Homemade Peeps for the Practical Mom

I have a confession. I like Peeps. Honestly, I think it mainly has something to do with the fact that my mother and I used to share them. Some people can’t help but buy candy corn in October. I can’t help but buy Peeps in March. It’s a sad state. When I first began buying them, I could buy two packages for $1. They slowly went up in price until a few years ago when they began jumping in price and changing the package to a smaller size. Seriously? They want me to pay $2 for approximately 10 marshmallows?

After going without last year, I decided that this year, the kids and I would make our own. We would make them with our own delicious marshmallow recipe, free from high fructose corn syrup and whatever else it is that makes Peeps addicting. I saw a tutorial online and it looked easy.

The kids colored sugar and spread some out on a baking sheet.

 We made our marshmallow cream, making certain to beat it in the mixer for a really long time. Then we put it into a wax paper icing tube (yes, I make my own out of wax paper), and proceeded to pipe out cute little birds. Said cute little birds then proceeded to slowly spread out, resembling blobs. At that point, I tried on a chirpy little voice (the birds weren’t chirping) and stated, “Square Peeps will taste just as good!” We then spread out the remaining cream on the sugar, coated it with more sugar, and waited for it to set up before cutting it into squares and then dipping the edges in the sugar. Yes, just reading that makes my stomach hurt.

I have to say that they are good. Frankly, the kids stated that they were much better than real Peeps. No high fructose corn syrup and a fraction of the price!

If you are looking for a more authentic Peep, try leaving them  out uncovered, or as happened at my house, let the kids get some out of the bowl and have them forget to recover the marshmallows. They will dry out a bit, giving you that fresh from the package staleness with a crunchy outside.

Homemade Marshmallows (corn free)

My children were so excited about cooking over our new fire pit, that they decided we really needed some marshmallows. Our marshamallows turned out not to work very well for roasting, as they melted off of the roasting sticks. However, they were light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious.

  • 2 Tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • 8 Tablespoons cold water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar (make your own for a corn free version)

Dust an 8 or 9 inch glass dish with powdered sugar. In a small bowl, soak the unflavored gelatin in the 8 Tablespoons of cold water. Set aside. Combine the granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Cook and stir until dissolved. Add gelatin and bring to boil. Pour into mixing bowl and let cool slightly. Add salt and vanilla. Beat with your electric mixer  until soft and doubl ein volume. Pour into prepared pan and let cool. When ready, cover top with more powdered sugar. Gently work loose from pan and dump onto ctting surface. Cut into squares and dip in powdered sugar. Keep in air tight container for up to three weeks.

*****************************************************************************

June’s theme for the Families Create! challenge was adventure, and our participants didn’t have to go far to find some. Check out these adventures that were found in the backyard or around town:

Carrie at Love Notes Mama writes about a sensory adventures you can take in the rain without ever leaving home.

Hannah @ WildParenting discovered that being outdoors with your kids is bound to turn into an adventure when their family decided to try camping together.

Dionna at Code Name: Mama and her family created an impromptu summer adventure complete with water play, a bus ride, and a picnic.

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children built a backyard fire pit with the help of her children, which necessitated the ultimate campfire accessory – marshmallows!

Please join the Families Create! Make and Play Challenge in July. This month’s theme is swashbucklers!

planning daddy’s cake…

This year my children asked if they could plan their father’s birthday cake. I didn’t see any problem with this, although I did begin to wonder after they started throwing out possible ideas. They decided on a hockey rink theme. This went through many phases, but the end result turned out well, even with the insistence that we use 33 individual candles on the cake. The goals are made out of large marshmallows (not homemade this time – I wasn’t informed in enough time to make everything). The puck is a brown M&M, and the hockey players and refs are gummy bears. The kids didn’t seem to notice that there were no hockey sticks, which probably would have resulted in a second trip to the store for more supplies.

 

Candles can be a hazard when you get to this age. They are really bright and give off some nice heat. My husband joked that tiki torches might be a great way to light up a hockey rink. No gummy bears were harmed in the photographing of this cake, although there were many fatal casualties during the making and eating of it.