It’s funny how you can crave certain flavors at different times of year or during different holidays. For me Easter is all about coconut, meringue, white chocolate, and a little bit of marshmallow. My all-time favorite Easter treats are the coconut meringue nests shown above with the jelly beans in the center (recipe here). These are heaven, sheer heaven – with or without jelly beans. I make mine messy, so I don’t pay attention when the recipe says to draw circles on your parchment paper. And you don’t really want them to turn golden as the recipe suggests. They’d be way too dry if you let them do that, but don’t worry – they shouldn’t if you stick with the timing indicated.
I think my craving for white chocolate stems from childhood. My mother used to like to tell us that we were allergic to chocolate, so I always remember getting white chocolate in my Easter basket. Many years later I read that children like white chocolate because it reminds them of breast milk. I don’t know about that, but Guittard makes a really nice white chocolate that’s creamy and delicious. Today I used the boxed wafers to make two types of jelly bean clusters and a marshmallow treat on a stick.
I melted some of the wafers in a microwaveable bowl for 30 seconds at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each 30-second interval. I stopped microwaving when most of the chocolate was melted and continued stirring until all the chocolate was smooth (about a minute and a half).
I had some marshmallows that I’d placed on lollypop sticks ready for dipping. I buy a brand from Israel at Whole Foods that is a little longer than what you typically find. I tilted my bowl of chocolate and dipped each marshmallow in it, turning the stick to coat the marshmallow. Then I let the excess chocolate run off the marshmallow, drizzled on some sprinkles, and stood the sticks in a glass of coarse salt while they hardened.
Then, with the same melted chocolate, I stirred in a box of jelly beans from Trader Joe’s. I like those beans. They’re from Ireland and they’re made with natural colors and flavors. I did make sure to remove the licorice ones first though. I dropped spoonfuls of jelly beans and chocolate onto parchment paper to create the clusters. Then I added some Baker’s sweetened coconut to the mix and made some jelly bean coconut clusters as well. I let both the sticks and the clusters harden in the refrigerator and will keep them there until ready to serve or give as gifts.
Tomorrow, I’ll mold some milk chocolate, but now it’s late and time for bed. Sweet dreams!