Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Bunnies (AKA PEEPS)

Homemade Marshmallow 
Bunnies and Chicks
Ingredients (Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1 unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup cold water (for gelatin)
1/4 cup water (for syrup)
1 cup sugar (evaporated cane sugar)
Colored sugar
(or make your own with food coloring and sugar)
Cocoa powder and water (optional; for eyes and nose)

Directions for making marshmallow:
In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid (or the like) bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water.  Let the gelatin sit for about 5 minutes to soften.  I started this before making the syrup.  You will need a deep bowl, trust me.  And the kitchen Aid.

In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar to make a syrup, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and place a candy thermometer into sugar water; scrap sides of pan if sugar crystals have splattered up. Boil sugar until temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238-240 degrees). Remove syrup from heat, let cool a few minutes; (you know me, I didn't wait, but it turned out anyways.  Whew!)  Add to softened gelatin. In the mixer bowl, hand-stir the mixture a few minutes to cool and combine; place bowl on the mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment of a Kitchen Aid on medium high with the whisk attachment until soft, white peaks form and the marshmallow mixture holds shape, 8 to 15 minutes.  I set my timer and walked away.  And it worked!

Piping the chicks:
Transfer marshmallow mixture immediately to a large (14-inch) pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip, and use immediately.  This stuff sets FAST.  At the end I ended up dumping the some onto a plate of sugar.  Wasn't pretty, but it tasted good!  Pipe onto greased or sugar dusted pan.  Sprinkle with sugar.

To use a Mold:
 Lightly coat a silicone mold or small pan with Palm Shortening. (Don’t skip this step!!! Not that I would know why or anything.  LOL)   Immediately and quickly spoon into prepared mold or pan (the mixture will set quickly so don’t wait long, I can't ~ahem~ stress this enough....).  I smoothed out the tops with a flat knife.  If you used a pan, cut desired shapes out of marshmallow with lightly greased cookie cutters after the marshmallow sets. If you used a mold, wait a few minutes and then pop them out of the mold.  Drop marshmallows onto a bowl covered with colored sugar and move them around to coat each side.  To make eyes and nose, use melted chocolate chips.  I dipped a toothpick into melted chocolate, then dabbed dots onto sugar covered marshmallows.

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