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! 

Earthy Egg Embellishment

Searching for eggs around the yard is an annual tradition for many families in the Spring, but first there is decorating to be done. Dyes are easy enough to find in stores this time of year. No special trip to the store is necessary this year. All the things you need are in or around your house.

Decorating eggs has various historical roots. Eggs are a symbol of Springtime, and new life. The ancient Zoroastrians painted eggs for their new year’s celebration, which falls on the spring equinox. Sculptures on the walls of Persepolis, capital of the Achaemenid Empire, show people carrying eggs to the king. Jewish Passover Sedar calls for hard-boiled eggs called Beitzah dipped in salt. Thanks to craft.com, we have a homemade recipe for your own beautiful eggs.

This year start a new tradition at home by playing with flowers, clovers and pretty leafs as the inspiration for your beautiful eggs. So many things can be used as dye like berries and veggies – yep, a fun way to play with your veggies!

You’ll Need
White eggs
Flowers and leaves to decorate eggs
Pot of water
Dye (onion skins, blueberries, asparagus / spinach…)
1 tablespoon white vinegar to intensify the dye
One pair old nylon stockings (in a color that won’t bleed)
Thread

Here’s How
Cut up your stockings into 4-5″ sections. Tie off one end.

Wash the eggs in mildly soapy water to clean off any oils or residue that might keep the dye from being absorbed.

Dry off the eggs and place them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use.
Choose leaves and flowers carefully, looking for interesting and distinctive shapes. Plants that can be pressed flat create interesting two-dimensional graphics.

Carefully place the egg in the stocking pouch. Be careful, your plant could move around. This will get easier with practice.

Tie off the other end of the stocking, making sure the stocking is stretched tightly as possible around the egg to hold your natural inspiration in place.

Add the dye material – blueberries, raspberries, spinach, asparagus – with vinegar and eggs to the water. Boil for 20 minutes. Remember to do the dyes separately. Or, mix blueberries and strawberries and see what happens.

Remove the eggs, cut off the stocking and leaves. Then rinse your eggs. Rub vegetable oil on for a nice finish.

Lastly, share any really special designs with me in the comment section below!