After Valentine's Day, the chocolate hearts and roses are whisked away to make room for Easter candy. Of course, you have to have peanut butter eggs, jelly beans and Cadbury eggs, but nothing says Easter more than marshmallow Peeps. These marshmallow chicks feature a colorful candy coating and smooth and creamy marshmallow in the middle. They make the perfect addition to your Easter basket. But did you know that you can make your own peeps? Homemade peeps are easy and fun to make.
Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Pallagi-Naim of Ciclo at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, has a special recipe she uses every year to make these homemade marshmallow chicks for hungry hotel guests. And boy do these homemade peeps look good.
While some recipes use corn syrup (which means you need a candy thermometer), this homemade peeps recipe uses gelatin instead to provide the marshmallow structure.
Here's how to make your won marshmallow peeps.
Homemade Peeps Ingredients:
- Bloom the gelatin sheets by soaking in cold water until soft, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a metal or glass mixing bowl, combine the sugar and egg whites with a whisk.
- Cook the sugar mixture over a double boiler on low heat. Whisk occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatin sheets an add them to the sauce pot, whisking until the gelatin is dissolved.
- Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla bean or vanilla extract and whisk on medium-high speed. The mixture will cool down and fluff up as you mix it. When ready, it should resemble a marshmallow fluff.
- Spread the mixture into a sheet pan lined liberally with colored sugar. Top the exposed marshmallow with the sugar as well. Let cool completely.
- Once fully cooled, cut into desired shapes with Easter-themed cookie cutters. Use the leftover sugar to cover the exposed areas of marshmallow.
- Alternate method to make your homemade peeps: Instead of spreading into a sheet pan, another option is to pipe the marshmallow mixture into kiss shapes or duck shapes and let them cool. For this method, place a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet and sprinkle a layer of colored sugar on top of the parchment paper. Spoon the marshmallow mixture into a piping bag and then pipe it onto the sanding sugar. Use the excess sugar to lightly coat the tops and sides of the shapes. Let cool completely to room temperature before moving the homemade peeps to a tray for serving.
Homemade peeps recipe notes:
- To make lemon-flavored peeps, replace the vanilla bean with a tablespoon of lemon zest.
- To make your own colored sugar, add a few drops of food coloring to granulated sugar and mix until the color is dispersed evenly.
- Use a toothpick and some melted chocolate to make eyes for your marshmallow bunnies and chicks.
- Store your homemade marshmallow peeps in an airtight container.
- You can make homemade peeps for any holiday, or just to make any old day extra special!
This article was originally published on April 5, 2019.