What is it about neon marshmallow that makes us lose our collective minds? Marshmallow Peeps®, the adorable and beloved Easter treats, have been mass-produced since 1953 and have no intention of slowing their roll.
As a kid, I thought they were weird. I'd nibble off the outer sugar coating and leave the remaining plain marshmallow for my mom to find and pry off the couch a week later. I treated chocolate-covered Santas the same way, painstakingly avoiding the puffy artificial center. But then I learned a trick: Let them go stale. Once they're slightly hardened, they become giant bedazzled meringues.
Today, the internet is alive and well with alternative uses for what's arguably the best-selling Easter candy. Everything you can think of has been Peep-ified at this point, even milk. Even Meryl Streep.
Of course, you could make s'mores—they are marshmallows, after all—but blogger Jessica Merchant already schooled us all in opulence with her Peeps s'mores skillet cake. You could also go down a definitely-not-food-safe road like this guy on Instagram and plant some Peeps® in your beard. "I kinda figured there was no better way to celebrate spring than to put a bunch of sugar puffs shaped as pink bunnies into my beard," the caption reads. "So here it is." Yep. There it is.
If you don't want the marshmallow treats on your pie or in your beard, try them in ice cream. Sweet Jenny's owners Tara and Howard Cadmus take a sweet cream base with a hint of vanilla ("kids love vanilla") and subject the vibrant treats to a frozen demise. You can get their Peeps® ice cream by the scoop, shake, sundae, pint, quart, hectare, what have you. Though you might have to special-request the last one.
"I love the dioramas people make and how they're everywhere at Easter. Peeps are a cultural phenomenon, Howard says. He's referring to the Washington Post's annual contest. Or the one in Seattle (yes, there are multiple Peeps art contests). All I know is that Peepilton the Musical was seriously snubbed by the winning Donald Trump-themed creation.
I asked Howard if he could taste the difference between different-colored Peeps® when blindfolded—I can, it's one of my party tricks—and, sadly, he said he can't. But he did say he can distinguish between colored M&Ms. If he wasn't half a state away, I would've immediately challenged him to a taste-off.
To further elevate your Peeps appreciation, go behind the scenes of the manufacturers, because few things are more mesmerizing than a conveyor belt—especially one that's topped with hundreds of marshmallows.
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