Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cautionary Tail..making peeps at home is not as easy as it looks!


It's happened again. Every time I do it I swear to myself "never again!". But hey I'm a mere human and she is not so it's not really my fault. No definitely not my fault, all the blame should go to Martha. She puts insanely cute things on her website and magazine and I'm sucked right back in. I know that it's probably humanly impossible to replicate the things she does but she makes it sound so simple. Just follow a few easy steps and Voila! I don't know what it is subliminal messages maybe but,I find myself thinking "yeah that looks easy, I could make that". Okay to be fair to Martha I do usually think if somebody else can do something, so can I, granted that it doesn't involve special training. I don't think I can perform surgery or fix you car or anything, but I can make a marshmallow peep...right? I mean Martha made it look so simple and the little rabbits were just so adorable. I'm pretty handy with a pastry bag and I'm a Daring Baker after all so you don't scare me!!! Those are all the thoughts I had when I saw the marshmallow peeps recipe on her website. Oh and by the way, yes you do scare me a little. haha
So yet again, like a crack addict, I convinced myself that this time I knew what I was doing and it would turn out great. I was going to make these adorable little peeps. They would be cute and probably taste really good as well.
That's what I thought anyway but that's not exactly how it turned out. I made the marshmallows for the peeps, no problem. No the problem came when I tried to take that marshmallow cream and make it into a rabbit. First of all Martha says you have to work fast, I should have known then and there to run away from this fast! But no it still looked easy...well not so much. You have to quickly get the marshmallow into the pastry bag. First problem for me was I needed a smaller tip to make the ears. I tried making the whole rabbit with the same tip, but the ears looked way to big and it just looked like a blob. So I ran grabbed another bag shoved a tip in and made the ears. Then tried to "pat down the spikes" which got my sugar wet which then stuck in a clump to my bunny, but only on the top. For some reason the sugar didn't want to stick to the sides on the rabbit. I guess I wasn't fast enough, meanwhile the marshmallow cream in the bag got cooler so the next rabbits came out a little lumpy but I kept trying! I did try to make ears that stood up to make mine look more like rabbits. It didn't help much.

The picture at the top is from Martha's site. My rabbits turned out, well lets just say a little less than that perfect than that. My rabbits look like they may have been exposed to toxic chemicals and mutated.
Consider yourself warned, they are not cute but here are my little mutant rabbits.









Here's the instructions for the peeps if you, like me, think you'd like to make these adorable little bunnies. Good luck getting them to look like Martha's bunny, but it was fun to try!

Fill rimmed baking sheet or small bowls with about 1 1/2 cups sugar. If desired, color white sugar by stirring in luster dust or sparkle dust a little at a time. Pipe shapes onto sugar. Bunnies and chicks must be completed one at a time. (I never made it to trying the chicks!)

Ingredients

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup cold water, for gelatin, plus 1/4 cup for syrup
1 cup sugar

Directions (this part IS pretty easy)

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes.
2. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and place a candy thermometer into sugar water; wipe sides of pan with a wet brush if sugar crystals have splattered up. Boil sugar until temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238 degrees). Remove syrup from heat; add to softened gelatin. Using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, hand-stir the mixture a few minutes to cool; place bowl on the mixer stand. Beat on medium high with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form and the marshmallow mixture holds shape, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Transfer marshmallow mixture to a large (14-inch) pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (No. 11 Ateco) tip, and use immediately.

Bunny How-To
1. Pipe a small marshmallow mound onto sugar, about 1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch tall. Pipe two smaller mounds on either end for the head and tail. (umm right it sticky!)

2. Pipe the ears, starting from the top of the head onto the body, pulling forward and off to finish. With a damp finger, pat down any marshmallow spikes formed from piping.

3. Immediately sprinkle sugar over the entire surface of the bunny. Allow a few minutes for the shape to set. (right and while you're doing this the marshmallow cream in you pastry bag is quickly getting to cool and your next bunny will be lumpy!)

4. Pipe on a royal-icing face with a #1 Ateco icing tip; lift bunny out of sugar with a spoon or small offset spatula. Place in a parchment-lined airtight container until ready to serve, or for up to 2 weeks.

Well I was right about one thing, these peeps do TASTE really good. Way better then the mass produced ones.
I bow to you Martha you've proven to me once again that I am a mere mortal and I need to buy my peeps at Wal-Mart!

23 comments:

Maria said...

HOW CUTE! They look so fluffy! Nice work!

Kelly said...

Well, at least you tried. I have never had a lot of success with Martha's recipes. Most of the time they are just ok, not great.

April said...

I saw these a couple of years ago and thought they were really cute and have wanted to make them. I think that yours look great, they just have character.

Eliana said...

As I was reading this, I didn't know what to expect for your finished product but I think you did a great job. They look super cute.

Jane said...

Anyone can make cold, impersonal rabbits...You made bunnies, which are way cuter, and they have personality, which Martha's don't have. Kudos to you, I say, for even trying it at all! I grew up gorging on Peeps, and I am still leery of trying to create them myself.
They look wonderful, and your post is making me feel braver--I may try them yet this season!

Sara said...

I think your version is cute! At least they taste good.

Half Baked said...

Thanks all for the nice comments! You've made me feel better about my poor little bunnies;)

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Kudos to you for attempting to make these. They look adorable, anyway. I love peeps, and these look like they taste way better than the mass produced ones.

I would never have the courage do this... great job!

Elyse said...

Haha, I'm heeding your warning, and I may just avoid making these. Plain marshmallows will be good enough for me :) I must say, as much as you say your peeps were exposed to toxic chemicals, I think yours turned out pretty precious! I'm super impressed with you!! Talk about an endeavor!

burpandslurp said...

don't sell yourself short! they still look so ADORABLE! mine would have come out looking like a squashed sheep or something.
haha, martha has the same effect on me too!

Baking Soda said...

I think there's a reason for the one lonely perfect rabbit in Martha's picture...
I'd have yours anytime! You did a great job!

Bellini Valli said...

I think you did an excellent job of recreating the bunnies. Remeber Martha has a league of helpers on her team.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Those look cuter than the real thing! I would love to try and make them!

thereddeer said...

I don't think they look too bad at all! Way better job than what I would do :)

nikireagan said...

I think for trying to make something that Martha made, you did an excellent job. I'm certainly intimidated by marshmallow making AND Martha.

Grace said...

you're being much too hard on yourself--they look terrific! and what really matters in the end is the taste anyway, and if that last photo is any indication, they're darn tasty. :)

Julie said...

I'm just in awe of you for attempting this. They do not look like mutants! I'm soundly impressed. BTW, thanks for following me on Twitter!

Jude said...

So adventurous.. Never even thought of homemade peeps. Cute stuff!

lyndsay said...

WOH! nice job on the homedmade peeps! they look completely normal and not scarily mass produced with tons of dye. they look fluffy and yummy!

Mermaid Sweets said...

I think you did a great job. I could never do that.

sheryl said...

Holy moly! These are so stinkin cute!

amber said...

i just want to say... i feel your pain! your homemade peeps are awesome. :) i tried to make easter egg cake pops and they were... lumpy, bumpy, and hardly egg-shaped, but delicious!

Amanda said...

I do the same thing with Martha. She just makes everything look so easy. I figure that if I'm careful, I'm golden. Not so!

Your bunnies are at least recognizable. I'm not sure I would have even done that well. :)