Marshmallow Chicks are a delicious homemade version of Marshmallow Peeps! Peeps are an Easter classic, but sometimes their enjoyment is more nostalgic than taste-based. These homemade Marshmallow Chicks retain the charming shape of the original, but these soft, fresh vanilla-scented marshmallows taste much better.
- 3 cups sugar (divided use)
- 4 drops yellow food coloring (more or less as needed)
- 9 tablespoons water (divided use)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (1 envelope)
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract (or any other flavoring you'd like)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (or chocolate chips)
1. Place 2 cups of the granulated sugar in a large, gallon-size Ziploc bag. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the sugar. Massage the coloring and sugar together with your hands through the plastic bag, adding more color if necessary to achieve the desired hue. It will take a few minutes to fully distribute the color, so be patient and thorough. Sift the sugar once it is the color you want so that any remaining clumps of color can be removed.
2. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil. Generously spread a layer of colored sugar on the foil.
3. Place the gelatin and 5 tablespoons of the water in a small bowl and stir. Allow the gelatin to sit for several minutes.
4. Combine the remaining 1 cup of plain granulated sugar and 4 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Insert a candy thermometer, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook to soft-ball stage (235 degrees Fahrenheit).
5. Once it reaches the correct temperature, remove the pan from the heat and add in the gelatin mixture. Stir with a whisk or a spatula until it is thoroughly combined and no gelatin lumps remain.
6. Pour the hot gelatin syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer. Allow it to cool until it is barely warm to the touch.
7. Once the gelatin is just warm, begin to beat it with a whisk attachment. Start on medium speed, and once the mixture is no longer clear but has turned white and opaque, add the vanilla and turn the mixer to high speed.
8. Beat for 10 minutes, until the candy is stiff, glossy and white. Add a few drops of liquid yellow food coloring and beat until well-distributed.
9. Immediately place the candy in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 –inch round tip (or a coupler base without a tip). Pipe the Chicks onto the baking sheet covered with colored sugar. To pipe the Chicks, begin with the body: hold the bag an inch above the surface at a 90-degree angle. Squeeze the marshmallow out, allowing it to form a 1-inch round before beginning to pull back towards you.
Taper as you move backward, forming a 3-inch body. Release pressure and pull the bag upward to form the “tail.”
10. Next, form the Chick head by again placing the bag at a 90-degree angle. Pipe on top of your body segment, and move the bag back toward the tail. Once you have reached the middle of the body, reverse directions and move the bag back toward the front of the chick's body. Simultaneously release pressure on the bag so that the marshmallow stops flowing and tapers off into a "beak" shape. Depending on the size of your chicks, you should get about 18-20 marshmallow chicks from this recipe.
11. While the marshmallow is still wet, sprinkle the chicks all over with the remaining colored sugar.
12. Mix the cocoa powder with a few drops of water to form a thick paste, or melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Use a small paintbrush or a toothpick to dot the chocolate on the chicks to form eyes.
13. Let the Marshmallow Chicks sit out at room temperature for 4-6 hours to set the marshmallow before enjoying them. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container, and for best texture, enjoying within 2-3 days.
Check out some more Easter Candy Recipes!