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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Homemade Easter Treats: Marshmallow Chicks

While many loathe factory-produced Peeps, these homemade morsels are a surefire hit!

chicks, marshmallow peeps

Photo: Natalie DeWitt

Don't worry, even the less photogenic rejects taste amazing.

Better Than Store-Bought

Marshmallow Peeps are an Easter staple, but there are plenty of people who prefer to craft with the gummy globs rather than eat them. Let’s face it: store-bought Peeps don’t really taste that good.

This recipe shows you how to make your own marshmallow sweets that are much more palatable.

Be prepared to make a sticky (but fun) mess. And don’t fret if your chicks turn out looking more like sea monsters!  The mallow is a difficult medium.

Homemade Marshmallow Chicks

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 14 chicks


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water, for dissolving and heating the sugar
  • 1/3 cup cold water, for the gelatin
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons colored sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder

Cooking Directions

  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stir sugar into 1/4 cup of water until it is completely dissolved.
  2. Stop stirring and boil the solution until it reaches 238 degrees.
  3. When your thermometer reads 200 degrees, pour the 1/3 cup of cool water into your electric mixing bowl with the gelatin. Let sit for no more than 5 minutes before adding the (extremely) hot syrup.
  4. Stir briefly by hand to incorporate the ingredients, add vanilla, and then whisk on medium-high with your electric mixer for 8-10 minutes, or until soft peaks form. The goal is for the mix to hold its shape but still be extrudable through a pastry bag.
  5. Transfer mix to a pastry bag and lay out parchment paper sprinkled with colored sugar on your counter. Squeeze out the chicks onto the paper.
  6. Before serving, make sure each treat is totally covered with the colored sugar. You can give your creatures eyes will a toothpick and some cocoa powder mixed with water.

Natalie DeWitt

Natalie DeWitt has degrees from Indiana University in Secondary Health Education, School and College Health Programs, and is now a PhD student minoring in food studies. Her primary research areas focus on virtual food, food identities, and school food environments. She is a self-taught baker and cook.

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