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!)
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.
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!