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Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe Summary

active:
20 mins
bake:
1 hr 30 mins
cool:
2 hrs
total:
3 hrs 50 mins
Yield:
24
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File this recipe under "desserts that look just as pretty as they taste." Forget the elaborate layer cakes: This Easter, we're absolutely swooning over these Coconut Meringue Nests. These individually-portioned confections are light as a cloud and perfectly sweet; kids and adults alike will adore these whimsical treats. Meringues may take a good bit of time to make (they bake low and slow for 1 ½ hours and require at least 2 hours to cool), but the end result is certainly worth the effort. Plus, these meringues can be made up to a week ahead of time, saving you plenty of prep time on Easter day.

It all starts with our Basic Meringue recipe, which can be adapted to create any number of cute confections. For these nests, we like to spike our meringue with espresso powder or vanilla bean paste to achieve a speckled effect. Be gentle when stirring in the espresso or vanilla bean paste, so as to not deflate the meringue. From there, we use a large star tip to pipe the light meringue into cute-as-can-be rounds that resemble bird nests. Make your nests as big or small as you'd like—these would be absolutely adorable in miniature form. No matter the size, you'll want to have plenty of room for the toasted coconut and robin's eggs to sit in the middle, completing the effect.

These Coconut Meringue Nests look just like Easter. We love to garnish these coconut nests with pastel-hued, malted chocolate eggs, but they'd also be cute and particularly complete with Peeps on top.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 200°F with rack in lower third position. Spread about ⅛ teaspoon of the Basic Meringue into each corner of 2 unrimmed baking sheets. Line each baking sheet with parchment paper; press into meringue to hold parchment in place. Set aside.

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  • If desired, for a speckled-bird’s nest appearance, gently stir espresso granules into remaining Basic Meringue in bowl. (If omitting, place meringue in piping bag.) Transfer mixture to a large (about 18-inch) piping bag fitted with a ¾-inch open star piping tip (such as Ateco 829). Pipe meringue into 3-inch spiral rounds, starting each in the center and spiraling outward, spaced at least 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. (Outer edges of rounds should be slightly raised to resemble nests.) You should have 24 meringues total.

  • Bake in preheated oven until dry and no longer sticky, 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours. Turn oven off; let meringues cool completely in oven until crisp, at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours. 

  • Spoon coconut into centers of nests (about 1 ½ teaspoons each). Top with candies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. 

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