With the Easter holiday right around the corner, there's more and more candy creeping back into view. The most obvious of them all, is the infamous Peep. But while this marshmallow treat is bright and fun, we've put a recipe together that you can make at home, and outshine the sugar-coated original.
In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle over one packet (roughly 2 1/2 tsp.) of unflavored gelatin over 1/3 cup water. This step is crucial - you have to let the gelatin expand and let it do its magic - so set that aside for 5 minutes.
On the stove, heat a saucepan with 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar until boiling. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the mixture, and remove melted sugar when its temperature reaches 238°F exactly - this is the "softball stage" in candymaking. Pour sugar mixture into gelatin bowl, and hand mix to thorougly mix everything.
Using an electric mixer, whip sugar mixture for 8 minutes or so, until the mixture has thickened and you're getting soft peaks. Mix in 1 tsp. vanilla extract and a few drops of food coloring - until you get the color you desire. Spoon this mixture into a piping bag, and make your peeps!
Piping the peeps into shape is the trickiest part of this whole process, but the most important part is to pipe the mixture with a tip, this will allow you to twist off the ends of the peeps. Start with the base, and curve the pipe upward to make the head and beak. If you had trouble getting the shape right, use a star piping tip to create flowers like the ones above - not a bad Plan B!
Leave them out to set overnight, and you're good to go! Happy Easter!