The bandage on my thumb is covering a small burn. A drop of molten sugar landed on my digit while I was toasting a Marshmallow Peep. The idea came from Roger Ebert’s Twitter feed on Easter Sunday. He posted a link to a Salon article about Peeps brûlée.
So, for both crème and Peeps brûlée, the trick is to get the sugar coating hot enough to caramelize without cooking the custard or marshmallow underneath. If you have a brûlée torch, you can get flame serious enough to pretty much instantly melt and caramelize the sugar before the heat penetrates into the Peep itself and makes it puff. But for those of us without pinpoint flamethrowers, you can still be in business as long as you have a gas stove and a skewer.
I had been thinking about following Ebert’s feed since reading Don Geronimo’s blog post that mentioned it. I didn’t get around to doing so until Sunday when I was impressed with his volume of Tweets about Peeps. Not only did I start following Ebert, I got motivated to caramelize.
My Easter basket contained one package of fresh Peeps. I had already eaten them when I read the brûlée recipe. It was too late to go out looking for half-price Peeps, especially since we had some old ones, really old ones, in a kitchen cabinet. A lot of people will tell you that they love stale Peeps. I disagree. Only mildly stale Peeps are still edible. The ones in my cabinet were rock hard. I hypothesized that my super-stale Peeps would benefit from scorching heat. Except for my minor injury, the experiment was a tremendous success.