Children foraging for hidden eggs is a playful part of this Christian holiday, but the hunt itself stems from the pagan festival of Eastre. Named after the Saxon goddess of spring, this celebration included eggs decorated in bright colors to commemorate the season. Early Christians considered the egg a sign of rebirth and presented them as gifts. Eventually adults made a game out of hiding the colored eggs for a children’s search. — Kelly Staikopoulos
I had to bake for Easter, of course. So, I created Chocolate Chip Bird’s Nests filled with green icing and Jelly Bird Eggs. I’ll hide some eggs for the girls to hunt too.
I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies in mini muffin pans. (I cheated and used a packaged mix from Betty Crocker.) It was made with butter so I didn’t worry too much about sticking. I sprayed the mini muffin pans with a little non-stick spray. As soon they came out of the oven I used a small press to indent the center. I got this press with something I bought from Pampered Chef. I don’t know what it was for, but I use it to fit crusts in mini muffin pans. I think you could use your fingers. Remove the cookies from the pan while still warm. I froze these at this point until I was ready to fill them.
I used a can of white frosting that I tinted green, put it in a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. I filled the indention of the nest with green icing and added three small jelly bird eggs. They were cute and disappeared the minute I put them in the kitchen at work.
The Angry Birds were another story. Though they were all eaten, they didn’t turn out nearly as cute as the picture I saw of them. Nelda said they were very tasty. .
I remember chicks, ducks and bunnies for sale in the stores at Easter. I don’t think they do that anymore. It probably isn’t a good idea anyway. There was a cute little duck that swam in a pond of our next door neighbor when I was little. One day it was gone. Hmmmmmmmm? But I digress….
I baked the cake pop balls and put them in the freezer to use when I was ready to embark on this little adventure. I made the beaks and feet with the orange candy melts the same evening and put them on a tray lined with waxed paper to stay cold and hard until ready to use. The day of my creation I dyed the coconut in a plastic zip lock bag, dotted the eyes, melted the vanilla candy coating in the microwave and began to dip and roll.
I put black dots on a strip of dots for sugar eyes. (every place I searched was sold out of the real sugar eyes.) Then I dipped the little balls in melted white chocolate and rolled them in the yellow died coconut, added the beaks and eyes. I got what looked like Angry Birds – not Easter chicks. I’m not sure my granddaughters would relate to Easter chicks anyway. Angry Birds on the other hand, they would identify with immediately. The result was these little yellow fuzzy balls with wild eyes. So much for a cute little experiment. At least the birds’ nests came out identifiable and quite tasty.
These projects were fun and creative. That’s what I like about holiday specialty baking. You should give it a try and let me know what you come up with.