How to: use your favorite thumbprint cookie recipe. Reserve the egg whites from the cookie dough recipe. Whisk until frothy. You'll dip the cookie balls in the egg whites and then roll in coconut flakes to get the 'twiggy edges' of the nests. You can also use chopped nuts. Or, add cocoa powder to the cookie recipe to make chocolate nests.
Roll the cookie dough into 1" balls.
Dip the cookie balls into the egg whites and then roll in the shredded coconut or nuts. Place on parchment paper on cookie sheet.
Use a 1/2 tsp rounded measuring spoon and the back of a wooden spoon to make the indentations in the cookie balls.
I went through gyrations (see above) to get the indentations just right before baking the cookies. Again, this is where I learn stuff so you don't have to- the cookies puff up, obliterating the nicely shaped indentations. Ugh. However, make them anyway as it is easier to punch the puffed cookie down into the shape that was there rather than trying to make the indent from scratch when the cookie is done.
Bake the cookies according to the recipe you used. I baked these for 17 minutes to get the coconut browned. About 2 minutes before the cookies are ready to come out of the oven, pull the cookie sheet out and tamp down a 'nest' into the center of each cookie. You'll see where the indent was that you made originally. Pop cookies back in for remainder of time.
Cool completely before adding your 'eggs' to the nest.
(This would even work with the easy peasy peanut butter cookie recipe. When you remove the cookies from the oven, press down in the center with the end of the handle on a wooden spoon to make the indentation.) Or unwrap a chocolate candy egg and press into warm cookie as you would with a Hershey kiss.
You can also skip the whole 'nest' bit and fill the indentation with jam or jelly before baking.
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