Birds’ Nests Cookies

Chinese Proverb: “You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent their making a nest in your hair.”

Our Take: “You cannot prevent the birds of Siena, Italy from passing over your head, nor can you prevent their making a mess in your hair.”

Aspen found this out firsthand in July 2008. While enjoying a picnic lunch in the Piazza del Campo, her head became a bird’s bulls-eye. As she reached up with her napkin to wipe the bird poop out of her hair, I yelled for her to stop.

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Bad Hair Day

Why? To be honest, so that I could document this Kodak moment. And, so that I could share the wisdom I had gleaned from one of the many travel books and websites I had read in preparation for our trip. When dealing with bird poop in one’s hair, fight the instinct to immediately wipe it off, which would only result in smearing it everywhere. Wait until it’s dry and then simply flake it off. Trust me. It works.

Enough about bird poop. Back to bird’s nests, as in edible Bird’s Nests to celebrate spring. They’re fun. They’re easy. They’re good. And they’re perfect for little hands to help with.

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Birds’ Nests Cookies

makes about 40

  • 1 2/3 cups (11 ounces) butterscotch chips
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter (your choice – natural or regular, I like natural)
  • big sprinkle of kosher salt
  • 2½ cups (10 ounces) chow mein noodles
  • 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • chocolate candy eggs (I use Whoppers Mini Robin Eggs)
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Line baking sheets with wax paper or a Silpat.

Melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter together over medium heat. Gently stir in salt, chow mein noodles, and peanuts. Mix well.

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Spoon onto prepared baking sheets. Shape into birds’ nests and add a few eggs to each nest. Let stand until firm – can refrigerate to speed this up. Store in airtight container.

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Variations:

  • omit eggs to make haystacks year-round
  • substitute chocolate chips for some or all of the butterscotch chips
  • substitute about 3½ cups of mini marshmallows for the peanuts

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