Easter is hopping right around the corner, and marshmallow Peeps are popping up on store shelves everywhere. They are certainly an essential part of my annual Easter basket.
I love Peeps. All the fun of a marshmallow with a vibrant sugar coating. I bite their heads off . . . so they don’t suffer. Okay, really so I don’t have to look them in their little candy eyes. Exactly the opposite of how I consume a chocolate bunny. I don’t know why that is.
Peeps are best fresh out of a brand new package, but don’t think I won’t eat them a little stale and chewy. It also didn’t take long for me to figure out what would happen if you put one in the microwave. Try that on some ice cream or a brownie . . . or both. Have mercy!
Then one day, Easter came around and Peeps were once again plentiful. The weather was becoming fine and clear where I lived at the time, and I was buying groceries for a lovely weekend for camping. Of course, where there’s a campfire, there must be marshmallows, and where there are marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers cannot be far away. I thought to myself, “Self, what do you reckon would happen if we stuck one of them there Peeps on a stick and roasted him over the fire?” *DING-DING-DING*
I had to run a few tests right away. Microwave heat is very different that fire heat (which is much less predictable, to boot). I no longer had a gas stove (sigh), so I fired up the electric burner and contemplated the possible outcomes as I poked a long-handled fork into a marshmallow chicken. What would happen to that sugar coating? I silently prayed for carmelization.
Carefully, I positioned my peep for maximal even heat, rotating it slowly and watching for the slightest change in color or shape. The chick began to expand. It rapidly became lopsided, threatening to droop off my fork, but years of marshmallow toasting had provided enough skill to regain control just as the yellow sugar coating began to brown. Oh here we go . . . carmelize, you beautiful marshmallow. A bit of color here, a bit of color there, and away you go. Once off the heat, the sugar coating began to harden slightly . . . like the top of a creme brulee.
I have to say, this is one of my most favouritest ways to eat a Peep. The outside is crispy, the inside is melty, and it takes on a whole new flavour.
CAUTION: Count to 10 before you try to eat the Peep or you will burn your mouth. Caramelized sugar is VERY HOT but will cool off quickly.
You can make a s’more with these guys, just as you would with a regular marshmallow: sandwich the toasted Peep between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate. However, I often prefer to toast them under the oven broiler to and serve them open-faced. They are also exquisite with a little peanut butter.
How to Make a Smeep:
For each serving, place a graham cracker on a cookie sheet.
- Top each graham cracker with a square of chocolate (milk or dark) and a marshmallow Peep (bunny peeps work great for this because they are flat and brown more evenly).
- Place under a broiler for a few minutes until the chocolate softens and the top of the Peeps are slightly browned and carmelized.
- Cool slightly before eating.
Can’t get enough Peeps?
- Make your own Peeps! How-to at Twig & Thistle.
- Washington Post’s Peep Diorama Contest (2009)
- WP’s Peep Show II: Diorama Contest winners from 2008
- WP’s Peep Show I: Diorama Contest winners from 2007
- Peeps-Tastic! photo group on Flickr
- Peeps Diorama Slideshow at Asylum.com
- The official Peeps website