Monday, March 4, 2013

How to make homemade Peeps

Pink Marshmallow Peeps
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Valentine's Day has come and gone and Easter is just around the corner. For those of us with children that could only mean one thing-Easter baskets overflowing with Easter candy. Ok, I guess that is two things. It's a good thing for everyone involved that I'm a cook and not an engineer. In honor of the Easter season, I will be providing my readers with guides and recipes for making their own homemade Easter sweets and treats.
Peeps were first introduced in the 1950's are now one of the most popular Easter candies available on the market today. They have become so popular that Just Born has opened a retail store dedicated to the ooey gooey marshmallow treat and they have their very own fanclub! If you have ever wondered about making your own version of the popular confection, wonder no more! I have included directions for making molded marshmallows and cubed ones, as well.
MARSHMALLOW CHICKS
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons plain gelatin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup invert sugar (see recipe below)
  • 3/8 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Colored sugar
Directions
In a mixing bowl, soak gelatin in 1/4 cup water. In a saucepan, combine remaining 1/4 cup water, sugar, and invert sugar. Heat the mixture but do not bring to a boil. Pour hot syrup into gelatin, beating slowly. Gradually add corn syrup and vanilla, beating on a medium high speed until is white, fluffy and doubled in bulk. While marshmallow mixture is being beaten, lay out a large sectioon of parchment paper. Sprinkle liberally with colored sugar. Place the marshmallow mixture in a large pastry bag fitted with a half inch tip. Pipe a 1 inch oval, pulling upwards at the end to make the "tail". To make the "head", pipe a mound on the opposite end of the "tail". Push the mixture back towards the tail before pulling it forward and up to create the "beak". Sprinkle your creations liberally with colored sugar. There are several techniques you can choose from to make the eyes-choose whichever you prefer. 1)Melt a few pieces of chocolate confectionery coating and dab on with a toothpick. 2)Mix cocoa powder with a small amount of water and dab in place with a toothpick. or 3)Dab on a small amount of tinted royal icing.
To Make Molded Marshmallows:

Spray candy molds with cooking spray. Spoon marshmallow into pastry bag and pipe into molds. Allow to set for an hour, then remove from molds and roll in colored sugar. Allow to dry completely and store in an airtight container.
To Make Marshmallow Squares:

Spread marshmallow mixture into a well buttered 9X13 pan. Allow to set 1 hour. Cut with scissors. Dip scissors in water to keep marshmallows from sticking. If you wish, dip in melted chocolate, sugar, cinnamon sugar, cocoa powder, etc.


INVERT SUGAR
Ingredients
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid or juice from 2 lemons
Directions
Combine all ingredients in a heavy pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Lower heat and simmer for half an hour, stirring constantly. Stir in a tightly covered container.

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