Commentary by Michelle Schmidt
The profound lesson Peeps taught me as a child, was that you did not have to eat something just because it was called candy. Yes, throwing away sugar and artificial colors felt like a crime, but sometimes even children know what is good and true in the world — and that Peeps are not such.
Even if eating Peeps right out of the package is wrong, it’s possible they could be palatable under the right circumstances. I don’t hate all things marshmallow, so it seemed fair to give Peeps a chance. My children didn’t disagree, especially if it meant buying — and consuming — heaps of the stuff. Based on our extensive culinary research, we found five unique ways to eat your Peeps:
Rice Peepsie Treats
This idea seemed fool-proof since I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like Rice Krispie Treats; just substitute Peeps for marshmallows and everything should be OK.
The treats were not terrible. But that is no compliment when it comes to dessert. Whatever makes Peeps taste bad makes Rice Peepsie Treats taste worse. This may have had to do with the fact that I didn’t stir the Peeps until the last minute to avoid mixing up a monochromatic shade of gross. Still, any treat that children leave uneaten on the counter can hardly be qualified as such.
Deep Fried Peeps
I wondered if these masses of fluffy sugar simply needed a little fat added to bring it into edible balance. I dipped Peeps in egg whites and crushed graham crackers a couple times to give them a solid coating — a couple even got an additional shredded coconut layer before hitting the hot oil.
If you can picture what happens to Peeps in the microwave, it shouldn’t be hard to imagine what happens to Peeps in hot oil. I ended up with a crisp, oozing mess that could barely be classified as edible. There are many foods that should be deep fried; marshmallows are not one of them.
Peepza is what happens when you use Peeps as a pizza topping, which makes for a sort of salty-sweet combo. This is an actual thing, according to the Internet, and also according to the Internet, not as bad as it sounds.
The Internet is not always right.
We baked a mini cheese pizza and put Peeps on it for the last couple minutes of baking. The result looked festive and tasted better than I had thought, but it still, in no way, could be described as good. Mostly it could be described as bad.
About 15 minutes after eating a few bites, I wished I hadn’t. I wondered if consuming Peepza was a good enough excuse to go to the hospital to get my stomach pumped and if not, what poison I could add that would get me in the door. These are not the thoughts our food should inspire in us.
Grilled Peeps Sandwiches
If Peepza is a thing, then it seemed grilled Peep sandwiches could be a thing too. I tried a couple with cheese and another that replaced the cheese with peanut butter and a chocolate bar for a s’moresy feel.
“It was OK and then it got gross,” was what my youngest initially said. She paused, cocked her head and adjusted her statement: “Actually, it was gross and then it got OK because I got used to it.”
Even though the sandwiches got better reviews with my kids than the Peepza, a sandwich that takes getting used to might not be worth making.
If you’re going to eat Peeps, the best way to get them down is via s’more. Or P’smore, since it’s with a Peep. In fact, Peeps make a superior marshmallow filling for s’mores and here’s why:
Peeps are the perfect amount of marshmallow and, if you go with the bunnies rather than the chicks, the perfect shape. Regular marshmallows are either too small or, if you add a second, too large and they’re round. Not so with the long, flat bunny Peep.
Plus really, what sets Peeps apart from any other candy is that Peeps have eyes. It’s those eyes that make whatever you do to them — whether roasting them over a fire, “tanning” them under an oven broiler or plopping them into hot cocoa — downright hilarious. And laughter is worth something, even if it means you have to eat a Peep.
Schmidt can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (208) 305-4578.