Easter Marshmallows (DIY Peeps)
Cash's first Easter was fun, but because he was so small we didn't get into the candy and the egg hunts and the Easter baskets ... but this year? We have done every single bit of the fun stuff that goes along with this glorious spring holiday! And perhaps he didn't quite understand the egg hunt this morning even though he screamed when he had to wait his turn. (One small, purple egg was enough to make him happy in the end.) And perhaps the Easter Bunny won't be bringing him a ton of chocolate tomorrow morning because, well, he's almost two and goodness knows almost-2-year-olds don't need any more energy than the good Lord already bestowed upon them. And perhaps our attempt to take him into God's Acre tomorrow for the Easter service will be less than, uh, simple because who wants to stand still when there is all that fluffy green grass to run around like a madman in? But that's okay. These are the things that memories are made of!
And when he gets older? We're going to make marshmallows - homemade Peeps, if you will - together. There will be plenty for him - or your kids - to do. Homemade colored sugar? Easy, peasy and a blast to shake up. A sheet of fluffy marshmallow goodness waiting to be turned into Easter candy? Miniature cookie cutters in the shapes of eggs, butterflies, bunnies and flowers will do the trick quite nicely.
But the mess! I can hear you saying it, and I thought the same thing because powdered sugar and cornstarch and hot sugar syrup ... well, oh my! But it was a cinch to clean up. I mean think about it: Have you ever met a marshmallow that could stand up to a mug of hot cocoa? Exactly. This mess is nothing a sink full of hot water can't handle.
Focus instead on sticky fingers begging to be licked; sighs of amazement as clear, liquid sugar turns into a fluffy cloud of marshmallow sweetness; and giggles and shouts of joy at the thought of being allowed to eat all that sugar. Well, if you're a mom you may not want to think about eating all that sugar because naps? Um, they may be out of the question this one specific afternoon! Instead think of it this way: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Because if there is one holiday where a sugar high is required it's Easter! And besides, who are we to try to resist the sweet siren call of pastel sweets? Especially homemade sweets like these....
Tips and Tricks:
* I used Alton Brown's foolproof recipe for homemade marshmallows. This was my very first try, and it was a complete success. It did take my syrup at least 10 minutes to reach temperature, but this step is nothing to be afraid of - I promise!
* The DIY Peeps idea was inspired by Twig and Thistle, whose wee candies are absolutely amazing.
* My Easter cookie cutters came from the Easter aisle at Target, and they're made by Wilton.
* I made my own colored sugar - and saved a bundle - thanks to Catholic Icing.
* And on all those notes, Happy Easter! May your Easter Sunday be filled with nothing but sweetness.