2teaspoonsvanilla extract (or lemon extractalmond extract, chocolate extract, other flavors - for AIP omit extracts)
2pinchesof sea salt
optional: natural food coloring
3cupx 1/3 of your choice: freeze dried pineapplecherries, strawberries, blueberries, etc
3Tablespoonsx 2 maple sugar
inOr you can coat them ground up dried coconut mixed with natural food coloring.
teaspoona 1 of melted chocolate + a toothpick for the eyes and nose (AIPyou can try a carob sauce)
Stand Mixer (I use a basic stand mixer I bought for $28but a fancy Kitchen-aid Mixer will work great too)
Peeps Marshmallow Silicone Mold or Peeps Cookie Cutters (note: the silicone mold is the same size as normal Peepsbut the cookie cutters are a bit larger)
an 8" by 8" panlined with parchment paper
This recipe will make twice as much marshmallow filling as will fit into the Peeps mold, so I pour the rest of the marshmallow filing into a small casserole dish to cut into squares. I have seen photos on Pinterest of people pipping the marshmallows into the shapes of Peeps freehand too! Or you can spread the marshmallow filling onto a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper!) and after it cools use a cookie cutter to cut out unique shapes.
In a mixing bowl add 1/2 cup cold water and sprinkle 3 Tablespoons of gelatin over the top. Let sit a few minutes.
In a large pot boil a separate 1/2 cup water and 1 cup honey (or maple syrup) together over high heat until mixture reaches the soft ball stage of 242 degrees F. I highly recommend using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature. Also use CAUTION as boiling honey like this is dangerous and can seriously burn you!
When honey and water mixture reaches 242*F remove from heat and very slowly pour it into the water/gelatin mixture. Once it's all added, turn on the mixer to a slower speed and once it is all mixed together, turn mixer up to high for about 7 to 10 minutes, until you have "marshmallow fluff". You want the fluff to get a stiff but still be pliable.
Grease your marshmallow mold well. I spray it with avocado oil using this reusable hand pump sprayer. I line my casserole dish with parchment paper and spray it with avocado oil too.
Spoon marshmallow fluff into a piping bag (or ziplock bag, then snip off a little of a corner piece after filling). Pipe the marshmallow filling into your molds.
Let marshmallows cool for about a few hours and they will firm up.
After coating marshmallows, I recommend storing finished marshmallows chilled in the refrigerator, this helps keep the coating more dry than if left out at room temp.
After marshmallows have set and are firm, I use a coffee grinder to powder up 1/3 cup freeze dried fruit + 2 Tablespoons of maple sugar to make each color for coating. You will need to grind up each flavored color separately, then pour out onto a plate and dip your marshmallows into them to add color and flavor. I used freeze dried cherries and pineapple to color the Peeps in the photos.
Note: do not prepare powdered fruit until right before ready to use it, as if it is humid out it can start to stick together and not be as powdery.
I use a toothpick and a tiny bit of melted chocolate to dot on the eyes and nose.
Or instead you can dip your marshmallows into dried up coconut flakes blended with natural food coloring in your coffee grinder.