My family isn’t religious, but Easter is eagerly awaited every year for one reason– seasonal candy. There’s a long list of sweets we look forward to, including malted eggs, starburst jelly beans, but most importantly: peeps. It’s not because they’re particularly delicious, since we mostly end up watching as they get nuked to smithereens in the microwave (we’re easily amused). I’m not sure what it is, but marshmallow chicks definitely hold some indefinable appeal. In true childerhouse fashion, I decided they could be improved upon. I stocked up on white sugar and gelatin, and plugged in my KitchenAid.
The first step was to whiz together granulated sugar and some yellow gel food coloring in my coffee grinder, so I’d have a superfine, yellow sugar to coat the peeps with. The second step was to make a batch of Martha’s marshmallows. It’s a recipe I revisit every Christmas, but I’ve always dumped the marshmallow goo straight into a pan and cut it into squares after it’s set. This was the first time I’d tried piping it, and realized there were two very important factors in play: the marshmallows had to be whipped as stiffly as possible, and I had a limited window to work in before the marshmallows started to set and became too thick to pipe.
I used an Ateco #808 tip to pipe the peeps– it’s got a 5/8″ tip and is so big I haven’t even found a coupler it fits with, so I have to ghetto-rig it with a gallon size bag and a rubber band. After piping my chicks, I covered them in the yellow sugar, and let them set for about an hour. Then I dusted off the excess sugar and used a toothpick and some brown gel food coloring to dot on some eyes. All in all, they’re not as pretty as factory peeps, but they’re way more delicious.
I used some fancy tips to make some swirly, cupcake-icing-like marshmallows, and knew right away they’d be perfect for s’mores. I threw together the graham cracker dough from this book, and an hour and a half later, I was in heaven.