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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Almond M&M Easter Nests

Growing up, these were a staple every Easter. To this day, I think they remain one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, cookies of all time. I don't know if its the cream cheese/coconut cookie batter, the addition of almond extract, or the addition of the almond m&ms, but these are to die for. In fact, these are too good to only be made once a year! I think I'm going to have to start stocking up on almond m&ms every Easter and making nest cookies year round. If you get the chance today, make these for your Easter celebration tomorrow...and if not, make a trip to Walgreens on Monday when almond m&ms will be on clearance and celebrate Spring with these little gems!

Almond M&M Easter Nests
*makes approximately 40 cookies

-2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-3/4 cup butter, softened
-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1 cup sugar
-3/4 tsp almond extract
-2 1/2 cups coconut
-red & yellow food coloring
-1 bag almond m&m's (pastel colored)

1. Mix dry ingredients and set aside.
2. With a stand or handheld mixer, cream butter and cheese; add sugar and almond extract, beating until fluffy.
3. Gradually beat in flour mixture and 1 cup of coconut.
4. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes (or until firm enough to handle)
5. Take 1/2 cup of coconut and tint with 1-2 drops red coloring (place in a covered container, add food coloring, and shake until evenly tinted). Take another 1/2 cup coconut and tint with 1-2 drops yellow food coloring. Toss tinted coconut with remaining 1/2 cup of (white) coconut.
6. Roll large tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Roll each in coconut until lightly coated.
7. Place balls on greased cookie sheets and press 2-3 m&ms into each cookie.
8. Bake for 12 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Refrigerate in a sealed container until ready to serve.

This post is linked to Eat at Home.