It seems like Peeps are everywhere. Even when it’s not prime Peep season… they’re there. Waiting. Do they see us? Are they sentient? Instead of buying box upon box of sugar-coated mass-produced marshmallows, use this simple recipe to make your own Peeps and marshmallow bunny butts. You probably don’t have a ton of piping experience, so you might end up producing marshmallow monsters, but you’ll feel like Martha herself, promise. Plus, when you make homemade Peeps, you get to pick your own sugar coating colors. You will definitely eat too many in one sitting and end up feeling a little sick, but at least you have an excuse. You’re just testing them… you know, for accuracy.
Homemade Peeps and Marshmallow Bunny Butts
PHOTO BY CAITLIN BENSEL
1/3 cup cold water
1 (1/2-ounce) package unflavored gelatin
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup tap water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup yellow sanding sugar
1 cup pink sanding sugar
1 cup white sanding sugar
10 black candy melts (such as Wilton Candy Melts)
1/4 cup pink candy melts (such as Wilton Candy Melts)
How to Make It
Using a fork, stir together cold water and gelatin in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Let stand until ready to use.
Combine granulated sugar, tap water, and corn syrup in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles form on sides of pan. Cook without stirring until a candy thermometer inserted in mixture registers 238°F, 7 to 8 minutes. Add to gelatin mixture in mixer bowl. Beat on medium-low speed until gelatin melts and mixture is foamy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla until incorporated. Increase speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form and mixture triples in volume, 8 to 9 minutes.
Fit a large piping bag with a 1/4-inch piping tip. Place sanding sugars separately in 3 shallow dishes.
To make Peeps: Fill piping bag with marshmallow mixture. To make the base of the Peep, pipe a 3-inch oval on yellow sanding sugar in dish. Pull the bag away quickly to form a tail. To make the head and the beak, start at 1 end of oval, and pipe a small “S” shape vertically, pulling bag away quickly to form a beak. Sprinkle yellow sugar over top and sides of Peep. Using a slotted spoon, transfer Peep to a baking sheet. Let stand until set. Repeat procedure, using yellow or pink sanding sugar as desired.
To make the Peeps’ eyes: Follow package directions to melt black candy melts. Dip the tip of a wooden pick into black melted candy; dot each side of Peeps’ heads with melted candy. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes.
To make Bunny Butts: Pipe a 2-inch round of marshmallow mixture on white sanding sugar in dish. Without pulling the tip away, stop piping. Move piping tip to top of round, and pipe a smaller round in the center of the larger round to form a tail. Quickly pull bag away. If a string of marshmallow mixture is left between tail and piping bag, smooth the surface of the tail with a slightly moistened fingertip. To make the feet, hold the piping tip close to the bottom of the larger round and slightly to the left of the tail. Pipe a “foot” about 1/2 inch high; quickly pull bag away. Smooth any strings with a slightly moistened fingertip. Repeat procedure slightly to the right of tail to make the second foot. Sprinkle white sugar over tops and sides of butt and feet. Using a slotted spoon, move Bunny Butt to a baking sheet. Let stand until set.
To finish the Bunny feet: Follow package directions to melt pink candy melts. Transfer melted candy into a piping bag; cut a tiny hole in the tip of the bag. Make a dot about the size of a peppercorn in the center of each foot, and make 3 smaller dots below each larger pink dot to make the toes. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes.