Aren't my Marshmallow Bunnies adorable?!? I think this shot looks like something out of Watership Down, but that's not our book of the day. I'll show you how to make your own marshmallow bunnies, but first... a book about a bunny named marshmallow!
Marshmallow by Clare Turlay Newberry
I hope you grew up with this wonderful story, but when I met it in the Easter display at B&N, it was our first introduction. Written in 1943, Marshmallow has the same feel as other classics like The Little House or Blueberries for Sal. It's a slow, gentle story about a tabby cat named Oliver and Marshmallow, the new bunny in the house. At first Oliver isn't sure about Marshmallow, the shy quiet rabbit that Miss Tilly brings home. But Marshmallow's delightful personality eventually wins over Oliver.
The story is a little long for toddlers, but I believe preschoolers and kindergarteners will love this well-written and sweetly illustrated tale of two unlikely friends. I especially enjoyed the little poems sprinkled throughout the story that Miss Tilly writes about Marshmallow.
Marshmallow Bunnies Recipe
I'll admit it. Martha and I are not always on speaking terms, but when I ran across this recipe for MYO marshmallow bunny "peeps" I knew I had to try it. As with most Martha recipes - and pretty much everything else I try - it ended up being way more work than I had anticipated. Still, they turned out awfully cute!
I copied the recipe below from marthastewart.com but have included notes of my own.
- 1 package unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- cold water
- 1 cup sugar
- vanilla (my suggestion)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- 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 (238 degrees). 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.
Here's where I have a bone to pick with Martha who just assumes that everyone has a $250 Kitchenaid. I do not (hint, hint, Kitchenaid!), so I used a hand-mixer and it ended up taking closer to 12 minutes to reach the desired consistency.
I would also suggest you add a splash of vanilla to the mixture once the sugar has cooled down. I was surprised the recipe didn't call for any and ended up being disappointed by the lack of flavor of the finished marshmallows.
- Transfer marshmallow mixture to a large (14-inch) pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (No. 11 Ateco) tip, and use immediately.
Um, yeah. Grab a ziplock bag and snip the corner. Make sure you put all the marshmallow in the bag or else it will harden in the bowl and be un-usable.
- Fill a rimmed baking sheet with fine crystal colored sugar.
I used plain ol' table sugar.
- Pipe a small marshmallow mound onto sugar, about 1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch tall.
- Pipe two smaller mounds on either end for the head and tail.
- Pipe the ears, starting from the top of the head onto the body, pulling forward and off to finish.
- With a damp finger, pat down any marshmallow spikes formed from piping.
- Immediately sprinkle sugar over the entire surface of the bunny. Allow a few minutes for the shape to set.
- At this point Martha suggests you pipe royal icing for the eyes, but I was done with making icing and I was really done with piping. Instead... Melt a handful of chocolate chips in the microwave and use a toothpick to add eyes and a nose.
If you try making your own bunny peeps, link back to me. I'd love to see the results!
Check out all the other great projects at:
- DIY Day @ A Soft Place to Land
- Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog