Tag Archives: almond bark

Easter Nests with Almond Bark

nests

The best part of any holiday is family gathering in the kitchen.  I’ve always loved cooking and baking. Growing up, I couldn’t wait to share traditions with my future child. I would help both my grandmother and mother in the kitchen.

My grandma lived on a farm and I’d help her clean green beans, collect eggs, and bake German Chocolate Cake. I cherish those memories. My mother is an amazing baker and she would create elaborate cakes for our birthdays – remember the Barbie cakes? I had several of those.

And I also teach my 6-year-old how to cook and bake. But I am a modern woman and so we focus on fun and easy recipes.

Many families make Easter nests, which are candy nests made with chow mein noodles (although there are other variations).  Most people I know use chocolate in their recipe, but I like to work with almond bark  because it is more forgiving. It also sets faster which means we can eat these sooner.

I use both vanilla and chocolate almond bark for variety. I add coconut to the chocolate, and pretzels to the vanilla because the vanilla is sweeter and it adds a salty crunch. I love sweet and salty combinations. I hope you make these with your children!

Almond bark nests

 

Almond Bark Nests

Makes 20 nests

5 squares chocolate almond bark

5 squares vanilla almond bark

3 cups chow mein noodles

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup broken pretzel pieces

Wax paper

Jellybeans or chocolate eggs

This makes 10 chocolate nests and 10 vanilla.

Spread wax paper out over two cookie sheets. Set aside.

Place chocolate almond bark in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir and then microwave at 20 second intervals until the chocolate has melted. Stir in 1 ½ cups of chow mein noodles and ½ cup shredded coconut. Stir to coat.

Use two spoons to grab a mound of mix and place it on wax paper, try to make an indentation in the center so you can place a jellybean there later. Allow to cool for 40 minutes.

Place vanilla almond bark in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir and then microwave at 20 second intervals until the bark has melted. Stir in 1 ½ cups of chow mein noodles and ½ cup crushed pretzels. I used mini rods.  Stir to coat and when the mixture is coated in bark, spoon onto wax paper. Try to leave an indentation in the center. Cool. Once mixture has hardened, place one or two jellybeans in the center.

 

 

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Halloween Fun: Assorted Dipped Spooky Pretzels

My Assorted Dipped Spooky Pretzels are a combination of pretzel rods dipped in chocolate with an almond sliver that makes it look like a finger, and pretzel ghosts dipped in almond bark with miniature chocolate chip eyes.  The great thing about Halloween is it’s the one time of year that if you mess up what you’re making it doesn’t matter because it can just look scary. For example, misplaced eyes on my pretzel sticks don’t look bad but that would be a completely different story if this was Christmas and those were snowmen. They’d look deranged.

rods laying down

Christmas and Thanksgiving are about perfection but anything goes with Halloween, which is why I think I love it so much.

These rods are fun, easy to make and yummy (I am partial to the chocolate). If you have children, they will love helping with these

rods

. I got the idea for the pretzel finger at a Halloween festival I was at last week. A vendor was selling those chocolate fingers and I thought it was a great idea to share. I have long made the bloody finger cookie for Halloween, so thought this was a nice change.

If you want a little “blood” you could always melt raspberry jam and use it as a dip. I hope you have fun with these. My daughter loves them

Spooky pretzel rods

Assorted Dipped Spooky Pretzels

1 (12-ounce) bag of pretzel rods

2 cups of miniature chocolate chips

12 ounces of almond bark (half a package)

Almond slivers to make fingernails

Black icing or chocolate chips to decorate

Parchment paper

Clean a work space and lay parchment paper out over a cookie sheet.

For the almond bark: Melt it according to package directions (there are microwave and stovetop options but I used the microwave because it was the fastest).

To keep the almond bark from getting hard, divide it in two batches and melt it in two batches and make one batch of dipped pretzels and then the other.

When it has melted, dip 2/3 of a pretzel rod in the almond bark and swirl it around to coat it.

Place it on parchment paper. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then add mini chocolate chips for the eyes, if using chocolate chips. If you are using icing instead, allow the almond bark to cool completely before drawing the eyes and mouth on with icing.

For the chocolate dipped pretzels, place chocolate in a coffee mug and microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring between intervals, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. When it is smooth, dip the pretzel rod in the chocolate and swirl it around to coat 2/3 of it (a spoon helps with this process).

Place it on parchment paper and carefully add an almond sliver at the top to look like a finger nail.

Cool completely before serving (1-2 hours).