Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter Treats: Peep's Nests

It's already Wednesday and Easter weekend has come and gone, but if you're anything like me you'll come across this sweet treat and pin it for next year. I snagged this idea from Food Network's The Kitchen (our Saturday morning guilty pleasure). They're Peep's Nests, and yes they're just as adorable as they sound.

Things you'll need:
  • Mini pretzel sticks
  • 1 or 2 bags of melting chocolate (we used good ol' milk chocolate, but any kind would probably work)
  • Peeps, lots of peeps in ALL DA COLORS
  • Candy eggs. All kinds. Every flavor. The more the better and honestly, the more you have the more you can eat while you make these treats without anyone noticing that any are missing.
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Tongs
  • Baking sheet 
  • Aluminum foil or parchment paper
  • A pretty fab sous chef, your fiancĂ© will probably work
Like I've mentioned before in my other post - I'm no kitchen genius. So rest assured that if I can make these, anyone can.

How you'll do it:
  • You'll want to start by lining a baking sheet with your aluminum foil, or parchment paper. Depending on how big you want your nests to be should determine the size of your pan. Our baking sheet is probably close to 17'' x 14'' and we ended up with 6 nests. 
  • Next, you'll want to begin melting your chocolate. We used a layered pot/glass bowl heating system which is basically just a weird way of saying that we filled a pot with water, applied heat until it was almost boiling, and placed a glass bowl over the pot to combine the chocolate, milk, and butter in. A glass bowl over a pot, Kahla? That's odd. Well no, reader, it's not. Not if you want to avoid burning your chocolate as it's melting. The things you learn in the kitchen - AMIRITE?
    • I should probably note that our measurements are non-existent here. We added one bag of chocolate and let it melt with a couple of scoops of butter. When it wasn't reaching the "melty" consistency we wanted, we decided to add milk until we were satisfied. Just use a good eye for this. Your goal is just melted liquidy chocolate. Nothing fancy. 
  • Once your chocolate is at its perfect melty point of no return mixed with your butter and milk, it's time to add the pretzel sticks. 10 or so at a time will do to get them nice and coated. 
  • Cue your sous chef. Have them stand next to the pot with the melting chocolate in it, and position yourself in front of your parchment lined pan - this is where the fun begins. You have now formed the perfect assembly line so you can make your peep's nests.
  • Have your sous chef fish out the chocolate coated pretzel sticks one at a time with a fork. As they drip excess chocolate, use your tongs to grab them off of the fork and structure your nests. The bottom layer is the trickiest since it's where you create the outline of your nest. Make sure you space the chocolate coated pretzels out enough to leave an open area in the middle so you'll be able fill the nest with all of your candy eggs later on. Include a few sticks to line the bottom since nobody wants to see straight parchment paper when they're done eating all of your candy eggs (it really is all about presentation). Build up 4 or 5 layers of chocolate coated pretzel for each nest. 
    • Birds aren't neat, so don't focus too much on the nests being "pretty". Keep them rustic and organic. Have some sticks poking out of the sides. Put yourself in a bird's shoes and know that it does't need to be perfectly aligned. It'll keep your OCD and inner-perfectionist at bay, and you'll be able to have fun with it. 
  • Stick your nests in the fridge and let em cool so they'll harden up! We left ours in overnight so they were good to go in the morning for Easter brunch.
  • Once they've hardened, add your assorted candy eggs, some peeps here and there, and VOILA! You'll have the cutest dish at brunch. 


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