Step 1: Ingredients
~ 1 Envelope Un-flavored gelatin
~ Liquid yellow Food Coloring
~ Gel yellow Food Coloring
~ 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
~ 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
~ Medium Saucepan
~ 2 Small Bowls
~ Measuring Cups and Spoons
~ Mixer and bowl (Stand mixer works the best, but you can use a hand mixer as well.)
~ Whisk Attachment
~ Cookie Sheet
~ Aluminum foil
~ Small sugar sieve
~ Candy Thermometer (Make sure it is properly calibrated. Put some water on to boil and put your thermo. in. Bring the water up to boil and see what the temp. is when it starts boiling. You may have to adjust the paper inside to set boiling point to 212°F. Then you know it's ready to go.)
~ Piping bags
~ 1/2 inch round tip
~ Zip top bag
Recipe yields about a dozen Peeps.
Step 2: Colored Sugar
~ Add in a very generous dollop of the Gel Food Coloring.
~ Squish (technical term) the sugar into the food coloring. This is going to take a little while, but make sure its thoroughly mixed. Feel free to add as much color as you need to. You want a nice even color.
~ Place a piece of Foil on your cookie sheet
~ Sift the colored sugar to take out any lumps of food coloring. Just sift it onto your cookie sheet.
~ Replace some of the sugar in the bag and spread the remainder out evenly. Set aside.
Step 3: Candy Time!
~ Mix 1 Cup Sugar and 4 Tbsp water in saucepan. Turn on Medium High heat. Add Candy Thermometer and cook to Soft-Ball stage (235°F).
~ Remove from the heat, and stir in Gelatin Mixture.
~ Pour syrup into bowl of mixer and allow to cool down until it is barely warm.
Step 4: Mix Master 9000
~ When it stops being a clear syrup add the Vanilla Extract.
~ Turn up the speed to high and whisk for 10 minutes.
~ After the 10 minutes, the candy will look like Marshmallow Fluff. Add a dozen or so drops of yellow Liquid Food Color.
~ Continue to beat until thoroughly mixed, and stop. Clean off the whisk, and remove bowl.
Step 5: Piping
~ Now for the tricky part.
~ Begin piping your chicks onto the sugar and cookie sheet. Hold the bag perpendicular to the sugar and squeeze. ( From the top, or your hand will be covered in mallow.) Make a round dollop about an inch across and pull the bag straight back towards you. Release the pressure, give it a little twist, and pull up. Don't worry about not getting a "perfect" Peep shape. Peeps are made by a machine.
~ Next we'll do the head. Hold the bag perpendicular again, and pipe onto the body. Move the bag forward (away from you). When you reach the front, pull up and give a little twist to make the head and beak.
~ Sprinkle the colored sugar you saved all over the chicks.
NOTE: I am not a pastry chef who can pipe a cake in under 5 minutes. I did learn a neat trick though, in doing this. After you sprinkle the sugar, you can carefully sculpt the chicks to a more desirable shape.
Step 6: Dot Your "Eyes"
~ Mix well into a paste.
~ With a toothpick paint some eyes on your Peeps.
~ Store in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
Step 7: Enjoy the Spongy Goodness!