Easter Sunday certainly calls for some sweet treats. As I grew up, we always got a Styrofoam carton of chocolate-covered marshmallows shaped like eggs every year as part of our Easter extravaganza. And for the record, I have never lost the Sunday morning egg hunt at the Heil household, and I never will. We weren’t home for Easter this year, but we did have some delicious candy treats from an Easter basket (thanks, Mom!). However, we had no Peeps. So we made Peeps.
And they are so cute! Hehe. And, they were delicious.
Here’s what you need to make your own marshmallowy treats:
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/3 cups cold water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Food coloring, if you choose
Making marshmallows, as we have discussed before, is a three-section operation.
Section 1: Put the 1/3 cup of water in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin into it. Allow to set up while you work on the syrup.
Section 2: In a saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the sugar and 1/4 cup water to the “soft ball” stage – 238 degrees or, when it forms a (you guessed it) soft ball when you allow a drop of the syrup to drop into a bowl of cold water. This will take a while (~20 minutes).
Section 3: Prep whatever pan you are using (we used cookie sheets since we were using cookie cutters to cut out the little peeps). Line them with parchment paper and/or a mixture of 1 part each powdered sugar and cornstarch. Save some extra for corralling the marshmallows later. You may also wish to get latex gloves ready or to liberally spray a spatula with nonstick cooking spray.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the gelatin and then pour the hot syrup over the gelatin and mix on medium using the whisk attachment for 8-10 minutes. You are looking for glossy peaks. In the last 30 seconds or so of mixing, add the food coloring to your liking. At this point, it will look like marshmallow fluff.
Pour into the pans you’ve ready for them to set up in. If you use your hands, a spatula or anything, spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Trust me on this. If you want to do the sanding sugar thing, add it now. We didn’t (this time).
Allow to set up for a few hours, and then use cookie cutters to cut out cute little shapes. Or, use a liberally greased pair of scissors or pizza cutter to cut into rectangles. I suggest tossing in more powdered sugar, because the newly freed sides will still be sticky.
And then, it’s imperative that you make them into little scenes and take photos.