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Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests

I've drilled into my kids that candy is reserved for special occasions. They know not to ask for that bag of Skittles® at checkout—unless, that is, they want to hear the old “NO, but we can have a rice cake when we get home.” Sheesh, I am such a mean mom.

I just figure that depriving my kids of candy 360 days out of the year makes the 5 days it IS allowed that much more special. You should see their faces light up. They do little happy dances around the room. It's as if life couldn't get any better. It's priceless. Maybe I'm not so much a mean mom as a warped mom!

Anyway ...

In our casa, Easter is a designated "candy" holiday. It's one of the few times a year that this health-freak mamma loosens up and the kids get to indulge.

That said, I do consult with Mr. Easter bunny in advance. This year we’ve struck a deal. He’s honored my request to abstain from going overboard and will scatter a light trail of dairy-free chocolate and fruity Surf Sweets® jelly beans. In exchange, he’s expecting a plate of his favorite macaroons—done up all festive like.

This week I was tickled jelly bean pink to receive news that this recipe for Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests placed 3rd in the Surf Sweets® Jelly Beans Blogger Bake-Off. In the words of the contest judges:

"[We] felt that your recipe for Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests met, and exceeded,
Surf Sweets Jelly Beans Blogger Bake-Off criteria for taste, originality, creative use
of Jelly Beans and presentation. Quite frankly, we loved the

Woohoo! Thanks Surf Sweets! This health-conscious mom sure appreciates your using natural, organic ingredients free of trans fats, GMOs, corn syrup, gluten, artificial colors and flavors. And I know that those with anaphylactic kiddos appreciate your products being made in a dedicated allergen-free production facility (free of peanut, wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, tree nuts, shell fish, and fish). Check out the entire line of Surf Sweets® candy here.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free (exception of coconut) | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian


1/3 cup Artisana® COCONUT BUTTER (see notes)
6 tablespoons pure MAPLE SYRUP
1/2 teaspoon pure gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
1/8 teaspoon SALT
2 cups finely SHREDDED COCONUT, unsweetened
Surf Sweets® JELLY BEANS
Optional 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut tinted with a few drops of India Tree Natural Decorating Colors


  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F.
  2. Melt coconut butter in large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Stir in shredded coconut and combine well.
  3. Gently pack coconut mixture into golf ball-sized mounds using hands or a small cookie dough scoop. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Using thumbs create a small indent. If using tinted coconut, sprinkle some over the nest.
  5. Place three jelly beans in each nest.
  6. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer cookie sheet to refrigerator and chill. This step helps cookies set.
  8. Store in air-tight container.


Coconut butter is a densely nutritious spread made from whole, raw coconut flesh (not just the oil). It has been heralded for its medium-chain fatty acid-rich oil, dietary fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. It contains no additives—simply pure, unadulterated coconut. Coconut butter gives these crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside macaroons a double dose of coconut goodness.

Reader Comments (14)

That is a GREAT idea! They are amazingly healthy and cute! I think i will give it a whirl and send my 18mo old to daycare with some (she is in a family owned daycare with 8 other children). I always try to send some treats on holidays for the kids that are healthier than what other parents may send - i sent her with some oaty vegan banana dark choc chips mini muffins this morning. The caregiver always appreciates and so do the kids... and i know my daughter gets healthy treats! How many of these little nests does one recipe make by the way? I have to count, and id love to bring some for the collegues at work too... hey.. adults like treats too!

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrederique

Lexie, you post was just what I needed to read today! I am glad I am not the only "mean mom" in the world! Love this recipe! xo

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

These are so adorable, Lexie!! The Easter Bunny leaves the exact same jelly beans at our house, and I already have some of the Artisana coconut butter in the cupboard -- I'm definitely going to make these little nests! Thanks for the fun idea. :)

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa@Pocketfuls

Frederique ... you are such a good mommy! So I think this recipe makes 12-16 if I recall. Depending on how bill the nests are. I didn't add the yield b/c I experimented with two sizes this last round. Sorry I can't be more accurate. :)

Lisa ... my kind of woman, stocking Artisana coconut butter!

Debbie ... the "mean mom" club is a cool club : )


March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

You did such a beautiful job on these, Lexie! So healthy for a candy treat, too. ;-) Congrats on your third-place win! :-) Love your philosophy on candy.


March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

This is such a cute idea! I'm always excited when I find ANY sort of cookie without eggs. Woohoo! Also, thanks for the tip on the jelly beans. I'll look for them at my Whole Foods. I've become a "mean" mom just like you...wasn't sure I was going to do any candy this year...but this product seems good enough for me to make an exception for Easter. :-)

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney @ Whole & Free

too cute lex! I can't stand candy, but my kids would go crazy for these,, and I will love them sans jellybeans! Will check these jellybeans out!

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTessa Domestic Diva

Such a cute treat for little ones for easter! I like!

March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaya at Saya's Soulful

Lexie, how I love that you are the same kind of mean mom that I am!! I have a fellow cohort in Meanville!! But, my kids also get so excited on our special candy designated holidays! I am thinking that these would be such a fun treat to have waiting for them on Easter!! CONGRATULATIONS on the awesome 3rd place win! I love your idea!!

Made these for a playgroup tomorrow. After tasting 1, I immediately started mixing up a second batch! There is no way that with only 1 batch I would be able to eat as many as I wanted and still share with my guests! They are so good.

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

So they are made and on their way to daycare... I ate one to taste and they are really good! My daughter helped... she picked out the jelly beans and gave them back... she doesn't seem to like the way they stick to her teeth! blessing in disguise I guess! She loved the coconut part though.. maybe I should make a batch of Vegan macaroons....
Happy Easter and thanks again for a wonderful recipe!

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrederique

My boys and I had great fun making our own nests last evening! We took elements of your macaroon nests, and bits of Alisa's coconut crispy nests over at Go Dairy Free, and came up with a merged version of the two! The boys absolutely love their special Easter treat, and were really glad to be able to make so much of it themselves. :) Thanks for the great idea. Lexie!

A very Happy Easter to you and your family. xo Lisa

April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa@Pocketfuls

Rachel, Frederique and Lisa, Thanks a ton for reporting back on your macaroon success! I appreciate you so much.


April 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

I made these for the easter bunny this past weekend, and they were so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe! My daughter and my husband loved them. I have already been asked to make more asap because the easter bunny ate quite a few apparently. :)

We can't do the surf sweets candies because they have sunflower oil, so I made some into regular cookie shapes and a few into nests and put homemade pear butter as the filling - kind of like thumbprint cookies.

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