My favorite Easter candy as a child was Russell Stover’s Butter Bon Coconut Nests. They were the first thing I looked for in my basket, and I have missed them since going vegan. I was determined to come up with a recipe for vegan coconut nests, and they turned out beautifully!
The hardest part was finding a good quality and at least semi-affordable vegan white chocolate. I read lots of reviews, most of which were not very encouraging, but I finally found these white chocolate coins that melt perfectly and taste good!
The coins are a bit pricey, but the cost per coconut nest ends up being about $1.00, which is what you would pay for Russell Stover nests. You can order the coins from Amazon or Jet. Amazon has the best price if you only buy one set of three, but Jet is less expensive if you buy two sets and thus qualify for free shipping.
You will also need unsweetened shredded coconut, which is available at Walmart for $1.98. If your store doesn’t have it, you can order it here. (You can use sweetened coconut, but I think it makes the nests too sweet).
Here are all of the ingredients you will need:
Start by tinting your coconut a light green:
Pour all but six of the chocolate coins into a medium sized microwave safe bowl. Place the six coins in a small bowl and set it aside.
Heat the chocolate coins on 50% power until they are completely melted. Heat the tinted coconut for 30 seconds. While the coconut is heating, add the vanilla and green coloring to the melted chocolate:
Mix well, then add the warm coconut:
Mix well, then divide the mixture into 12 parts:
Drop the 12 parts onto parchment paper, and flatten each into a circle. Use a spoon to make a well for the jelly bean eggs:
Let the nests harden fully, then choose 3-4 jelly beans for each one. (This article shows two kinds of vegan jelly beans.)
Melt the reserved coins, add a drop of green color, and mix together. This is the “glue” you will use to make the jelly beans stick:
Add a little of the melted chocolate to a nest, then press 3 jelly beans into it:
Chill the nests for at least 30 minutes, then place each nest into the middle of a small clear treat bag:
Turn the nest over, fold a corner of the bag over, and tape the corner down:
Continue folding over more of the bag until the nest is neatly wrapped. Repeat with the remaining nests.
Your nests are done!
Vegan White Chocolate Coconut Nests
Make beautiful vegan coconut nests at home!
- 12.3 oz King David Baking White Chocolate Coins
- 6 oz (2 3/4 c) Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 12 drops Green Food Coloring
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 36 Jelly Beans
Get all of your ingredients ready, and have everything in place to use when needed. Be sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature.
Add 6 drops of green food coloring to the coconut, and mix really well to evenly distribute the color. Set aside while you melt the chocolate.
Reserve six of the chocolate coins for later. Heat the rest of the chocolate at 50% power for two minutes, then stir. There probably won't be any change yet, so heat again at 50% power for 1 minute, stir, and repeat until the chocolate is mostly melted. Then, heat at 50% power for 30 more seconds and stir again. The chocolate should be completely melted. If it isn't, heat on 50% for another 15 seconds.
Heat the tinted coconut for 30 seconds on full power. While it is heating, add the vanilla and 6 drops of green food coloring to the melted chocolate, and stir well to combine.
Mix the heated coconut into the tinted chocolate, and then divide the mixture into 12 parts. Drop one part onto parchment paper and shape into a nest shape. Use the back of a spoon to create a well in the nest. If the mixture in the bowl gets too hard before you are done, heat on 50% power for 10 seconds and stir well. Let the nests harden fully before moving to the next step.
Group your jelly beans into 12 sets of three that look pretty together. Melt your reserved coins, add one drop of green coloring and mix together. Spread a little in the well of a nest, and then press three jelly beans into the melted chocolate. Repeat until all the nests are done.
Chill the nests for at least 30 minutes before placing each one into the middle of a small plastic treat bag. I recommend taking only two or three out of the fridge at a time, because if the chocolate warms up too much it can smear onto your jelly beans when you are taping the bags.
Gently turn the bag over so the nest is upside down. Fold over one corner of the bag, and tape it in place. Continue folding the bag over the nest and taping until the nest is neatly wrapped. Repeat with the remaining nests. Store at room temperature.