I have to admit I’m addicted. Every year at this time, my knees get weak and my eyes light up when I see one of the first signs of spring: marshmallow Peeps on store shelves. Those super-sweet, neon colored delights always bring a smile to my face. What could be better?
How about a machine that lets you make your own Peeps at home? Best known for Frisbees, Hula Hoops, Hacky Sacks and the original SuperBall, the wizards at Wham-o have now created the Marshmallow Peeps Marshmallow Maker. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one.
The all-plastic device is easy to assemble, unassemble and clean. Even though everything is kids’ size the instructions make it clear that this was made to be a family activity. Small kids may need additional help.
Inside the box is the magical Peeps maker, 6 molds, a blue measuring cup for water, a yellow plastic stirrer and 2 sets of marshmallow mix and sugar. Marshmallow mix refills are available separately.
Making Peeps is very, very easy. Following the instructions to the letter, you first wash the Peeps maker and all its parts in warm, soapy water. After assembling it, you wash and dry your hands before you make your Peeps.
Next comes the alchemy part. Mix Marshmallow Mix packet #1 with 1 Tbs. of very warm water. Stir for a maximum of 30 seconds. Add the contents of packet #2 and stir for a maximum of 20 additional seconds. Carefully fill the molds. Let your Peeps rest for five minutes, then remove them from the molds and roll in the yellow or pink dusting sugar. That’s it!
Video: Peeps at home The next part of the instructions warns that for optimum enjoyment you should eat your marshmallow treats right away. They also suggest you wash your Peeps maker sooner rather than later — basically before everything gets way too sticky.
Your final yield is six little Peeps: two stars, a little chick, a heart, an egg and a bunny. Each one is about half the size of a store-bought Peep.
As for taste, if you’ve never made marshmallows from scratch (I have) this is about as close as you’ll get. They are fresh and marshmallow-y and just plain great. They may not taste exactly like the store-bought variety but then again, they aren’t sitting around in cellophane waiting for days/weeks. Your kids will absolutely love making and eating Peeps.
I was also made aware of some super-user tips for using the Peeps maker. First, if you're a grown up, go ahead and use hot water instead of warm. Make sure everything is mixed thoroughly (no powder left in the bottom of the mixing chamber/extruder) and for easy removal from the molds a tiny drop of salad oil inside the mold goes a long way.
If you need to know about nutritional values, you shouldn’t be making or eating Peeps. The first ingredients listed on the box are sucrose, fructose and corn syrup. Suffice it to say that Peeps probably shouldn’t be a major part of a low-carb diet.
As for price, Wham-o’s Marshmallow Peeps Marshmallow Maker sells for about $25 in stores and on online. Refill packs, with two sets of mix, yellow, pink and purple dusting sugars plus a surprise mold inside, retail for $8.
The good part about the Marshmallow Peeps Marshmallow Maker is that now I’ll be able to enjoy Peeps whenever I want them, not just at holiday seasons. The bad part is that I now know that Wham-o also makes the Life Savers Flavor Factory, the Gummi Treat Center, the Jell-o Frozen Pudding Treat Maker and the Baskin Robbins Double Scoop machine. I love modern technology.
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