Thursday, January 12, 2012

You never know 'til you try

Are you on PInterest?  I am, and it's a huge time suck for me.  It's a website where you can store links to anything that you might ever want to come back to, and you can browse links that others have stored to get even more ideas.  Looking to decorate a room?  Create a board for that, and post links to ideas that you find inside.  Then poke around at other people's office ideas and see where it takes you.  Like to read?  Create a Library Board for books you want to read someday.  Do you like to cook?  Create a recipe board, then watch it grow... this one's the big one for me.  I don't often post external recipe links, but I routinely go there for ideas.

PInterest is where I found this link, for "Birds Nests"  The picture looked so cool, I had to give them a try.

Except, the comments in the PInterest link gave a slightly different recipe than the original link. I ended up doing a little of both, and frankly, I think they'd have been better if I'd followed my intuition and tried something else on my own.

One recipe said: Bird Nests! 3/4 C chocolate chips, 3/4 C butterscotch chips, 1 C peanut butter, 3/4 chow mein noodles. Form in muffin cups!

The other (Credit goes HERE) said

Birds’ Nests - Servings: 12 
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, for greasing the muffin pan
6 ounces (1/2 bag) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces (1/2 bag) of butterscotch chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces (1/2 of a large bag) of chow mein noodles
36 mini Cadbury eggs 
1. Generously grease the wells of a muffin pan with the butter (this will help later when you are taking out the chilled nests).
2. In a large microwave-proof bowl, heat the chocolate and butterscotch chips in 30 second intervals until thoroughly melted, stirring after each increment.**It only took me two 30-second intervals.
3. Once melted, add the peanut butter to the chocolate/butterscotch mixture, mixing well until smooth and completely combined.
4. Carefully add the chow mein noodles, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until completely coated.
5. Using a large spoon, mold the mixture into the wells of your muffin tin, indenting the tops slightly with the back of the spoon.
6. Chill the nests until hardened, about 1 hour or so.
7. Once chilled, gently remove the nests from the muffin tin.***I used a butter knife as a lever to pop them out-this seemed to work.
8. Place three eggs (or colored jelly beans!) on the tops of each nest.

Here's the thing, though... I don't like chow mein noodles. The first recipe says to use 3/4 of a cup, but I ended up using about 2 1/2 cups, just to fill them in.... too many for my taste.

I also don't like messy food, which includes chocolatey things that melt in your hand before you can eat them.   I think these need more stuffing, so that they'd be less melty. I think that I should have used at least a cup each (maybe more) of coconut, peanuts and stick-pretzels instead of chow mein noodles.

The recipe itself was really easy.  Melt the chips and peanut butter, add the solids and dump them into greased muffin tins.  Where it because complicated was making the indent in the "nest", because the chocolate was still pretty liquid at that point.  I made indents, but they filled themselves in pdq.   So, I had to wait 15 minutes for them to cool in the fridge and then go back and muck about in them with the end of a spoon.  It was messy.  And maybe not so successful.  

If I was more patient, I might have waited until the whole mess had cooled quite a bit, then made freehand nests on a cookie sheet to avoid the flat edges on the sides from the muffin tins.

Whoever photographed the Bird's Nests from the other site did a better job  They hid the sides by shooting directly over top. (Good photography tip!)  Their's look like birds nests.  Mine?  Well, they kind of look more like cow patties to me.

FYI - Another photography suggestion would be to not take a bite out of the sample, until you had finished taking the pictures.


  1. I can't get it about Pinterest. But I want to. Three people now have me perusing their boards and I am trying to love it. I can barely keep up blogging and I am looking for something else to befuddle my brain. Bird's Nests. We make something like that for the holidays only we call them Chinese Chewies(love ya Mom)and use PB, butterscotch morsels, teeny marshmallows and chow mein noodles. We hoover them down so fast that it will make your head spin like Linda Blair's. No time to melt. Yours look good Janice, hadn't thought of chocolate!

  2. Everyone is talking about Pinterest and I tried it awhile ago but didn't get it. Maybe I should try it again. Like I need another thing on the interwebbys to suck me into my computer for hours on end.