Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Flock of Peeps

Growing up, I really really disliked Peeps. And I mean really. Probably because the only ones we had in the house were from last year, since my mom liked them rock hard. However after seeing this post on Erin's Food Files, I thought I get in the spring spirit and try these.

These were quite easy to make, although these photos are from my second batch because I changed my technique a bit and thought these were significantly better. The first batch, I followed the piping directions from Erin's blog and accentuated the tail, but I felt the two-peice chicks left somthing to desire. With the second batch, I did one continuous motion, starting at the tail, piping a 1 inch wide oval. At the front of the chick, I raised the tip and continued to pipe while forming the head. Then I started to reduce the pressure on the bag and brought the tip down to form the beak.

I did use a piping bag with Wilton tip # 1A (about a 1/2-inch wide), but a ziploc bag with a corner cut off will work just as well. I would suggest pulsing your sugar crystals in a food processor a bit to get a finer texture. I did this with the second batch and I felt it was a much more pleasurable experience to eat.

It's an added bonus to say these are fat-free. (Ignore the whole empty calorie thing)

Marshmallow (From Martha Stewart, seen on Erin's Food File)

1 pkg unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 tsp)
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar

~In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Let gelatin sit for about 5 minutes to soften.
~Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, mix 1/4 cup water and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Stop stirring to prevent sugar crystals from forming, and place candy thermometer in sugar syrup. Wipe sides of saucepan with a wet brush to if sugar cyrstals have splashed onto the sids. Boil sugar until the syrup reaches the soft ball stage (238 degrees).
~Remove from heat and add to gelatin. Gently stir the mixture to combine and cool slightly. With the whisk attachment, beat on medium high speed until soft peaks form and the marshmallow holds its shape, about 8 to 10 minutes.
~Transfer marshmallow to a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and use immediately.

To form Chicks
~Sprinkle some coating sugar on the bottom of a lipped baking sheet.
~Pipe a 1-inch wide oval that is about 2 inches long. At the end of the oval, continue piping while raising the tip to form the head. Slightly move the tip back towards the tail of the chick. After the head is formed, bring the tip forward and down while releasing the pressure to form the beak.
~If desired, coat your finger tips with some confectioner's sugar and use your fingers to form more of a tail on your chicks.
~Immediately pour more sugar over the chick. Using a small icing spatula, lift more sugar onto uncovered spots on the chick. (I also used the spatula to prepare small mounds of sugar to turn the chicks into to help get complete coverage)
~Move completed chicks to another cookie sheet to allow to set.
~Use either royal icing or cocoa powder mixed with water. I applied the cocoa mixture with the tip of a toothpick.

~You'll probably be able to have to soften the marshmallow in the microwave a couple times in the process to keep it pipeable. I reheated it for 10 seconds and the consistancy returned, but it's best to work fast.


~Jaime~ said...

Brie - I can't believe you made your own peeps! Those are so cute, you are so so so talented! Want to come to Maine and give me some lessons???

Mary said...

Holy cow, you made Peeps? I totally thought those were store bought in your photo. Way to go!

Brienne said...

Hey Jaime,
The husband and I were thinking of taking a trip up to your neck of the woods sometime this summer for a short get away...if it happens we should try to meet up.

Thanks Mary! They were definitely easier to do than I thought they would be.

Sarah said...

Wow those look very close to the store bought variety. They definately look great.

~Jaime~ said...

Brie - that would be wonderful, I would LOVE to meet you! Please let me know and hopefully I can help out on where to stay/what to do also!

ErinsFoodFiles said...

Your peeps look SO good! Much better than mine (some of mine were accused of being walruses). You have some great tips too! I can tell you're a crafter! Haha... You seem to have more patience & hand skill! Glad you tried & enjoyed them! I know I did!