These Almond Cookie Easter Nests are so simple to make. Make a batch with your family and enjoy these sweet bites over Easter.
Using my Gluten-Free Almond Cookies as a base, I have adapted this recipe slightly with a festive twist. The Almond Cookies are rolled in coconut before being shaped into Easter Nests and baked to perfection.
Decorated using Mini Eggs, these are truly so much fun – both to make, and to eat!
Best of all? You can have these ready and, on the table, to enjoy in a little over 40 minutes.
Inspiration for this recipe:
The original Almond Cookie recipe was given to me by a dear Italian friend, many years ago. It has been the most popular recipe on the blog for some time.
When working out some new Easter treats, a friend of mine suggested using this recipe as a base, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try!
Why we love these Almond Cookie Easter Nests:
This is a great way to use up egg whites which you may have leftover from a recipe that requires only the egg yolks.
These cookies are so easy to make – I would even go so far as to say that this recipe is foolproof. Whether you have extensive baking experience, or are just getting started in the kitchen, this is a recipe you will enjoy both making and eating.
Ingredients in the Gluten-Free Cookie Easter Nests:
The terms almond meal and almond flour are often used interchangeably. The meal/flour can be made from whole or blanched almonds. It is a great ingredient to use in gluten-free baking.
For these Gluten-Free Cookie Easter Nests, we have used almond meal/flour from the whole almond. However, you can also use almond meal/flour from blanched almonds.
Almond meal/flour is not actually “flour” but finely ground almonds. When ground from whole almonds the texture will be slightly coarser than when ground from blanched.
The finer, blanched meal is best suited to French macarons, airy cakes or baked items with a light texture. In addition, it is pale in colour without the little specks of almond skin.
Almond meal/flour is also an invaluable ingredient in diets with specific requirements such as gluten-free, Keto and paleo.
Ground almonds, due to their high oil content and greater exposure to oxygen, are prone to becoming rancid. For this reason, I recommend that you store the meal/flour in an airtight container in the fridge or for a longer time in the freezer.
If you find yourself without almond meal/flour, it is easy and more cost-effective to make your own. Add blanched or whole almonds to a blender or food processor and pulse in short bursts until you have the texture of sand. Stir occasionally. If you take it too far you will have almond butter.
Caster sugar refers to sugar which is more finely ground than granulated sugar but not as fine as icing/confectioners’ sugar. It dissolves easily making it ideal for recipes such as meringues, sponge cakes, custards and mousses.
If you don’t have any it is easy to make your own. Use a high-speed blender or food processor and pulse a few times until the sugar grains are smaller in size.
They won’t be as even as commercially prepared caster sugar but will still be suitable. Just be sure to not over-process or you’ll end up with icing/confectioners’ sugar.
This is a popular flavour ingredient in baking although it is one that tends to divide people. Even those who love almonds often dislike the flavour which the essence/extract imparts.
I’ve tried to discover why but it seems that this is a complex area. One reason may be that the essences/extracts are often not actually made from almonds.
They are often made from the oil of the almond which is found inside a peach or apricot stone. Alternatively, they may be synthetically produced. Or, they may actually be produced from bitter almonds.
Although I always recommend reading labels, this may not provide clarification as details can be vague at best.
Where possible, I recommend using a pure version. It will have a fresher almond aroma and flavour which will hold up better when baked.
Use this ingredient with caution until you are familiar with its strength.
Egg Whites are a fantastic ingredient to have on hand – if you have leftover whites, you can store them in the freezer in an airtight container.
I clearly label with the date and the number of whites. There are so many ways in which to use them.
I will share with you some recipes further down in the post that you can also use for just the egg yolk!
Shredded Coconut is dried threads of coconut flesh. It is the perfect texture to roll the Cookie Easter Nests in and gives the desired “nest” effect.
If you are unable to find shredded coconut, you could also use desiccated coconut. It is a much finer dried coconut, but it will still work well.
This is how I make the Gluten-Free Easter Nests:
I start by preheating my oven and preparing my baking tray.
Next, I prepare a flat bowl or plate with the shredded coconut.
In a bowl, combine the almond meal, sugar and almond essence. Add the lightly beaten egg whites and combine well.
Roll small balls of the mixture and coat in shredded coconut.
Place on a baking tray. To make the Easter Nests, press into the centre of the dough.
Bake in the oven until the cookies are lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before decorating with Mini Eggs.
Tips for Success:
The mixture is quite sticky, so I recommend rolling the mixture into balls before beginning to coat in the coconut, otherwise, you could end up with very messy fingers!
These cookies do freeze well. Be sure to lay the cookies in a flat layer before freezing.
If not freezing, the cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container.
Recipes to use up leftover egg yolks:
Here are some great ways to use up those leftover egg yolks:
- Classic Key Lime Pie
- Lemon Curd
- Creamy Lemon Pie
- No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
- Or, make a custard or use as an egg wash on pastry!
More delicious sweet Easter recipes for you to try:
- Mini Easter Bundt Cakes
- Chocolate Pretzel Easter Nests
- Easy Easter Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Leaf Easter Wreath
- Hot Cross Bun Olive Oil Ice Cream by Another Food Blogger
- Lemon Shortbread Bunnies by Mrs Jones’s Kitchen
Enjoy your Easter, and please give these delicious Gluten-Free Cookie Easter Nests a try. Be sure to let me know in the comments below what you think!
Gluten-Free Easter Cookie Nests
- 3 cups almond meal spooned into the cup, loosely packed – See Note 1
- 1 cup caster/superfine sugar
- 1/8 tsp almond essence or to taste
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Cadbury Mini Eggs to decorate
- Preheat oven to 170 Degrees C (340 F).Place non-stick baking paper onto oven trays.
- Put shredded coconut into a flat bowl or onto a plate.
- Combine almond meal, sugar and almond essence in a large bowl. Add the lightly beaten egg whites and stir until the mixture forms a firm paste.
- Roll small balls of the mixture, about 4 cm (or 1 1/2 inch) in diameter in the shredded coconut.
- Place the balls onto baking paper-lined oven trays and gently flatten them a little, before pressing down in the centre to make a nest shape.
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly browned.Cover with foil for the last 2 minutes if the coconut is browning too quickly.
- Cool on racks.Decorate with Mini Eggs.
- Spoon the almond meal into the cup gently.
Never use the cup to scoop your ingredients – you may compact the contents in the measuring cup, and this will cause the recipe to not work accurately.
- All ovens vary in temperature slightly, and as such we have provided a time range for doneness on this recipe.