Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests

I've drilled into my kids that candy is reserved for special occasions. They know not to ask for that bag of Skittles® at checkout—unless, that is, they want to hear the old “NO, but we can have a rice cake when we get home.” Sheesh, I am such a mean mom.

I just figure that depriving my kids of candy 360 days out of the year makes the 5 days it IS allowed that much more special. You should see their faces light up. They do little happy dances around the room. It's as if life couldn't get any better. It's priceless. Maybe I'm not so much a mean mom as a warped mom!

Anyway ...

In our casa, Easter is a designated "candy" holiday. It's one of the few times a year that this health-freak mamma loosens up and the kids get to indulge.

That said, I do consult with Mr. Easter bunny in advance. This year we’ve struck a deal. He’s honored my request to abstain from going overboard and will scatter a light trail of dairy-free chocolate and fruity Surf Sweets® jelly beans. In exchange, he’s expecting a plate of his favorite macaroons—done up all festive like.

This week I was tickled jelly bean pink to receive news that this recipe for Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests placed 3rd in the Surf Sweets® Jelly Beans Blogger Bake-Off. In the words of the contest judges:

"[We] felt that your recipe for Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests met, and exceeded,
Surf Sweets Jelly Beans Blogger Bake-Off criteria for taste, originality, creative use
of Jelly Beans and presentation. Quite frankly, we loved the
m!"

Woohoo! Thanks Surf Sweets! This health-conscious mom sure appreciates your using natural, organic ingredients free of trans fats, GMOs, corn syrup, gluten, artificial colors and flavors. And I know that those with anaphylactic kiddos appreciate your products being made in a dedicated allergen-free production facility (free of peanut, wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, tree nuts, shell fish, and fish). Check out the entire line of Surf Sweets® candy here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

xoLexie

Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free (exception of coconut) | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Artisana® COCONUT BUTTER (see notes)
6 tablespoons pure MAPLE SYRUP
1/2 teaspoon pure gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
1/8 teaspoon SALT
2 cups finely SHREDDED COCONUT, unsweetened
Surf Sweets® JELLY BEANS
Optional 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut tinted with a few drops of India Tree Natural Decorating Colors

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F.
  2. Melt coconut butter in large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Stir in shredded coconut and combine well.
  3. Gently pack coconut mixture into golf ball-sized mounds using hands or a small cookie dough scoop. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Using thumbs create a small indent. If using tinted coconut, sprinkle some over the nest.
  5. Place three jelly beans in each nest.
  6. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer cookie sheet to refrigerator and chill. This step helps cookies set.
  8. Store in air-tight container.

Notes:

Coconut butter is a densely nutritious spread made from whole, raw coconut flesh (not just the oil). It has been heralded for its medium-chain fatty acid-rich oil, dietary fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. It contains no additives—simply pure, unadulterated coconut. Coconut butter gives these crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside macaroons a double dose of coconut goodness.