Sweet little ‘baskets’ for kids’ Easter treats

We’ve combined a mix of crunchy cereals and noodles with a deliciously sticky blend of chocolate, marshmallow and peanut butter to create edible “nests” in which the little ones can store their chocolate eggs and jelly beans.

The process is simple — just melt together the butter, marshmallows, peanut butter and chocolate, then stir in the dry ingredients. After that, let the children set to work shaping their nests.

This is a messy project. So you might want to do it before the kids get into their Easter best. Also, to make it a little less messy, lightly coat the kids’ (or your) hands with cooking spray.

The finished nests can be stored in plastic bags at room temperature for up to a week.

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Chocolate Bunny Nests

Hands on: 20 minutes Total time: 20 minutes (plus cooling time) Makes: 20 small nests

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 (10-ounce) package mini marshmallows

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

6 ounces semisweet chocolate bits

2 cups thin chow mein noodles

11/2 cups square corn cereal, such as Corn Chex

2 cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies

Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows, peanut butter and chocolate bits. Stir continuously until completely melted and blended.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chow mein noodles, corn cereal and rice cereal. Allow the mixture to cool until safe to handle.

For small nests, scoop by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet. For larger nests, use about 1/2 cup. Use your thumb or the back of a spoon (coated with cooking spray) to create an indentation at the center of each mound to form a “nest.” Allow to finish cooling until firm.

Per serving: 180 calories (percent of calories from fat, 41), 3 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 9 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 5 milligrams cholesterol, 105 milligrams sodium.

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