LOT longer. I miss my friends, I miss over-paying for coffee, I miss my yoga studio, and with Raleigh having 70-80 degree weather, I am really sad that the pool in my apartment building isn’t open.

With that being said, I know I’m so so lucky. I’m still working and my family is healthy. While quarantining alone can be lonely at times, I’m grateful that I’m able to exist in my space however I want (and I’m happy I spent so much time making sure my home was cute and cozy). Quarantine has prompted some good changes, too: It’s forced me to find new ways to stay connected with my friends, like collaborating on playlists, working out together over FaceTime, doing Zoom happy hours, etc. It’s helped me get back into running outdoors and prompted me to try the Peloton streaming workouts, which I’ve discovered I love! I’m not putting a ton of pressure on myself to accomplish SO much during this time – this is a collective traumatic experience and I’m cool with taking it easy. But I am happy with the opportunity to read a little more, learn procreate, watch some movies, and bake!

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Which brings me to these Eggs Nest Macarons. Ugh, I love these guys. I made them a few years ago (seen in this embarrassing post) and just adored how simple, delicious, and festive they are. Keep in mind, they are so freakin’ sweetBut if you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, they’re perfect. 

They incorporate three of my favorite things to satisfy my sweet tooth with: shredded coconut, chocolate hazelnut spread, and mini Cadbury eggs. I’m impressed that this year I’ve only purchased one bag of eggs. One year I think I totaled more like 10. No regrets.

Also – this was my first time using the Good & Gather brand from Target. It’s more affordable than brand name products and honestly I’m really impressed. Nutella is one of my favorite things, and this version was just as good as the real stuff. Not sponsored (omg can you imagine?!), but just thought it was worth sharing!

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Eggs Nest Macaroons

ingredients:

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 large egg white

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups sweetened coconut

chocolate hazelnut spread

mini cadbury eggs

directions:

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir the sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla extract, and salt together until combined. Add in the coconut and mix.

Scoop up about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and place it onto the prepared baking sheet. Shape the cookie into that of a bird’s nest. It’s okay if it’s a little imperfect, most nests are! With your thumb, press down into the center of the cookie to make an indent. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Bake the cookies for 17 to 20 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and press your thumb down in the center of the nests again. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets until they are firm and set. Then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
Place some chocolate hazelnut spread in the center of each nest. Place 2-3 egg candies in the center of each nest, then enjoy!

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Cadbury Egg Magic Squares

Sometimes you just need a quick, easy recipe that tastes good and looks festive. I get it. If you’re hosting an Easter get together and you go the whole nine yards on the appetizers and entree, you might just need something simple for the final course. The carrot cake recipe I just shared is a tad involved (as most cakes are). However these magic squares, decorated with mini cadbury eggs, are not!

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I sometimes forget that magic squares are so good because they’re so easy. As if their unimpressive assembly means unimpressive taste. Not the case, people! These end up being pretty adorable and absolutely delicious. And they take about 45 minutes, total. Yaaas!

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Cadbury Egg Magic Squares

ingredients:

1/2th cup butter

crumbs from 12-13 graham crackers

14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk

6 oz of semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup chopped pecans

1 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes

mini cadbury eggs

directions:

preheat oven to 350 F.

place the full stick of butter in a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven for a few minutes, allowing the butter to melt fully. once the butter has melted, pull the sheet from the oven and evenly distribute the graham cracker crumbs so as to make a dense crust.

evenly pour the sweetened condensed milk all over the graham crackers, so that the entire surface is coated. sprinkle on the chocolate chips, then the pecans. finally distribute the coconut flakes evenly across the sheet. press down on the surface of the coconut, so that all layers are densely packed.

bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the coconut starts to lightly brown. remove the sheet from the oven. while the coconut is still hot and gooey, add the mini cadbury eggs. doing so while the coconut is still warm will help them adhere to the squares better.

place the sheet in the oven and allow the bars to chill completely. cut into uniform squares, and serve.

enjoy!

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I hope you’re all having the very best Easter! Wishing so badly I was a kid searching for eggs and my basket again. 😉

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No-Bake “Berry” Chocolatey Granola Bars

Hurricane Florence made landfall here in the Carolina’s on Friday, so for the whole week the entire eastern part of the state seemed to have been prepping for the oncoming storm. I was admittedly pretty bad about it. I didn’t purchase any water or candles, I barely remembered to take my balcony furniture inside, and I literally don’t even have a single band-aid in this apartment let alone a whole emergency first-aid kit. I think everyone close to me kind of anticipated this behavior, since my best friend, my boyfriend, my dad, and my sister all texted me saying that I needed to at least go to the grocery store so that I had some food. I’m super lucky that the storm was pretty gentle on Raleigh, and my heart is with everyone on the coast who had a VERY different experience than me.

Anyway, I did go to the grocery store and picked up the ingredients to make these granola bars for the weekend. In the case I did end up losing power, I would be able to just snack on these without worrying about using the refrigerator or oven (although I do think these are best refrigerated since the coconut oil will make them sort of melty otherwise). As far as granola bars go, these are pretty clean and can even be Whole30 approved if you omit the chocolate drizzle. And honestly, they just sounded a lot better than canned spaghetti, bread, and milk. Bleugh.

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No-Bake Berry Granola Bars

ingredients:

6-7 medjool dates soaked in very hot water until softened (2 mins), then drained

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raw pecans

1 cup raw cashews

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup unsweetened dried blueberries

1/2 cup unsweetened dried cherries

1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp organic coconut oil refined, melted

1/4 cup cashew butter, melted

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

 

directions:

Place the soaked dates into a food processor and pulse until a paste forms.

Add all the nuts to the food processor and pulse with the date paste for a few seconds, until broken up into smaller pieces but not entirely pulverized. You want chunks!

Transfer nuts/dates to a large mixing bowl (like in the picture above) and mix in coconut flakes, fruit, salt, and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the 1/4th cup of coconut oil and the cashew butter until it’s smooth and well combined. Pour this into nut/fruit bowl and mix until everything is evenly coated.

Line a pan with parchment paper, and then transfer all ingredients to the pan. Using your hands, press down so that the bars are packed and evenly distributed in the pan.

Freeze for 1 hour. Once hardened, remove from freezer/pan and cut the bars into rectangles.

In a microwavable bowl, place the tablespoon of coconut oil and the chocolate morsels. Microwave for a few rounds, each round only lasting about 5 seconds. Stir in between rounds, so that the chocolate doesn’t burn and so that when everything is finally melted it’s silky and easily falls off the spoon in tendrils.

Drizzle chocolate over bars. Place bars back in fridge so chocolate can harden, and then enjoy as you please!

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So yummy.

Since the storm ended up being pretty tame here in Raleigh (just a bunch of wind and rain for me), I’ve mostly enjoyed a weekend of watching Gilmore Girls, finishing some decorating projects, listening to rainy day playlists on Spotify, taking rose-petal bubble baths, dog earring some cookbooks, and studying. So luxurious! I’ve been sick so I’m just trying to be nice to myself. I sort of wish every weekend was like this, except I do kind of miss going outside and exploring my new ‘hood. Oh well, next weekend!

Stay safe, friends!