I know that Easter is reeeeally close, but you still have time to whip these Homemade Peeps up before the holiday! Seriously, SO much better than the ones at the store!
These Homemade Peeps are soft, homemade vanilla bean marshmallows coated in colored sugar! They're just the festive treat you need this Easter, and so much better than the ones from the store!
Here's everything you need to make these fun treats! Measurements for each of the ingredients are included in the recipe card, below.
- Unflavored, Unsweetened Powdered Gelatin - For structure. I really dislike the smell of the gelatin, but don't worry, you won't be able to smell or taste the gelatin in the finished product. (Note that using gelatin means that these marshmallows are *not* vegetarian.)
- Water - Used twice in the recipe, once to bloom (soften) the gelatin, and also to help dissolve the sugar.
- Sugar - For sweetness.
- Agave Syrup - For sweetness, and to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. If you prefer, you can substitute an equal measure of light corn syrup.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - For fantastic flavor! This is one of my favorite ingredients! I love the flavor and the gorgeous black flecks it leaves in the marshmallow. If you'd prefer, you can substitute with an equal measure of vanilla extract.
Even if you've never made (or never fathomed making) homemade marshmallows, this is a great recipe to start out with! The directions are straightforward (more detailed instructions are included in the recipe card, below), and you take the whole gooey, beautiful pile of marshmallow and just spread it into a pan. Easy peasy.
- Whisk gelatin powder and cold water. Let soften.
- In a saucepan, combine sugar, ¼ cup agave syrup, and water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 240° F.
- While syrup is boiling, pour remaining ¼ cup agave syrup into a mixer bowl. Melt the gelatin mixture completely in the microwave, then add to mixer bowl. Turn the mixer on low and keep it running.
- Once syrup reaches 240° F, *carefully* pour into the mixer bowl while mixer is still running on low. (NOTE safety warning in recipe!)
- Gradually increase mixer speed and beat for 12 minutes. Mix in vanilla bean paste until incorporated.
- Pour the marshmallow into greased pan and smooth the top. Let marshmallow set up at room temperature.
- After the marshmallow is set, cut out shapes and coat each of the marshmallows in colored sugar.
- If desired, melt a small amount of chocolate to make eyes/nose for the peeps.
There are only a few pieces of kitchen equipment that I used for these Homemade Peeps that you might not have:
Mixer - Unfortunately, you pretty much have to have a mixer for this one! It would be quite a challenge (one I wouldn't personally undertake) to try to make these by hand--and I don't think they'd turn out quite as soft and fluffy!
Offset Spatula - While not strictly necessary, an offset spatula will help you to smooth the top of the marshmallow without getting it all over your hands!
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Storing Your Homemade Peeps
Once the marshmallows are set up and you cut them out, you're left with a bunch of marshmallow scraps that *someone* has to eat. Quality control, right?
Both the completed peeps and the scraps can be stored on your counter in an airtight container for up to a month! The sugar coating may start to get sticky after awhile, but they'll still be delish!
So go make some marshmallows! I'm off to see if my neighbors want any peeps... Happy Easter!
Other Recipes You May Like:
Recipe adapted from Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows:
- colored sugars
- 1 oz chocolate, melted
- Coat a 9" x 13" pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk gelatin powder and ½ cup cold water. Let soften 5 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, ¼ cup agave syrup (or light corn syrup), and ¼ cup water. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until syrup temperature reaches 240° F.
- While syrup is boiling, pour remaining ¼ cup agave syrup (or light corn syrup) into mixer bowl. Place gelatin mixture in microwave for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture is completely melted. Add gelatin mixture to mixer bowl. Turn the mixer on low and keep it running.
- Once syrup reaches 240° F, take off the heat and pour carefully into the mixer bowl while mixer is still running on low. Don't worry about scraping out the saucepan to get every last bit, just focus on not burning yourself! Be VERY careful not to touch the syrup, as it will stick to your skin and could cause serious burns.
- Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat 5 more minutes. Then increase the speed to the mixer's highest setting and beat for another 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla bean paste (see note) until incorporated.
- Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan, spreading the marshmallow into the corners of the pan and smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Let marshmallow set up at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
- After the marshmallow is set, grease cookie cutter and cut out shapes. Coat each of the marshmallows in colored sugar.
- Once all the marshmallows are coated, melt a small amount of chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on 30 second bursts until smooth. Cool slightly.
- Pour chocolate into a small zip-top bag, cut a very small piece of the corner of the bag, and use the bag to pipe the eyes and nose on each marshmallow.Enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate.