As a child, the only way I would eat those mushy, sugary yellow chicks that came in our Easter baskets was if “the Easter Bunny” let them sit on top of the fridge for a week to get stale. I never really liked marshmallows until I learned how to make them. Recently, I attempted homemade marshmallow chicks and bunnies (aka Peeps) and the results were delicious. Here’s how to make them!
Homemade Marshmallow “Peeps”
1 unflavored gelatin, (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup cold water, for gelatin, plus 1/4 cup for syrup
1 cup sugar
fine colored sugar (for dusting the bunnies and chicks)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and place a candy thermometer into sugar water. Wipe down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. Place a candy thermometer into the sugar water. (Do not let it touch the bottom of the pan or it will not give an accurate reading.) Boil sugar until temperature reaches 238 degrees, also known as soft-ball stage. Remove syrup from heat and add to gelatin mixture.
With an electric mixer on low, beat until the bottom of the bowl is cool, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, then increase speed to medium high until soft (not stiff) peaks form, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer marshmallow mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip, and use immediately.
Fill rimmed baking sheet or small bowls with about 1 1/2 cups sugar. If desired, color white sugar by stirring in a drop of food coloring. Pipe shapes onto sugar.
(Martha Stewart Directions)
Pipe a small marshmallow mound onto sugar, about 1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch tall. Pipe two smaller mounds on either end for the head and tail.
Pipe the ears, starting from the top of the head onto the body, pulling forward and off to finish. With a damp finger, pat down any marshmallow spikes formed from piping.
Immediately sprinkle sugar over the entire surface of the bunny. Allow a few minutes for the shape to set.
Pipe on a royal-icing face (or you can use a dot of chocolate syrup) with a #1 Ateco icing tip; lift bunny out of sugar with a spoon or small offset spatula. Place in a parchment-lined airtight container until ready to serve, or for up to 2 weeks.