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Yes, You Can: Make Your Own Peeps!

peeps-partying.jpg
Or you can just play with store bought Peeps... (Photo by Carolyn Hampton via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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It's almost Easter time, but every since the Valentine's Day candy got put on the discount rack, the aisles of drugstores and supermarkets have already been loaded up with Easter candy. That means Cadbury eggs (good ol' cremes or those addicting minis), pastel colored jelly beans, and, of course, marshmallow Peeps.

Peeps are sort of fetishist candy; kids like 'em, sure, but some grown ups really love 'em. For example, L.A. writer Alissa Walker has set up a Tumblr devoted to Peeps, called Peep This.

So if posing your Peeps as strippers, partiers, zombies, and whatnot, has lost its gloss this year, you may want to try your hand at making your own. Enter a L.A. Times food story about just that. Turns out if you can make marshmallows and have some cookie cutters, one method is quite basic:

They're nothing more than homemade marshmallows, a simple combination of sugar, water, gelatin, corn syrup and flavoring. Basic cut-out peeps are easy to make: Spread freshly made marshmallow on a baking sheet and leave it to set up, and then cut out peeps in any of a number of holiday shapes — flowers or bunnies, whatever you like — dipping the little creations in colored sugar for decoration.
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But advanced homemade Peep-prep goes to the next level: Piping. Explains the Times' culinary experimenter:

Piped chicks are a bit more challenging. While online recipes for Peeps-like chicks are plentiful, I found none yielded a marshmallow stiff yet pliable enough to form the right shape. After comparing a bunch of recipes, tweaking and fine-tuning to perfect a method, I found that the right marshmallow consistency — along with a bit of practice with a piping bag — is key to homemade marshmallow chicks.

The drag here is that this isn't so much a primer, but more a word to the wise for the already brave enough to be packing piping bags with marshmallow gooey-ness. Hmmm. How about skipping the piped Peep perfecting, and just going right for the good stuff: Cocktails with Peeps. Cheers, Peeps!