Easter has come and gone which is an emotional roller coaster for peep lovers! I have friends that are OBSESSED with peeps and eagerly await their appearance on grocery store shelves every year. They consume as many as they can until they are no longer available. I even have a few friends that buy about 50 boxes and snack on them for the rest of the year. The only problem is they get stale pretty darn quick.
Well, fear no more lovers of Peep! At the request of a friend, here is a recipe that is not only easy but will satisfy your need for a peep fix year round. Who knows, next year you may even skip the store bought peeps all together. If you’ve already made my Green Tea Marshmallows then this recipe will be a piece of cake. Same technique, just slightly different recipe.
Yields 24-50 peeps depending on how large or small you prefer to pipe
5 tsp powdered gelatin
2/3 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp lemon extracts (or flavor of your choice)
2 4 ounce bottles each of each color of sanding sugar you want to use. (Don’t worry, there will be a lot left for next year!)
4 ounces melting chocolate
1) Before you begin mixing anything make sure you gather all the tools you’ll need. Once marshmallows are finished they begin to set so you don’t want to be scrambling to get the tips in your piping bags. Place half your sanding sugar on a cookie tray or large plate. Marshmallows are very sticky and you will be piping the peeps directly onto the sanding sugar then sprinkling with more to coat. If you are using more than one color of sanding sugar you can use several large plates, each covered with half the sugar, reserving the other half.
2) Place 2/3 cup water in the bowl of a mixer. Sprinkle with the powdered gelatin, trying to cover the surface evenly. Allow to sit and bloom/soften while you prepare your sugar syrup.
3) Place the remaining 1/2 cup water and sugar in a pot and stir to combine. Use a wet paper towel, hand or pastry brush and wipe any granules of sugar from the sides of the pot. This will help to ensure that your sugar doesn’t crystalize.
4) Place the pot over a medium high heat. Using your candy thermometer cook to Soft Ball (238 Degrees F)
4) When the sugar gets close to 238 degrees turn on your mixer, fitted with a whip attachment, to a low speed to start mixing the water and gelatin. Once the sugar is ready, increase the speed to medium-high and slowly pour the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl. Once it is fully incorporated, add the lemon extract and allow to whip about 5-7 minutes until white, fluffy and cooled.
5) Now we need to move quickly because our marshmallow mix is ready to go. Grab your piping bags, already fitted with the #10, 11 or 12 piping tips, and a rubber spatula or bowl scraper and fill each bag with some of the mixture. If you can’t fit it all in the bags then cover the remaining mix with a damp towel.
6) Now we pipe! You can really dictate the size of your peeps and make them as big or small as you want. For classic size peeps pipe a mound of marshmallow with the circumference of a silver dollar. Pipe a smaller mound, about the circumference of a quarter on top. When you are done piping stop applying pressure and quickly pull the piping bag/tip toward you to create a little “beak.” If it looks a little crazy don’t fret! The sanding sugar and eyes will help them look a lot more like peeps. Plus, practice makes perfect! Continue piping until all the marshmallow is gone. Leave about 1″ of space between each peep so you have room to coat with sugar and so they don’t stick together.
7) Take the remaining amount of each color of sanding sugar and sprinkle the peeps with it. Once they are mostly coated you can pick them up carefully and toss in the sugar they are sitting on. They will be soft and fluffy so handle with care.
8) Now for the eyes. We use royal icing when we make peeps at Buzz Bakery but you can use melting chocolate. It’s a lot faster! Warm the meting chocolate as instructed on the package. Put into the piping bag fitted with the #1 or 2 piping tip and pipe two little eyes on each peep.
9) Your peeps are now ready to eat (they are amazing fresh!) or store in a container with a tight fitting lid until you get a craving for some peeps. They will last about 5 days in a sealed container. And pack up all that sanding sugar and keep it for next time you make peeps!
As you can see from my pictures below, some are instructional and some are just us being goofy around the bakery. When you see how cute your peeps are you may be inclined to take wacky pictures of them too. At least I warned you…