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Originally published April 3, 2012 at 3:01 PM | Page modified April 4, 2012 at 11:26 PM

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Recipe: Chocolate Nests

These marshmallow, chocolate and peanut butter nests are fun for kids to make and can hold jelly beans, chocolates or other candies.

The Associated Press

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You'll have no trouble enticing the kids to get involved in this easy and tasty part of Easter dinner prep.

We've combined a blend 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 place some of 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 and allow to cook until the mixture can be handled. After that, let the children set to work shaping their nests.

Just note — this is a messy project. To make it a little less messy, lightly coat the kids' hands with cooking spray.

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

Chocolate Nests

Makes 20 small nests

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 package (10-ounce) mini marshmallows

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

6 ounces semisweet chocolate bits

2 cups thin chow mein noodles

1 1/2 cups square corn cereal, such as Corn Chex

2 cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 180 calories; 80 calories from fat (41 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 1 g fiber; 105 mg sodium.

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