Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Little Peeps Peeping In My Kitchen

Since my health has taken a twist, limited my abilities in the kitchen. I have dedicated myself, to make things simpler in the kitchen. Whereas, my disability doez not prevent me from doing what I love the most. Cooking and baking has been a major part in my life, there is no greater joy than being in the kitchen making a delicious dish or a sinful dessert.
There's strange things coming from my kitchen. They only come around once a year, they're cute, sweet and tasty. What are they? Peeps! Why buy them at the store, when they're much cheaper to make at home. Plus you can involve the kids, grandkids or just the whole family and make it a fun family night.
The first time I made peeps, I used a pastry bag to form my shapes. But with Parkinsons, arthritis and lupus, that task can be somewhat a challenge. After careful planning and hours of trial and errors, my efforts finally paid off.
Having made my own marshmallow and marshmallow creme, I know what is expected and was ready to take on the challenge. With this new technique, even one never having experience in a kitchen can make these with the greatest of ease.

Why buy these, when yoi can make them cheaper at home? Recipe For Peeps 7 1/2 tsp. Unflavored gelatin, or 3 envelopes 1 1/2 c. Sugar 1 c. Light corn syrup 1/2 tsp. Salt 1 tbsp. Vanilla 1 tbsp. Cornstarch 1 tbsp. Powdered sugar Colored sugar, optional Food coloring, optional Lots of butter for greasing pans and your hands In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the gelatin with 1/2 cup cold water. Stir until dissolved and then set aside. Prepare candy mixture in a meduim-sized saucepan, beat sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stop stirring, but occasionally give the saucepan a swirl. Insert a thermometer and bring mixture to 240, about 7 minutes. Remove candy mixture from the heat and carefully pour the mixture into the bowl, containing the gelatin. Add another 1/2 cup of water and beat on high speed for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, this is where you want to divide your marshmallow, if you want to add coloring. In separate greased pans or single pan, pat down the marshmallow using your fingers. (Be sure to butter your fingers, for this will be a very sticky job). Cover and set the marshmallow aside and allow to set for at least 4 hours. I like to allow it to set overnight. When you're ready, turn the marshmallow out onto a flat surface and get your cookie cutters. Combine the cornstarch and powdered sugar. Dip your cutters into this powdered mixture each time you cut out a mashmallow shape. This allows a smooth cut and prevents the marshmallow from sticking to the cutters. With your fingertips, wet them with water and coat the peeps. Then dip the peeps into the coarsed colored sugar. Allow to air dry on a cake cooling rack. I used chocolate sugar beads for the eyes. After they are dried, you can wrap them in plastic or just start eating them. Chef's notes: The peeps will keep for a week if stored covered.

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