Powdered milk is the secret ingredient.

OVER EASY: Powdered milk is the secret ingredient that helps chocolate-dipped almond eggs keep their shape. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 40 minutes, plus chilling and setting time

Servings: Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Note: The dry milk in these eggs makes for a light, malty crunch. For a grown-up version, use smoked instead of toasted almonds and sprinkle the eggs with a few grains of flaky sea salt.

1 cup smooth almond butter

3/4 cup nonfat dry (powdered) milk

1/2 cup powdered sugar (2 ounces)

1/4 cup honey

3 cups milk or semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup finely chopped toasted almonds

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the almond butter, dry milk, sugar and honey until combined; you should have a stiff mixture.

2. To form each egg, roll a scant tablespoon of the almond butter mixture in your palms to make a ball, then roll one end gently back and forth to taper the ball into an egg shape. Transfer the eggs to a wax- or parchment paper-lined baking sheet when done. Gently insert a toothpick through the center of the egg, at the tip, and push the toothpick through almost the entire length of the egg. Freeze the eggs, uncovered, until firm, about 1 hour.

3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water. Transfer the melted chocolate to a small deep bowl (this will make it easier to coat the eggs), and place the chopped toasted almonds in a separate small, deep bowl.

4. Working with about 4 almond butter eggs at a time (keep the rest frozen until ready to coat), quickly dip the eggs in the chocolate to coat, firmly tapping the toothpick on the rim of the bowl to shake off excess chocolate. Place the eggs on a wax- or parchment paper-lined sheet for a minute or so to allow any excess chocolate to settle at the bottom of each egg and form a footprint, then lift the egg and dip the base partially into the almonds to form a nest. The chocolate should harden quickly; if it takes awhile to set, place the eggs back in the freezer just until the chocolate is hard.

5. Remove and discard the toothpicks from each of the eggs, then add a small dollop of chocolate to seal the holes. Set the eggs aside in a cool, dry place to set completely.

Each egg: 217 calories; 5 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 15 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 4 mg. cholesterol; 24 mg. sodium.