In honor of upcoming Easter and spring festivities, I’ve got a new and improved recipe for my coconut crispy treat nests. I formulated this fun little whole food recipe three years ago for Attune Foods, but have revamped it for super-fast, 5 minute preparation!
I was motivated to recreate this old favorite upon receiving a surprise gift of Surf Sweets and TruJoy candy. I confess that I have always had a weakness for candy – something about those little sugar hits is just so pure and intense compared to a larger, prepared dessert. And while there’s no denying their sugary load, I like Surf Sweets for their exclusive use of organic cane sugar and fruit juices for coloring (no artificial anything!). They are also reportedly top “allergen-safe” and make both little jelly beans and gummies that are gelatin-free and vegan.
My original recipe called for making your own coconut butter from shredded coconut, which many viewers found a little too tricky. It does require a bit of patience. So to simplify, I’ve tested the recipe with premade coconut butter, which is becoming more readily available and affordable in stores and online. By using premade coconut butter, I chose Artisana (which is raw and organic), these coconut crispy treat nests come together in just 5 minutes! Okay, maybe 10 if it is your first time making them, but once you get the hang of it, they’re super quick, tasty, and a fun goodie to whip up and decorate with kids.
Special Diet Notes: Coconut Crispy Treat Nests
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, and optionally top food allergy-friendly.
Just be wise when selecting the cereal for your coconut crispy treat nests, as not all crispy rice cereal is gluten-free, allergen-safe, and/or vegan. Also, if dealing with a severe nut allergy, be aware that some brands of coconut butter may be produced on the same line or in the same facility with nut butters. And finally, for dairy-free, allergen-safe chocolate chips, I recommend using Enjoy Life brand.
- ½ cup coconut butter (I used Artisana Organic)*
- 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) honey or agave nectar (for vegan)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Generous pinch salt
- 2 cups crispy brown rice cereal (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- ⅓ cup dairy-free semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, for decorating
- Small jelly beans (I used Surf Sweets Spring Mix)
- Place the coconut butter, sweetener, vanilla, and salt in a medium to large bowl, and stir to thoroughly combine. Gently stir in the cereal until well-coated.
- Divide the crispy mixture between 10 to 12 silicone muffin cups (grease the cups if using tin), and press the mixture in using a piece of plastic wrap to prevent sticking You want to firmly press each into the bottom, but create a well in the middle (pushing the mixture slightly up the sides) to make the "nests".
- Melt the chocolate chips (60 to 90 seconds in the microwave - do not overcook!), and drizzle a little into the well of each coconut crispy treat nest - spreading it around a little, if desired.
- Sprinkle with the coconut (about 1 teaspoon per "nest") and place in the refrigerator to set-up, about 1 hour. To keep them firm, keep chilled until ready to serve (they can also be frozen), particularly if your home is a little toasty!
- Pop the coconut crispy treat nests out of their molds, and fill each with a few jelly beans to serve.