April 24, 2011 by Flora Dawn
Remember back in they day when schools still celebrated holidays with a class party and Moms could send homemade treats?
Well, I was in the second grade and it was Easter. My mom and I made Rice Krispy Treats, only we shaped them into little bowl-shapes to be nests. We added jelly beans and voila! Edible bird’s nests, perfect for an elementary school party. And the kids, well…they loved me. For that one day I was the most popular kid in my class. Food, I realized, can have a powerful effect on people.
Okay, so the love waned, it wasn’t like I could bring Rice Crispy Treats every week to school, but I still remember fondly those little edible nests.
Gone are the days when you can take home made treats to share at school, but I figured we could still make a small batch of little gluten-free bird’s nests for Easter.
I decided to go with Cinnamon Chex for the cereal, as they are brownish and I thought they would resemble a nest more than a rice cereal. But, there are several really great gluten-free brown crispy rice cereals on the market now, so that would be an option as well. I really think any crunchy or crispy cereal would work.
We dyed some coconut green for the grass, but toasted coconut would also be cute, or if your kids hate coconut, just leave it out. And for the eggs, we used Jelly Belly brand because they are the ones I know are gluten-free, and we think the speckled ones really do resemble eggs!
We think they are super cute topped with a Peep Chick (and I know many of the Peeps are now marked gluten-free, but their website says to check the label, so that is what I would suggest).
So these aren’t the healthiest, nor the fanciest, dessert idea; but we think they make a great, edible craft project for the kids on a rainy spring day. And what kid doesn’t enjoy playing with their food?
Cereal Treat Bird’s Nests
Makes 6 small treats.
- 3 cups cereal (we used Cinnamon Chex)
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1 tablespoon butter
- about 1/4 cup coconut
- green food coloring, optional
- jelly beans (Jelly Belly are gluten-free)
- Peep Chicks, optional
- Gently crush the cereal if using Chex or a larger sized cereal.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add cereal, stirring to incorporate thoroughly.
- Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture onto a silicone mat or parchment paper. You should get 6 clumps. Form each clump of cereal mixture into a bowl/nest shape and allow to cool. Top with a Peep if desired.
- In a small bowl combine coconut with a drop or two of green food coloring and stir to combine. Add coconut to “nests” and top with several jelly beans and a Peep if desired.