isolation handbook

Have You Tried Making Your Own Peeps?

Peeps, store-bought (left), and homemade (right). Photo: Madeleine Aggeler

I don’t know what your plans are this weekend, but if you have small children to entertain or if you’re just an adult in isolation with an hour to kill, and you’d like something to do that’s entertaining and creative and leaves you with a tasty treat at the end, may I suggest making your own marshmallow Peeps?

I first made my own Peeps back in 2018. They were, as you can see in that picture up there, not a “success” in the traditional sense of the word — people who saw them described them as “haunting,” and claimed they had nightmares after gazing into the blank, sugary depths of the googly eyes I had stuck onto them. But they tasted good (better than the store-bought Peeps, in my opinion) and they were easy and fun to make, and for those reasons, I think Peep-making is a perfect social-distancing activity for this Easter weekend.

All you need to make your own Peeps is sugar, food coloring, gelatin, vanilla extract, and a thermometer (one that you ideally haven’t used to check your own temperature). After making your own marshmallow with gelatin and sugar, you transfer the mix into a ziplock bag with the corner cut, and pipe out your own little bird blobs onto a bed of colored sugar using the technique demonstrated in this soothing GIF. You then cover your Peeps with colored sugar, and if you have some powdered cocoa, you can dab on little eyes. Let your bird blobs cool for 30 minutes, and then voilà, you have homemade Peeps to enjoy! What a treat.

The two biggest mistakes I made when making my Peeps were that I didn’t let the marshmallow mixture cool enough before I started piping it, so it didn’t hold its form that well at first, and also I made the hole in the ziplock bag too big, so I couldn’t pipe my Peeps as precisely as I would have liked. Hopefully, if you decide to make your own marshmallow birds this weekend, you won’t make these same mistakes. People also said the sugar googly eyes were a mistake, but I liked them.

For a full guide on how to make your own Peeps, use this recipe from When you’re finished making them, you can post a picture of your tiny sugar birds on Instagram, and everyone will be like, “What? I’ve never seen this kind of sourdough loaf before.”

Have You Tried Making Your Own Peeps?