Peeps Are Delicious, Squishy Sugar-Coated Dream
On Just Born's Peeps and Tacocat's "Peeps"
Just Born’s Peeps
I have to talk about Peeps.
I love Peeps.
I like them fresh, stale, frozen, or toasted. I like them plain, coated in chocolate, or dipped in a little bit of peanut butter.
Peeps are delightful!
Peeps are also obnoxious.
Even I, a Peeps purist, can admit that the original Peeps don’t taste like much of anything at all and their texture is weird and almost foamy. Worse, whether you love them or hate them you cannot escape them. Rows and rows of those dead-eyed petting zoo prisoners fill the grocery store shelves, multiplying like a Mogwai dunked in water. Try to destroy one and 10 more pop up in its place. Theologists don’t often mention this, but Peeps are actually the 11th plague and someday they will destroy us.
But Peeps don’t have to be the enemy! In fact, now that Easter is over1 and stores are practically paying you to take the Peeps away, I would like to share with you two (almost) sure-fire ways to eat a Peep, even if you don’t like Peeps:
1. Light that sucker up.
Peeps are supposedly marshmallows, but their texture is lighter, squishier. When I recently polled some Peeps haters to find out what exactly they disliked about the candy, the texture was one of the main complaints.
So what do you do if you hate the texture of Peeps? Change the texture of Peeps!
Get a skewer and a culinary torch and light that fucker on fire.
There are two ways to enjoy a fire-roasted Peep. The first, of course, is as a s’more. When using a Peep in a s’more, I prefer to get it good and toasty. Like, let it literally burn for a second or two. It tastes like charred cotton candy and it’s magnificent on its own but even better when squished between graham crackers with chocolate and/or peanut butter. (Have you ever had a fluffernutter s’more? HAVE A FLUFFERNUTTER S’MORE!)
The next way to toast a Peep requires a lighter touch. I’ve found that the bunny shape works best for this method. With your culinary torch, kiss the surface of the candy with the flame and move it around quickly so the sugar caramelizes but never burns, like you’re lighting the top of crème brulée.
Wait 10-15 seconds or so for the crust to cool and harden and, if you did it right, the sugar will have formed a crispy, glassy shell all around the candy while the innards have melted into a sticky pool of marshmallow goo. Heavenly.
2. Butcher ‘em.
Cut up the Peeps. Start with their heads. It’s very gratifying.
Next, make Rice Krispies Treats as instructed, but before you dump the warm marshmallow and cereal mixture into a baking pan to set, stir in your butchered bunnies and chicks just until the pieces begin to break down. Press the mixture into a greased pan and cool, cut, etc.
The result is an extra gooey crispy treat dotted with colorful, sticky pockets of more soft marshmallow goodness. To make the bars even more decadent, sprinkle the still-warm treats with crushed Cadbury Mini Eggs, Whoppers Robin Eggs, or any chocolate candy, really, and finish them off with just a pinch of Maldon salt.
Peeps aren’t bad, they’re just misunderstood. Grab a box and get weird. Light them on fire. Chop them into bits. Give Peeps a chance.
“Peeps” by Tacocat
I try to avoid super obvious song and snack pairings, but this week I just can’t help myself. There’s no better song to accompany a post about Peeps than “Peeps” by Tacocat.
When Tacocat released Shame Spiral in 2010, they could’ve been a short-lived goof — a band of friends singing 90-second songs about seasonal candy and urinary tract infections — but there was big potential lurking under their seemingly simplistic sugary coating.
Since, Tacocat has revived the Pacific Northwest’s riot grrrl roots while shattering any expectations of what it means to be a feminist punk band. They’ve tackled sexism and normalized period cramps. They’ve written love letters to Seattle and songs about how the city has got to shit since being invaded by tech bros.
Even when addressing more serious topics like systemic privilege and how social media contributes to a crumbling society, they’ve maintained their unapologetic love for the sillier things in life, striking the rare balance of being fun and funny but not a joke.
I’ve seen everything from candy-filled pinatas to bubbles fly from the stage at a Tacocat show, inciting a sugar-fueled dance party during a song about the morning-after pill. They’re heroes.
If you haven’t yet, dig into Tacocat’s discography on Bandcamp. They’re so much more than a song about marshmallow bunnies.
Did I want to send out this installment before Easter was over? Yes. Obviously, I failed. Good thing there are red, white, and blue Peeps for the Fourth of July.