DYI Marshmallow Peeps!

You know Spring has sprung when Marshmallow Peeps are on the shelves in every drug store imaginable! This season, make your own and avoid almost all the crazy ingredients found in the large manufactured varieties. Plus… soooo much fun to make!

You’ll Need

For the Colored Sugar 

3 cups granulated sugar

Yellow or pink vegetable colorants

For the Marshmallows

3 tablespoons or 2 packets of powdered gelatin

1/3 cup cold water, to activate gelatin

1 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

pinch salt

1 teaspoons vanilla or another flavoring of your choice

1 tablespoon chocolate chips, melted ( for the eyes ) or a little food-safe black dye

Special Equipment

Here’s How

For the Colored Sugar

Preheat the oven to 170′ F Degrees. Line a high-sided cookie sheet with parchment and set aside. Place the granulated sugar into the bowl of your food processor. With a toothpick, add a few dabs of the yellow gel coloring. 

Pulse the processor until the sugar becomes bright yellow, while cautiously not to pulsing to a powder. Once the color is to the desired hue, turn out onto the prepared cookie sheet. Place in the oven for about an hour, occasionally stirring to help the sugar to release any additional moisture. Set aside.

For the Marshmallow

Soak the gelatin in the cold water inside the bowl of your standing mixer with the whip attachment. Stir to combine and set aside to develop for about 8-10 minutes.

In a large stock-pot, fitted with a candy thermometer, dissolve the sugar with the corn syrup and 1/4 cup of water over medium-low heat. Stir until combine, careful not to gather any sugar up the sides of the pan. Raise the temperature and bring to a boil. Boil steadily for about 15 minutes without stirring until your candy thermometer reads 240 ‘F Degrees. 

Drizzle the hot sugar mixture in a slow and steady stream down the inside of the standings mixer bowl onto the gelatin. Once the entire mixture is in, increase the speed to high, add flavoring and continue to whip for approximately 10 to 12 minutes until thick, white, and tripled in volume.

In the mean-time, spread half the colored sugar onto a clean large parchment-lined, high-sided sheet pan. 

Piping Bag Technique 

New to a piping bag, or not comfortable working this fast-setting batter? Try the silicon mold technique below.

Fill the bag a little more than halfway. Twist the open end shut and pipe 2 inch long flat ovals, about 1 inch wide. Make sure to quickly snap your wrist by pulling the tip away promptly at the end of the piping stroke. This technique will create the chick’s tail. Repeat additional bases right next to each other, slightly touching. Try to work quickly because the batter will set quickly.

Now create the crest of the chicks’ head by refilling the bag and holding it in the upright position ( 12 o’clock to 6 O’clock ) with even pressure squeeze down and pipe a large circle onto the smooth end of the oval body about as wide as the oval. As you are piping the round, slowly raise the piping bag as you continue to apply pressure creating a pyramid-type shape of marshmallow, ending the pyramid by tilting the bag 90 degrees. Stop squeezing, quickly pull up and away from the mound, forming the head and beak. Be sure to pinch off the string of marshmallow with a wet knife, fingers or oiled scissors to create the beak. 

Dust the marshmallows in the colored sugar before they set.

Use the melted chocolate and a toothpick to dot on the eyes. or black food coloring with a toothpick. Alloe the Peeps to dry. Store in an airtight container.

Silicon Mold Technique 

Lightly spray your mold with cooking spray and set it aside. With an oiled spatula, scoop the sticky mixture into your piping bag, and pipe the blend into the lightly oiled molds. 

Allow to set for about 10 minutes. Gently push the Peeps out of the mold into the sanding sugar and gently dust.

Enjoy! 

Gingerbread Pancakes with Molasses Spiked Maple Syrup!

These pancakes that taste like you are eating gingerbread cookies for breakfast! So magicial and delicious! They’re light, soft, fluffy with a pleasant boldness. Nicely spiced without being overwhelming. If you’re sensitive to these bold flavors like I am, tone them down a bit by adding less than the recipe calls for, and spike the molasses to your taste!

You’ll Need: 

2 cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed 

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2-1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch salt, optional and to taste

1 3/4-2 1/2 cups buttermilk the more liquid, the thinner the pancake

2 large egg

3 tablespoons light, medium, or dark molasses ( avoid blackstrap )

2 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 recipe Molasses Maple Syrup ( see below ) 

Here’s How: 

In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients, and whisk to combine – make a well in the center, set aside.

In a large bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until combined. The batter will be fairly thick; add more liquid if you prefer a thinner pancake.

Preheat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray (or use melted butter if you prefer).

Using a 1/4-cup measure cup sprayed with cooking spray for easy release, scoop batter onto warm skillet. 

Cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until bubbles form on the edges. Take a peek at the underside with a spatula, and when golden, flip.

Control heat to medium-low and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until done. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more cooking oil as needed, and wiping any black residue with a paper towel as needed. 

The molasses will burn quickly, so be sure to control the temeratures.

Serve immediately, garnished with fresh winter fruit and drizzle with syrup

Ginger Molasses Maple Syrup

You’ll Need: 

1 cup maple syrup

 2-3 tablespoons light, medium, or dark molasses, or to taste

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, to taste

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Here’s How:

Combine all syrup ingredients in a small bowl or serving pitcher and whisk until smooth. Warm syrup and drizzle over pancakes. 

To keep pancakes warm for up to an hour, transfer them to a lined baking sheet and place in a preheated 200’F Degree oven with a cup of hot water to keep warm and moist.

Low Sugar, Scratch- Cashew Milk Base Pancake Recipe 

This is a base Pancake mix. Just in time for any morning! Add any flavors you like!

You’ll Need: 

2 cups whole wheat flour or all purpose 

1 Tablespoon monk-fruit sugar granules or organic cane sugar 

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 heaping tablespoon baking powder

2 large eggs, beaten well

1/8 cup melted extra virgin, non-flavored coconut oil or butter 

2 cups nut milk, room temperature 

1/2-1 teaspoon flavored essential oil or extract of your choice

Here’s How:

In a medium size mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. 

Make a well in the center of the flour. Add egg mixture, cashew milk and melted butter. Using a whisk combine well and until mixture is smooth and lump free. 

For cake like pancakes, reduce the amount of cashew milk – for thinner pancakes add additional milk.

Heat a well oiled pan over medium low heat. When warm ladle in 2-3 ounces of batter while making a circular motion with the back of the ladle to form a circle. Allow to cook about 2 minutes until bubbles form and edges turn brown. Flip, and continue to cook for an addition 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Remove to plate to cool. Continue until all batter has been used. 

Variations: For those not watching glycemic index, top with fresh fruit, butter, low sugar maple syrup or eat plain with fresh fruit compote. 


Make-ahead:

Cool, line individually on parchment or silicone mat and freeze for one hour. Once each pancakes are individually frozen. Remove and pack air-tight for quick grab and toast breakfast on the go! 


Makes Approximately 3 3/4 – 4 cups of batter or 10 to 12 , 6 in pancakes

Drunken Bacon for that “Grown-up” Sunday Brunch you’ve been longing for ! (This Bacon is Hot, Sweet and Sticky, so be prepared to have   “Breakfast in Bed!” )


Clothing optional ! I’d serve these sexy bits of heaven with a side of warm melted chocolate – but that’s just me. #ParentsDayOff 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup good quality pure maple syrup

1/4 cup good quality Bourbon 

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 pounds, 3/4-inch-thick slices of skinless slab bacon

Method:

Preheat oven to 350’F Degrees. 
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon and orange zest. Place bacon strips into the whisky marinade and toss until the bacon is evenly coated. Allow to rest a minimum of 20 minutes, up to one hour.

Line a 2 high sided baking sheets with foil and place a cookie cooling rack on top of each sheet. Spray cookie cooling racks with non-stick cooking spray.

Lay bacon on the racks in a flat even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy. 

Watch closely the last 5 minutes because the bacon will burn very quickly towards the end of the cooking process. 

Cool before serving.
Enjoy