Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Desserts for Spring: Homemade Peeps!!

You just have to love it when a major holiday puts a big focus on candy, and Easter is no Egg-ception with all of the delicious sweets & treats that the bunny fills your basket up with!  Last week we learned how to make some delicious Cadbury cupcakes, so I thought it only fitting that we delve into the world of homemade 'Peeps' today!!

This fun recipe is originally from Martha Stewart, but was adapted by The Kitchn to get the Springtime candy favorites just right!!  Take a look . . .

(homemade peeps on the left:)

Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

~ Rimmed baking sheet or several small bowls
~ Fine crystal colored sugar or turbinado sugar
~ Luster dust or sparkle dust (optional)
~ Piping bag and tips (Be sure to use a large piping bag. If your piping bag is too small the remaining marshamallow will start to dry out by the time you need to refill the bag)
~ Marshmallow for Piping recipe-see below
~ Cocoa powder

Marshmallow for Piping

(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)

~ 1 unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
~ 1/3 cup cold water, for gelatin, plus 1/4 cup for syrup
~ 1 cup sugar

1.) In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes.
2.) 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 sides of pan with a wet brush if sugar crystals have splattered up. Boil sugar until temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238 degrees). Remove syrup from heat; add to softened gelatin. Using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, hand-stir the mixture a few minutes to cool; place bowl on the mixer stand. Beat on medium high with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form and the marshmallow mixture holds shape, 8 to 10 minutes.
3.) Transfer marshmallow mixture to a large (14-inch) pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (No. 11 Ateco) 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 luster dust or sparkle dust a little at a time.

1. Pipe an oval shape onto sugar, about 1 inch wide, tapering the end and pulling upward to finish with the tail.

2. For the head, pipe a mound on the end opposite the tail, about the width of the body, pushing toward the tail and up. Pull away from the head to form the beak.

3. Immediately sprinkle sugar over the entire surface of the chick. Allow a few minutes for the shape to set.

4. Mix cocoa powder with a little water and dab it on with a toothpick to make the eyes!

5.) Lift the chick out of the 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.

Come on!  Isn't that just the cutest?!  You can make all sorts of shapes & colors using whatever quality of ingredients you prefer, so you never need to buy the store bought version again!!!  Hooray!!

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