The Easter Bunny has been rather busy the last few weeks. Dusting off the plastic eggs, hunting down the best tasting jelly beans (taste testing a few along the way), searching for the right things to go into everyone’s baskets, and sending happy mail* with an Easter flair. The other day Ms. Bunny came across the most adorable chocolate nests filled with candy eggs.
Those chocolate nests made her think of Grammy Thompson’s Scandinavian Cookies. The cookies are shaped like little nests which you fill with jam instead of eggs, but they’re equally cute and rank very high on the adorable scale. I guess you’re getting a pretty good idea of how my brian functions seeing how I jumped from chocolate nests to sugar-coated cookies which somewhat resemble nests.
Grammy T. usually brought us these cookies every year at Christmas time** and the tin she brought them in was full! My Mom was sweet enough to give me the tin after Grammy passed away, along with a hand-written recipe card for these particular cookies. I think of Grammy every time I make a batch and put them into her tin. With a week to go until Easter there’s a batch of these adorable cookie nests coated in pastel colored nonpareils waiting for Ms. Bunny to drop a dollop of jam in each.
There should be several other treats Ms. Bunny will be making for Easter this upcoming week including a ginormous batch of Peeps & Kisses as well as some fun Easter shaped sugar cookies, so stay tuned.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks (save the whites and freeze for later use)
2 cups sifted flour
colored sugars, non-pareils (or sugarettes as my Mom called them), and/or finely chopped nuts
seedless jam or jellies for filling
Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Cream the butter, shortening, and brown sugar until smooth and no streaks of butter remain. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until the batter has lightened. Blend in the flour (if you don’t sift the flour before measuring these cookies will be too dry and crumbly). Roll the dough into small balls, then roll the balls into the sugar or non-pareils, or nuts and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Make a depression with one of your fingers in the top of each cookie and bake 5 minutes. Quickly press down the centers again and bake an additional 10 minutes. Cool. Do not fill with jam or jelly until you are ready to serve the cookies as it will make the cookies soggy. If you are giving these as gifts I suggest you find a teeny tiny jar to put in the cookie box or you can use one of those plastic containers for dressing you get at a salad bar. Barring either of those suggestions slip in a note suggesting they spoon in the jam of their choice.
Makes about 47-60 cookies depending on how small you roll the balls of dough.
Here is one of the HappyMail eggs I sent out. Turns out if you’re willing to put first class postage on something weighing 13 ounces or less you can pop it in your mailbox or one of the big blue mailboxes found all over the U. S. Pretty cool. So far I’ve mailed Easter eggs, flip flops (one at a time), plastic water bottles, and plastic sushi boxes (not filled with sushi of course).
**For Christmas I roll these cookies in red and green nonpareils or colored sugars.