Make your own adorable little marshmallow chicks and bunnies for Easter. They are easy and fun to make using a basic marshmallow recipe and Colored Sugar. Peeps were discovered over 50 years ago by the Just Born Candy Company, and are just as popular and loved today. For many, Peeps are an Easter tradition. Of course the marshmallow may be colored and cut into any shape, such as green Christmas trees or shamrocks, Pink Valentine hearts, or red white and blue 4th of July stars.
¾ cup cold water, divided
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
About 1 cup Colored Sugar for sprinkling in pan and coating cut-out Peeps.
Eyes and Noses:
About 1 teaspoon melted chocolate (dark, semisweet, or milk chocolate)
- Line the bottom and sides of a 13x9 inch baking pan with plastic wrap. Lightly grease the plastic wrap with vegetable oil; Coating: generously sprinkle the bottom and sides of the oiled plastic wrap with about 3 tablespoons of the Colored Sugar.
Tip: To create several different colors of chicks and bunnies from one recipe, use a 9 inch pie or cake pan for each color instead of the 13x9 inch pan. After lining the pans with plastic wrap and oiling, sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of the Colored Sugar in the bottom of each pan, using a different color for each pan.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, put ½ cup cold water. Sprinkle gelatin over the water; set aside about 10 minutes for gelatin to soften.
- In a medium-size heavy-bottomed pan, combine ¼ cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir gently to avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan. When the mixture begins to simmer, cover the pan tightly with a lid for 3 to 4 minutes to allow condensation to form and run down the inside of the pan to help wash away stray sugar crystals.
- Remove the lid and clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan, increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F, a soft ball stage. While the syrup is cooking, wash away any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan by wiping upwards with a damp pastry brush so the sugar crystals don’t fall back into the syrup. Tip: Lower the heat when the temperature reaches 235 degrees to slow the cooking because at this point it will quickly reach 240 degrees. In addition, remove the pan from the heat just before the syrup reaches 240 degrees to prevent it from going over 240 degrees.
- With the electric mixer on low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture. Be careful, the sugar is extremely hot and will burn your skin if you touch it. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is thick and shiny and nearly tripled in volume, about 10 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the vanilla. Increase the speed to high and continue beating about 1 minute or until the vanilla is well combined.
- Scrape marshmallow mixture into the prepared 13x9 inch pan, or divide between several pie or cake pans if making different colors. Spread with a rubber spatula to make as smooth as possible. The mixture will be sticky. Coating: Generously sprinkle the top of the marshmallow with 1 to 3 tablespoons of the Colored Sugar.
Tip: if using several pie or cake pans with different colors, the marshmallow doesn’t need to cover the whole bottom of each pan. Just put however much you want for each color, spreading so the marshmallow is at least ½ inch thick.
- Let marshmallow sit uncovered, at room temperature, until set and dry, about 12 hours.
- Sprinkle a large pastry board with some of the colored sugar. Run a sharp kitchen knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the marshmallow. Invert the pan onto the pastry board. Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the top of the marshmallow with more of the colored sugar.
- Use a chick or bunny shaped cookie cutter that has been dipped in a little of the colored sugar to cut-out the Peep shapes. Dip the cut sides of the Peeps into the colored sugar to help prevent them from sticking together, shake off any excess sugar.
Tip: Cut the left over scraps into small pieces, roll in the colored sugar to coat, and enjoy as snacks or in a cup of hot chocolate. I used a bottle cap to cutout these small “egg” shapes.
Eyes and Noses:
- Dip a toothpick in the melted chocolate and apply a dot of chocolate to form eyes and noses on the chicks and bunnies.
- Store Marshmallow Peeps covered, in an airtight container, at room temperature.
Description: Gelatin Candy
Equipment: Medium Saucepan, Candy Thermometer
Pan: One 13"x9"x2" Oblong Baking Pan
Pan Prep: Lined with Plastic Wrap and Oiled
Prep Time: 1 HourYield: 15 to 20 Pieces
Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature
Recipe Type: Candy, Gelatin, Marshmallow, Egg Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Easter
Help: Colored Sugar
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