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Homemade Easter Treats: Marshmallow Peeps

26It’s Peeps weekend this weekend – those irresistible marshmallow chicks and rabbits I loved as a kid. Good news: you can make them yourself, then let them swim in your hot chocolate! (I’m a fan of drinkable chocolate any time of the year – and it’s as good a way as any to get rid of leftover Easter chocolate, and a use for all those solid bunnies that go on sale the week after.)

Marshmallow Peeps are actually easier to make than homemade marshmallows, simply because you don’t have to cut them into squares. It’s just marshmallow goo, spooned into a zip-lock bag and squeezed out through one corner. Easy. In fact, once you have the bagful of creamy marshmallow (made with plain gelatin simmered into hot syrup with sugar and water, whipped with corn syrup until it has the same consistency as meringue) you could squeeze it out into letters, numbers or any shape you like. You could, of course, toss them about in finely ground colored sugar while they’re still tacky to complete the Peeps effect, but I love the way they resemble whipped cream as they melt on top of hot chocolate.

Homemade Marshmallows

Marshmallow Peeps can be flavored any number of ways try adding peppermint or coconut extract and are far more delicious than the packaged kind by virtue of being homemade.

Ingredients
3 pkg. (3 Tbsp.) plain gelatin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla, mint or coconut extract
icing sugar, for dusting

Directions
In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup water. In a medium pot, combine the sugar and another 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer; add the softened gelatin mixture and stir until fully dissolved and hot to the touch.

Pour into a large bowl (if you have a stand mixer, use it with the whip attachment), add the corn syrup and vanilla and beat on high (if you like, drape a kitchen towel overtop at first to catch splatters) for about 10 minutes, until the mixture cools and increases in volume until it has the consistency of meringue billowy and white, and forms soft peaks.

Pour into a 9″x13″ pan lined with parchment or foil and dusted generously with icing sugar, or spoon into a large (or small) zip-lock bag, snip a large piece off one corner and pipe shapes, letters, swirls or Peeps onto a piece of parchment or silicone mat or an icing sugar dusted sheet. Let cool until completely set and if you need to, cut into squares using a sharp knife sprayed with nonstick spray. Makes lots.

For more Peeps recipes, check out “It’s a Peep Show! 10 ways to serve this favorite marshmallow!”

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