Saturday, April 4, 2009

Corn-syrup free Easter Treats

As I mentioned before, my older daughter can't have anything that has corn or corn syrup in it. (Well, I guess my younger one can't, either LOL). So in search of an easter treat for her, I came across a recipe for homemade Peeps:

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/3 cup cold water, for gelatin (I added a couple of drops of lemon extract and I think vanilla would be good, too).
  • 1/4 cup water for syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and place a candy thermometer into sugar water; wipe sides of pan with a wet brush if sugar crystals have splattered up. Boil sugar until temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238F). Remove syrup from heat; add to softened gelatin. Using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, hand-stir the mixture a few minutes to cool; place bowl on the mixer stand. Beat on medium high with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form and the marshmallow mixture holds shape, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer marshmallow mixture to a large (14-inch) pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (No. 11 Ateco) tip, and use immediately. I didn't hve a pastry bag with a large enough tip, so I just used a large zip-loc bag and cut off the corner.
Then you make them into peeps - I basically followed this set of instructions. Here are some results. It wasn't too hard to do and I think with a proper pastry bag it would have been awesome. My peeps and bunnies have no eyes yet because I haven't gotten around to putting them on, and they're sitting on corn-starch free powdered sugar to set.
For next time, when it isn't easter, I think I will try this recipe:

Homemade Marshmallows

2 env. (2 tbs.) unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 c. water
2 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Soften gelatin in 3/4 cup of water and set aside. Place remaining 1/2 cup water and granulated sugar in medium sized saucepan. Cook until small amount dropped in cold water forms soft ball (240 degrees F). Remove syrup from heat, add softened gelatin and stir until almost cold. Add salt and flavoring. Beat until syrup is white and thick (8 minutes with an electric beater). Pour to 1 inch thickness in two 8 inch square pans that have been greased and dusted with powdered sugar. Let set in cool place about an hour -- do not place in refrigerator. Turn out on board that has been well dusted with powdered sugar. Cut into 1 inch cubes.

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