Saturday, April 7, 2012

Geek My Peeps: A How-To

by Sara N. and Kathy F.

Ah, Peeps. They're the great Easter divider. Some people love them; some hate them. But the ubiquitous chicks and bunnies are hard to miss this time of year.

I'm a Peep lover, and I wanted to push the Peep boundaries this Easter season. When recipes for homemade Peeps began popping up on my Facebook feed, I knew what I had to do.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to geek your Peeps.

To start, I made colored sugar. Mix a liberal squeeze of gel food coloring with a tablespoon of water and add that to a cup of sugar in a container with a lid. Then shake the sugar mixture vigorously, stirring and breaking up clumps when necessary. You may need to let it dry before using it. (Of course, you could also just buy colored sugar. There would be no shame in that, and I'm certain your colors would be more even and the sugar would be less lumpy.)

Next, I made marshmallows for the Peeps using a recipe adapted from the Oregonian FOODday newspaper

I poured the sticky mess into the lined, greased pan. It helps to smooth the top with a spatula dipped in vegetable oil; otherwise it will stick to everything.

Since I wanted Peeps in different colors, I added the sugar in stripes. This made for messy borders, but I just cut my shapes out of the center of the color stripes.

To make the Tetris shapes, I created patterns on good, old-fashioned college ruled paper to give me some guidance as I cut them freehand.

Then, I started cutting. I cut out the blocks of different color one at a time, inverted them and put colored sugar on the other side. Then I cut out squares in the rough shape of the blocks and used the patterns to trim away the excess to get the shapes I was looking for. Afterward, I dunked the shapes into the container of sugar to get color all the way around.

And voila! Tetris Peeps!

I also did some freehand cutting and came up with a pretty sweet Pac-Man and two ghosts for him to chase. I look forward to chasing them into my mouth.

Kathy also created some homemade geeky Peeps that you'll swoon over. She used store-bought colored sugar and cookie cutters to achieve her shapes. Behold her ninjas! That's some excellent head-kicking action.

Her kiddos wanted their chick and bunny peeps, so she did those too. She used cookiepop sticks for them, but she couldn't bring herself to jam the sticks up the ninjas; that's why those are on a plate. To make the eyes, she melted a couple of chocolate chips in the microwave on medium-high for 30-40 seconds. That left them just melty enough to work with. She used a toothpick to dab some chocolate for the eyes.
Both Kathy and I used are marshmallow leftovers to make blocks. Not fancy, but definitely tasty, especially a day later. Both of her kids scarfed theirs down (as a reward for helping), and they kept trying to sneak more.
The ninja cookie cutters are available at ThinkGeek

So what geeky Peep shapes would you like to scarf this Easter season?
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  1. I want to try the Tetris Peeps.

  2. Guys, they look great! Nice job. I think I'd end up with most of the marshmallow in my hair if I tried to do it.

  3. Best thing to do with peeps? Zap 'em in the microwave. They puff up bigger and bigger until you are sure they are going to explode, then suddenly they collapse in on themselves.

    1. You're a monster!

      (Signed card-carrying member of PETP [People for the Ethical Treatment of Peeps])