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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Homemade Peeps


This has EASILY been one of the busiest Easters of my life, so we decided to push the family Easter celebration a week to give me a few days to catch up on some homemade Easter goodies.  That said, I know this post is a bit too late since MOST of you celebrated Easter a few days ago but I'm
hoping this might be helpful for you guys next year (or you can be cool like me and just keep celebrating spring for however long you feel like!)

In light of that I have this fabulously easy, fun, and oh so cute homemade peeps recipe to share with you!  Seriously, the whole thing takes about 25 minutes, start to finish and 15 of that is waiting for your mixer to finish doing all the hard work.

It will take a little longer if you choose to make your own colored sugar like I did, but really still not much time at all.  Plus look how ADORABLE the finished product is, and as an added bonus you can make them and flavor/extract you have on hand (vanilla, peppermint, orange etc)

 

Home Made Peeps

Inspiration: Why Martha, of course!
Total Time: 25 min
Makes: 15-20 peeps

Ingredients for Colored Sugar

2 cups white sugar
Liquid food coloring drops
 

Ingredients for Peeps

1 packet gelatin
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 cup sugar (white or turbinado, whatever you have on hand)
1 tsp vanilla
 

Directions

  1. Make the colored sugar first by simply mixing sugar and food coloring, I did it in my stand mixer with the whisk attachment but I've seen it done in a jar or in a bag as well.
  2. Prep the gelatin by put it and the 1/3 cup cold water in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Allow to hydrate while you make marshmallow for piping.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Stir continuously while sugar melts.  When sugar starts to boil, stir in vanilla and corn syrup once combine, stop stirring and place a candy thermometer into the bowl.  Continuing to stir may cause the sugar crystals to reform which isn't good.
  4. Wait while sugar mixture comes up to the soft ball stage, 238F 
  5. Turn the stand mixer with whisk attachment and gelatin in the bowl on to the lowest setting (speed 2).
  6. Slowly pour 238F sugar mixture into the bowl.  Allow to stir for a few minutes, then bring the speed of the mixer up to medium high (speed 6 or 8).  Whip until stiff peaks form, about 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile prepare two piping bags with a large round tip, if you have a 1/2" round tip that will do nicely otherwise a standard tip fitting (the white plastic piece you use to hold a piping tip on to the bag) without any tip attachment will work.
  8. Prepare a baking sheet by lining the bottom with an even coating of half of your colored sugar (about 1 cup).  Reserve the other half of the sugar for sprinkling over your peeps.
  9. The texture of the whipped marshmallow is the foundation of these peeps, too hot/droopy and you won't be able to pipe anything but blobs, too stiff and you will just be able to pipe something that looks like bunny poop.  Once you get nice stiff peaks, immediately put the marshmallow into piping bags and GET TO PIPING as quickly as you can.  That said, once you see stiff peaks forming in your mixture as shown below, pull 1/4 cup of mixture and place into a small bowl, set aside.  Pour the rest into the two prepared piping bags.
  10. Begin by piping a single ball onto your sugar lined baking sheet, about 2" in diameter, this will be the body.  Next pipe a smaller 1" ball on the upper right of the first ball this will be the head, and another 1" ball on the bottom left of the first ball, this will be the tail.
  11. Finally pipe two lines across the top, these will be the ears.

  12. Dip your finger tip in a bowl of water to moisten, and use your moist finger to pat down any peaks that formed during piping. 

  13. Toss reserved sugar on top of bunny to coat.

  14. Continue rapidly making the rest of the bunnies, I might suggest having a partner use the other piping bag to simultaneously pipe additional bunnies.  The temperature is CRITICAL here and as the mixture cools off, it will become MUCH harder to pipe. 
  15. Once all the bunnies are piped and coated in sugar, find that reserved 1/4 cup of marshmallow and add food coloring until its darkly colored (black, purple, gray, or brown are all good colors) 
  16. Using the tip of a skewer or toothpick, dip into the colored mix and dab on eyes, and nose.
 
 
 
 
Oh, one last tip, if you get tired of making bunnies, or your marshmallow was too soft or too hard, don't worry, sugar coated marshmallow blobs (I call them marshmallow "Easter Eggs") are actually 5 times tastier :-)