A Look Inside the Marshmallow Peeps Factory

Here’s a peek inside an awesome and, as far as we’re concerned, magical place that we’ve always wanted to visit, the marshmallow Peep factory! Whether you prefer them fresh or stale, Easter just wouldn’t be the same without them. Actually, these days, pretty much any holiday would be lackluster without a few sugary peeps to hand.

The New York Times recently went inside the Pennsylvania-based, family-owned Just Born factory and shot some great images of how their Peeps marshmallow candies are made. The full set of images can be found at The New York Times.

It takes six minutes to make a Peep. Ingredients are mixed, air is injected and the emerging Peep is blasted with a sugar shower and decorated with two tiny eyes made of edible wax.

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Easter Culinary Creation: Double Chocolate Nutella Carrot Cake Cups with Malted Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake peeps, meet your new friend, the chocolate carrot cake.

These cupcakes, weird or not, are delicious. To be honest, you really don’t know there is carrot in them. And hello, these cupcakes are stuffed with a generous amount of Nutella. What’s not to love about that? You bite in and get the most sinfully awesome surprise.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (may sub canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 16 teaspoons nutella (1/3 cup)
  • milk chocolate eggs, toasted coconut and or crushed Oreo’s, for decorating

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons malt powder

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with 16-18 paper liners OR line 10-12 small clay pots with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and coffee. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) beat together the eggs, buttermilk, coconut oil and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Fold in the shredded carrots and chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, filling each three-quarters full. Bake 20 minutes (closer to 25 minutes for the pots) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, do not over bake. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla and malt powder until smooth.

To Assemble

  1. Use a small paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cooled cupcake. Fill the hole with nutella, then replace the top portion of the cone (you’ll need to slice off the tip). Transfer the Frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe frosting into a swirl on each cupcake (you can also just spread the frosting on with a knife). Sprinkle with toasted coconut or crushed Oreo’s. Top with three milk chocolate Easter Eggs. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.