How to Make Marshmallow Peeps from Scratch
Making marshmallow from scratch may seem daunting, but while the task is exacting, it isn't complicated, and you can be sure everyone will marvel at your chick, bunny, and flower creations -- in between bites!
Marshmallow is a timed combination of sugar and water with gelatin, which long ago replaced the mucilaginous root of the marshmallow plant. Sugar cooked to soft-ball stage (238 degrees) and mixed with softened gelatin and other flavors or food coloring is quickly piped onto a bed of sugar or cornstarch. Then the treats are coated with grainy sanding sugar, which comes in colors or can be custom-colored with luster dust or sparkle dust. We also used brown sugar, dark and milk chocolate, angel flake and macaroon coconut (great for making nests and bunnies), and royal icing. Bakery suppliers sell all the ingredients; the basics can be found in a supermarket. It's time to stock up and start piping!
SUGAR-COATED BUNNIES AND CHICKS
A convoy of marshmallow bunnies travels a sugared path through a meadow of flaked coconut, which has been colored green with luster dust. To give bunnies a fluffy texture, coat in untoasted macaroon coconut instead of sanding sugar. You can also use the same base recipe to whip up a batch of chicks; they just require a different piping technique.
CHOCOLATE-COATED MARSHMALLOW CHICKS
Tempering chocolate is the key to these decadent peeps. You can use dark chocolate or milk chocolate, or better yet, make a batch of both. Pair with a clutch of sugared chicks and have them guard a nest of jelly-bean eggs.
FLAT MARSHMALLOW BUNNIES, CHICKS, AND FLOWERS
The ultimate Easter party favor! The flat shape makes these marshmallow candies ideal for packaging. Wrap them up in boxes lined with parchment paper.