Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
- Vegetable oil (for the pan)
- Powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
- 2/3 cup cold water, divided
- 2 envelopes (2 tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Colored sugar for decorating
- Tiny amount of melted chocolate for decorating
- Chick- and/or bunny-shaped cookie cutters
- Candy thermometer
Line the bottom and sides of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with plastic wrap; oil and then generously dust bottom and sides with some powdered sugar.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, place 1/3 cup cold water; sprinkle the gelatin over the surface.
In a heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid, add sugar, corn syrup, salt and the remaining 1/3 cup water; stir to dissolve sugar. Increase the heat to high, insert a candy thermometer and boil the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches 240 degrees F. Immediately remove from the heat. Be especially careful with this sugar syrup, as it can cause a bad burn. An adult should handle this.
Turn the electric mixer on to a medium speed. Carefully pour the syrup into the gelatin mixture. When all of the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and whip for approximately 10 minutes, until it turns white and is the consistency of marshmallow cream. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth the top and sprinkle liberally with colored sugar of your choice. Let the pan stand, uncovered, at room temperature to dry out.
To Make Peeps:
When the marshmallows are ready to cut, invert the pan of marshmallow onto a clean cutting surface. Remove the plastic wrap and coat the top with colored sugar (it should adhere easily).
Use cookie cutters to stamp out your peeps or bunnies and toss them in a bowl of sugar to coat the edges. If you find your cookie cutter getting sticky, lightly coat it with vegetable oil. Kids Culinary Adventures chefs use a toothpick to apply a dot of melted chocolate to form eyes.
Store in an airtight container.
Chef Gigi Gaggero is the owner of Kids Culinary Adventures in Belmont. Kidsculinaryadventures.com.