Peeps are deceptively simple looking, with their fluffy interiors and brightly colored sugary coatings. At first glance, it doesn’t seem as though there is much more that you could do with a little marshmallow chicken or bunny other than eat it. It turns out that there is a lot more that you can do with Peeps and Peeps: Recipes and Crafts to Make with Your Favorite Marshmallow Treat is pretty much dedicated to the subject.
The book is very lighthearted and has a lot of fun with its subject. Examples of Peeps recipes include Peeps Affogato (peep with espresso shot poured over it), Peeps Fondue and Peep-sicles. Each recipe is paired with a picture, so there are lots of colorful visuals to go along with the text. Following the recipes, there is a section on Peep crafts, which includes Peep Chopstick Holders and Peep centerpieces. The Peeps are easy to work with on all counts and add a festive (and sugary) touch to everything they come in contact with.
Now, this book isn’t going to be a hit with someone who isn’t a fan of the marshmallow chicks and bunnies, but anyone who does like Peeps will get a kick out of it. It is also a cute seasonal gift for kids as long as you don’t mind them playing with their food for a while before they eat it!
Colorful, sugar-coated marshmallow Peeps are synonymous with Easter. They’re simple and loved by most kids. A great way to take advantage of their colorful look is to use them as a decoration for cakes and other baked goods. I’ve taken that one step further here by making Peeps-inspired cupcakes for Easter!
These cupcakes have a vanilla butter cake base and are topped with a marshmallow cream cheese frosting that is coated in colorful sugar – just like Peeps are. The vanilla cake base is easy to make and is just a great cake for a spring gathering, as it is somewhat lighter in flavor than a chocolate cupcake. The white cake also blends in with the white frosting, giving the cupcakes a more spring-like look than a darker color cupcake would. Since the major complaint of those who don’t care for Peeps straight is that the marshmallow critters are too sweet, I opted for a fluffy cream cheese frosting that incorporates marshmallow fluff. This adds a great flavor to the cupcake as a whole and does prevent the frosting from seeming too sweet when it is covered in sugar.
I’d recommend sprinkling the frosting with sugar over the sink, rather than trying to dip the frosting into a bowl of sugar. It’s easier to control where the sugar goes this way, and the frosting won’t get smushed down while you work. Peeps generally come in yellow, green and purple, so try to stick to those colors for the sugar. Use a toothpick to prop each of the Peeps up on top of the cupcakes to finish off the presentation. Leftover Peeps make great s’mores, but you can always save any leftovers for another batch of cupcakes.
I have a little bit of a thing for Peeps. Part of the reason I like them is that the sugar-coated marshmallows are fun to eat. The other part is that they’re simply too cute to resist. Peeps were the very first thing that sprang to my mind when I spotted Wilton’s Mini Bunny Cake Pan because the shape of each cake cavity is almost identical to that of a bunny-shaped Peep.
The nonstick pan has only six bunnies, each of which is a bit smaller than a regular cupcake mold. The bunnies turn out to be about 4-inches long and 1 inch (or so) high. You’ll have to play around with the exact number of bunny cakes you can bake with a regular recipe, but Wilton predicts that you can expect to make 18. Be sure to let the pan cool well before refilling.
To get the look of a Peep for your cakes, use a white cake recipe, white frosting and buy some yellow and purple sanding sugars. Coat the baked cakes in frosting and dip into the sugars, making sure to cover the sides and top completely. When set out on a serving tray, they’ll look just like their marshmallow counterparts!
Like so many others, I am more than happy to eat Peeps – those deliciously sugar-coated, brightly colored holiday marshmallows – raw, especially around Easter when Just Born puts out their traditional yellow chicks and purple bunnies. These days, they put out quite a few more colors, more shapes and more flavors (like the Cocoa Bunnies), as well as offering a sugar-free Peep, but in my book, nothing beats the classics. “Raw” is the usual way to eat Peeps, though the debate over whether fresh Peeps or stale ones are superior can get to be very heated. Since they’re just marshmallows, however, they’re ripe for inclusion in the classic campfire marshmallow treat: s’mores.
My Peeps s’mores were made in the microwave, rather than a campfire, but the sugary, chocolaty goodness was still hard to resist. The only thing to watch out for if you make these yourself is that Peeps tend to blow up in the microwave, so you don’t want to overcook them and have the marshmallow overwhelm the graham cracker. Or get stuck all over the inside of the microwave.