This is an easy, playful idea for vegan Easter treats for the kids. Or for anyone. No age limits on vegan food fun!
I can only take credit for the recipe on this one. These Easter ‘nests’ are made from my Chocolate Almond Macaroons recipe in The Cheese Trap.
One of my recipe testers for the cheese trap (and the diabetes book), Kim Davis, mentioned she makes the macaroons for Easter, placing a few vegan jellybeans inside to make them look like nests.
So, I decided to post the macaroons recipe so you can make these vegan Easter treats yourself!
First, I had to use a substitute for the jellybeans. I would have used the YumEarth brand (which Kim uses), but they weren’t available in my local stores. There aren’t many options for vegan jellybeans. Many jellybean brands are made without gelatin, but contain beeswax or confectioner’s glaze (which has insect derivatives). The only other brand I’m aware of is the Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans (and these have artificial colors/flavors). Anyone know of other vegan jellybeans?
As a sub for the jellybeans, I used these No Whey Choco No No’s!
They are a little bigger than jelly beans but they worked great. They are also in these lovely pastel colors.
I made my macaroons a little larger than normal, but you can make them the regular size and just add 2 or 3 no-no’s (or jellybeans). To help form these ‘nests’, here are a few tips:
- Chill the batter for about 15-20 minutes before scooping.
- Don’t crowd baking sheet.
- Mound the cookies and don’t flatten. I first tried to shape into nests when baking, but I found they flatten a little. So, best to keep roundish, and then shape after removing from the oven.
- When cookies are done, remove and let sit on cookie sheet for 30 seconds to a minute. Then, just gently indent center and bring up sides with your fingers, ever so slightly to form a ‘nest’ shape. They don’t have to be perfect! Kids will love them no matter!
- Don’t try baking in a small muffin tin, unless you line each cup. I tried this with a few and they stuck. Bad. No great loss, hubby took care of the scraps. 😂
I’d love to hear how they work out for you! x Dreena
Chocolate Almond Macaroons
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (little scant)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons nondairy chocolate chips optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the coconut, almond meal, cocoa, baking powder, and salt and mix until well combined. In another bowl, stir together the rice syrup, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture and the chocolate chips (if using) to the dry mixture and mix until combined. You want a thick, dense mix.
Use a small cookie scoop (or spoon) to scoop 1-tablespoon portions of batter onto the prepared baking sheet. (If you have a very large sheet, place all cookies on one sheet with just a little room between each; for a smaller sheet, bake in two batches.) Bake for 14 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Per cookie: 105 calories, 2 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 5 g sugar, 7 g total fat, 53% calories from fat, 2 g fiber, 71 mg sodium