No Easter basket is complete without Peeps! These sugar-coated marshmallow treats are a long standing American tradition (made in Pennsylvania since 1953!) so I thought I’d try my hand at making some.
The marshmallow recipe I used creates soft and tender candies (Peeps tend to be a little chewy and hard). I flavored mine with Princess Bakery Emulsion (you could probably use a little orange extract with some vanilla extract for a similar flavor) that is kind of a citrusy-vanilla that gave the marshmallow a nice flavor a little different from traditional vanilla marshmallow.
The recipe is easy to follow, however I cooked my sugar syrup to 250 degrees instead of the 238 called for in the recipe. I have found that 250 degrees produces a firmer marshmallow that is easier to cut into shapes.
I also let the marshmallow dry overnight before cutting to make sure that my bunny shapes would cut out easily. Here is how you can make your own:
You can find the entire recipe here. Start by lining a 9 1/2″ x 13″ pan with aluminum foil. Leave about an inch overhang of foil on two sides to use as handles for removing the marshmallow from the pan later. Spray foil with Pam and dust the bottom of pan with powdered sugar. Set pan aside.
Sprinkle gelatin in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and cover with 2/3 cup cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften.
Heat granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved into the water. Let the sugar and water cook to 250 degrees on a digital thermometer.
Carefully transfer hot sugar syrup to the electric mixer. While the mixer is on slow speed, let the syrup carefully pour down the side of the bowl into the gelatin.
Turn mixer up to medium high and beat for 10 minutes until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract (or Princess Bakery Emulsion) and completely whisk into marshmallow.
Using a Pam sprayed spatula, transfer the marshmallow to the prepared pan and spread evenly.
To create pink and yellow bunnies I divided the pan in half length wise and used a pastry scraper as a guide to keep the colored sanding sugar on one side at a time.
I started with the pink sanding sugar and gently pressed down before tapping the excess sugar out onto a piece of parchment paper. I poured the excess sugar back into the container.
Next I sprinkled the yellow sugar onto the marshmallow, again using the pastry scraper as a guide to keep the sugar to one side. Pressed the sugar down and tapped out the excess onto parchment to use later. Let the marshmallow dry overnight.
Using the aluminum foil overhang, remove the marshmallow from pan and place on cutting board. The marshmallow should easily peel away from the aluminum foil.
Spray cookie cutters with Pam and cut out shapes. Wiggle and press down hard enough to cut through all the marshmallow.
Place shapes on parchment paper and roll the cut sides with leftover colored sugar. You can used different cutters to make flowers with the leftover marshmallow.
The scraps make terrific snacks, s’mores, or pop them into some hot cocoa! You can even cut them into small pieces and mix into rocky road fudge!
Keep marshmallows in a ziplock baggie or airtight container.