Every year I marvel at the popularity of Peeps candy, people go crazy for them! Their color, sparkly sugar, and fluffy shapes perk up our Easter baskets and bring more fun to our fun. They have become a beloved taste memory for the last 87 years. I think it has become one of those phenomenon that whether you actually like the taste or not, you gotta have the iconic candy.
So, now that you have bought them what do you do with them? Well, there are some die-hards that can tell you a million different ways to eat a Peep: stick them in the micro for 15 seconds, open the package and let them sit out until they are hard on the outside and soft in the middle, some people even dedicate their art career to Peeps.
Personally I am not a sweets craver, I am more of a Savory girl, however this year I have decided to embrace Peeps and try to understand what people absolutley love about Peeps, and now I get it... They are just fun. It's that simple.
One of my favorite things to do with Peeps is to stick them in the microwave for one full minute. They blow up to 5 times their own size, and then as fast as a failed souffle when the door opens. If you are really quick, you can work the gooey mess into shapes before it hardens and turns into a completley different hard candy treat.
I was inspired by the famous Fluffernutter sandwich (Fluff, peanut butter and bread) and though the flavor combination was so good, like an abbazabba, that elaborated on that concept and made a Peeps nest. I decided to make the nest part of the dessert out of Sweet Potato because it helps to stabilize glucose in the blood stream and it fit the flavor profile.
3-4 large sweet potatoes, shredded
Quick Chocolate Ganache**
Peanut Butter Mousse*
6 teacups or small bowls
In a medium sauce pan pour enough peanut oil to create a depth of about 1/2 inch and bring to a med-high to high heat. Seperate the shredded sweet potato into 6 even batches and deep fry. Allow the frying sweet potato to form a crunchy exterior, and then use your slotted spoon to begin to stir, fry evenly, and work into a collected nest shape before removing them from the oil, about 5 minutes. Place each 'nest' onto paper towel to drain.
Layering your Peep nest:
Begin with the Peanut Butter Mousse, follow with sweet potato nest, then chocolate, nest, mousse, chocolate and so on until you have created your desired height. If you are crazy about marshmallow, you may add more Fluff or another chopped Peep to one of the layers. Top with a dollop of peanut butter mousse and chocolate to stabilize your Peep onto. Garnish with additional brightly colored Easter Candy, enjoy!
*Peanut Butter Mousse:
1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup chilled whipping cream, use ½c. in first part and ½ c. in the second step
3 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cups Skippy peanut butter
In a medium sauce pan, whisk sugar, 1/2 cup cream, and yolks over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce thickens. Scraping down the sides, make sure sauce does not boil keep on the fire for about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate least 3 hours, up to 1 day.
Line a (square) loaf pan sized container with plastic wrap and leave plenty of overhang. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add peanut butter; beat until smooth. Beat in brown sugar mixture in 3 additions. In a separate bowl beat remaining 1/2 cup cream until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture in 2 additions. Transfer mousse to your prepared container and refrigerate.
Quick Chocolate Ganache
6 oz. Chocolate Chips
3 T. Heavy Whipping Cream
In a small sauce pan heat enough water to create steam. In a metal bowl fitting over the mouth of the pan, place chocolate, cream and whisk until melted. Pull the bowl off the steam as soon as the mixture is melted so as not to burn your ganache.