Homemade “Peeps”


Ok so I know this is a bit late to be relevant. But these are fresh marshmallows and they are still delicious even if Easter has passed us by already. Plus, I can re-blog this next year. I was just so frickin’ busy the days preceding Easter, there was no hope of getting this written up and published in time. Oh well.

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Another disclaimer, my peeps didn’t end up looking like peeps at all. There is a real learning curve to piping fresh marshmallow, which is what you do to form these treats. My first few “peeps” looked more like little yellow worms or something. I was actually laughing-out-loud at myself. At least I wasn’t cursing. But yea, by the end I was proud that they were turning out somewhat bird-like. They look more like geese or something though. If I had had more marshmallow, I think they would have gotten closer and closer to their desired form but I ran out and wasn’t about to make anymore.

Check out this link with pictures on to make these Easter treats from about.com. The recipe attached to this tutorial is also the one I used and will include below. I think part of my problem in piping my chicks is that I wasn’t holding my piping bag at  90 degree angle. Somehow in my mind I should be holding it at a 45 degree angle but this made the marshmallow push away from me as I piped it out, resulting in a bird that was too long and not “fat” enough. Again, something I learned as I was running out of marshmallow. But I can pass this lesson onto you.

If you don’t want to try to pipe-these-peeps, you could make a flat sheet of marshmallow on a parchment-lined sheet tray, allow it to firm up and then use a cookie cutter to make desired shapes and then roll it in sugar. You just won’t want to wait too long to roll it in sugar or the sugar won’t adhere very well. Of course, if you have dyed the sugar, think maybe a nice lavender or pink for some Easter bunnies, you may not need to coat it in additional sugar.

Dying the sugar for the outer coat of these peeps is necessary but a bit tedious, just be patient. And make sure you sift the sugar when you are done coloring it or you will end up with bit pieces of clumped sugar/dye on your final product.

Another thought on these peeps, or on any creation you make with this homemade marshmallow- wouldn’t it be excellent dipped in chocolate???

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***PRINTABLE RECIPE (HOMEMADE PEEPS PDF)***

Homemade Peeps

(Slightly adapted from “Marshmallow Chicks” on about.com)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups granulated sugar, divided use
  • Yellow food coloring
  • 9 tablespoons water, divided use
  • 2.5 teaspoons (1 envelope) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder or chocolate chips

Special Equipment:

  • Piping bag with 1/2-inch round tip
  • Candy thermometer
  • Mixer with whisk attachment

Directions:

  • Place 2 cups of the granulated sugar in a large, gallon-size Ziploc bag. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the sugar. Massage the coloring and sugar together with your hands through the plastic bag, adding more color if necessary to achieve the desired hue. It will take a few minutes to fully distribute the color, so be patient and thorough. Sift the sugar once it is the color you want so that any remaining clumps of color can be removed.
  • Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. Generously spread a layer of colored sugar on the foil.
  • Place the gelatin and 5 tablespoons of the water in a small bowl and stir. Allow the gelatin to sit for several minutes until “bloomed”
  • Combine the remaining 1 cup of plain granulated sugar and 4 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Insert a candy thermometer, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook to soft-ball stage (235 degrees Fahrenheit).

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  • Once it reaches the correct temperature, remove the pan from the heat and add in the gelatin mixture. Stir with a whisk or a spatula until it is thoroughly combined and no gelatin lumps remain.

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  • Pour the hot gelatin syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer. Allow it to cool until it is barely warm to the touch.
  • Once the gelatin is just warm, begin to beat it with a whisk attachment. Start on medium speed, and once the mixture is no longer clear but has turned white and opaque, add the vanilla and turn the mixer to high speed.

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  • Beat for 10 minutes, until the candy is stiff, glossy and white. Add in a few drops of liquid yellow food coloring and beat until well-distributed.

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  • Immediately place the candy in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 –inch round tip (or a coupler base without a tip). Pipe the Chicks onto the baking sheet covered with colored sugar. To pipe the Chicks, begin with the body: hold the bag an inch above the surface at a 90 degree angle. Squeeze the marshmallow out, allowing it to form a 1-inch round before beginning to pull back towards you. Taper as you move backward, forming a 3-inch body. Release pressure and pull the bag upward to form the “tail.”
  • Next, form the Chick head by again placing the bag at a 90 degree angle. Pipe on top of your body segment, and move the bag back toward the tail. Once you have reached the middle of the body, reverse directions and move the bag back toward the front of the chick’s body. Simultaneously release pressure on the bag so that the marshmallow stops flowing and tapers off into a “beak” shape. Now is a great time to refer to the Marshmallow Chicks photo tutorial to help you out! Depending on the size of your chicks, you should get about 18-20 marshmallow chicks from this recipe.
  • While the marshmallow is still wet, sprinkle the chicks all over with the remaining colored sugar.
Yes, I know they look a mess. But some of them are actually kindof cute... LOL

Yes, I know they look a mess. But some of them are actually kindof cute… LOL

  • Mix the cocoa powder with a few drops of water to form a thick paste, or melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Use a small paintbrush or a toothpick to dot the chocolate on the chicks to form eyes.
  • Let the Marshmallow Chicks sit out at room temperature for 4-6 hours to set the marshmallow before enjoying them. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container, and for best texture, enjoying within 2-3 days.
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This guy in the bottom right is sort-of photo-bombing the handsome one in the center, teehee.

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10 responses to “Homemade “Peeps”

  1. They’re cute Jess. I’m going to make the Hummingbird Cake, but I don’t think I’ll try the peeps. If I get an urge for them they are on sale at the stores right now. That looks too much like work to me.

    • Lol. It’s all good. It is a little bit of work but I’m crazy like that sometimes. I made homemade cadbury eggs a couple of years ago, and candy deviled eggs last year. I think I do a different “easter candy” every year…

    • They are sold in the masses around Easter here in the US and end up in Easter baskets. They normally taste a bit “stale” for marshmallows but my version is soft and fresh which I love.

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