Dessert: Peach Cake with Cinnamon Sugar Walnut Topping

Peach Cake with Cinnamon Sugar Walnut Topping
Spring seems to be having an identity crisis. For the past month, temperatures across the country have been feeling a lot like early summer -- 88 degrees in Boston?! -- but a trip to my local Farmers market doesn't match up. Weaving through the aisles of produce stands reveals spring's typical bounty of  oranges, artichokes, asparagus and even strawberries, but there's not a hint of summer's harvest. Mother Nature has pulled a cruel bait and switch; it feels like June but the plump cherries, juicy plums and fuzzy peaches are nowhere to be found!

No matter. I've got a peach cake recipe that I'm going to make, summer or not. I'm so intent on making it not just because of the peaches, but because of these four words: cinnamon-sugar walnut topping. Mmmm-mmm. A quick trip to my grocer's freezer section provides a solution to this seasonal setback. I grab sliced peaches that are picked at their peak and flash-frozen, sealing in the fruit's sweetness and gorgeous jewel tones. The rest of the ingredients are in my pantry at home and probably in yours, too! Nothing exotic, just a delicious combination of butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon and walnut pieces. Add the peaches and you've got an amazing dessert that will make your kitchen smell like peach cobbler mixed with cinnamon-sugar toast. A perfect ending to any meal, whether it's spring, summer, winter or fall! 

Peach Cake with Cinnamon-Sugar Walnut Topping
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's cookbook, "How Easy is That?"
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar, divided
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced (sliced frozen peaches will work if fresh peaches are out of season)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Vanilla bean ice cream, for serving
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan. Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with two-thirds of the sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla bean ice cream.


Sunday Brunch Series: BACON PANCAKES

The word of the weekend is BACON. Salty, crunchy, greasy, crackling, porky goodness. Not only did Bryan and I throw our cholesterol levels to the wind and attend an underground bacon dinner last night (review coming soon), this morning we're continuing the theme by making bacon pancakes. 

I rarely have bacon in the house and today was no exception. Luckily, we've got a Trader Joe's two blocks away... so I did what any slightly hungover Angeleno would do and DROVE to the store to buy bacon. That's right. I make no apologies.

To add to my laziness, I bought what has officially become one of my favorite time-saver products: Fully cooked, apple-smoked bacon strips. Just throw them in a hot pan and let them crisp up on one side, then flip 'em over and repeat. In two minutes, I had hot and crispy bacon pieces that would soon become the star in our hangover pancake brunch. Scrambled eggs and fresh-squeezed OJ rounded out the cast.

Making bacon pancakes is fast and foolproof. Just whip up your favorite pancake batter recipe (my favorites are my mom's pancake recipe, Kodiak Cakes and Trader Joe's multi-grain pancake mixes) and crisp up some bacon. Crumble the bacon strips into small pieces and set aside. Lightly grease and heat a pancake griddle over a medium flame. After a minute or two, sprinkle one or two TINY drops of water on the surface of the griddle. If the water sizzles and evaporates immediately, the griddle is ready. Ladle spoonfuls of batter onto the griddle. While the batter is cooking, sprinkle bacon pieces onto each pancake. When the batter begins to bubble (usually after 1-2 minutes), flip the pancakes and let cook until fluffy and browned. Transfer pancakes to a warm plate and cover with foil while you cook the rest of the pancakes. When you're ready to serve, top each pancake with butter, warm maple syrup and a few more sprinkles of bacon (because really, why not?).

That's it! No fancy gadgets, ingredients or instructions. Just some pancake mix and bacon strips and you've got yourself a heck of a bacon brunch. Indulge and enjoy!


Sunday: 12 Top Chefs, One Giant Pig Roast, One Great Cause

Top Chef Nyesha Arrington Hosts a Backyard Pig Roast!
Photo: Grubstreet
Riddle me this: How many Top Chef contestants does it take to roast a pig? The answer is 10, with two Top Chef Masters thrown in for good measure. The gastronomic gathering is going down this Sunday, April 22 from noon to 4 p.m. at Wilshire Restaurant and it's all for a good cause. Executive (Top) Chef Nyesha Arrington (at right) and co-cheftestant Chris Crary of Whist are going whole hog, hosting a backyard pig roast alongside other Top Chefs to benefit Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Los Angeles.

The pig is sure to be delicious, but the cast of participating chefs are the real attraction. A veritable who's-who of Top Chef alums -- namely Alex Reznik (La Seine), Antonia LaFaso, Ilan Hall (The Gorbals), Jamie Lauren, Sally Camacho, Marcel Vigneron, CJ Jacobson (The Yard), Danielle Keene (Bittersweet Treats), and Top Chef Masters Mark Peel (Campanile) and Suzanne Tracht (Jar) -- are serving up an entire pig and pulled pork, pork belly, spare ribs, and pig ears alongside BBQ sides and desserts. Wash it all down with Trashcan Punches from mixologist Devon Espinosa of Pour Vous and Michel Dozois of Neve Ice, craft beer from Firestone Walker, Smog City Brewing, and Haven Gastropub +Brewery, and espresso drinks from Handsome Coffee Roasters.

Tickets for the event are $55/each and available via Share Our Strength. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase tickets for Taste of the Nation Los Angeles on June 10, 2012 in West Hollywood at a discounted price (regular price is $110/ticket).

Wilshire Restaurant
2454 Wilshire Blvd.  
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 586-1707


Evan Kleiman's Angeli Caffe Pops Up at The Charleston, Monday, May 7

Chef Evan Kleiman's Angeli Caffe might be gone, but it's certainly not forgotten. In fact, the recently shuttered Italian institution is being reincarnated for one-night only on Monday, May 7, as the first in a series of guest chef pop-up dinners at Santa Monica nightlife venue, The Charleston.

Executive Chef Jet Tila is giving still-mourning Angelenos the opportunity to enjoy Angeli's legendary chef and KCRW's "Good Food" host Kleiman's rustic Italian cuisine for two seatings, one at 6 p.m. and a second at 8 p.m.

Kleiman's four-course, family-style menu includes an appetizer of Antipasti Misti from the Farmers Market or a Caesar Salad; primi choice of Gnocchetti di Ricotta or Linguine Vongole, secondi choice of Pollo Arrosto or her famous Lasagne Angeli Verdura, and a dessert
 option of classic Tiramisu or chocolate chunk bread pudding. The dinner is $45/person, not including beverages, tax and tip. For reservations, call The Charleston at (310) 828-2115. A word of advice: Reserve your spot soon because this Kleiman comeback is going to sell out quick!

The Charleston
2460 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 828-2115

Must-Buy: Govino Shatterproof Wine & Champagne Glasses

Photo: govino
I've been anxiously waiting for the right time to tell you about govino shatterproof wine glasses but there's been one slight problem: The weather hasn't cooperated. Talking about my favorite outdoor dining accessory during April's torrential downpours didn't exactly seem right. Now that the warm weather is back -- hopefully to stay -- let's talk about the shatterproof, stylish, stemless wine glasses, champagne flutes and cocktail cups you must buy, like, now!

Bryan and I aren't shy about our love of wine. We got engaged and married in Napa, wine tasted our way through Italy, and have our local wine shop on speed dial. No, really. So when we find a wine product that we absolutely love, we hang on to it. Which is exactly what happened when a friend gifted us with a 4-pack of govino's stemless wine glasses.

We love having BBQs but don't love schlepping our fragile wine glasses to the patio, watching them precariously tip on the edges of patio furniture or, worse yet, accidentally crash to the brick floor below. At the same time, we'd rather put our "glass" wine glasses at risk than drink out of thick, foggy plastic versions that make our good wine taste like crap. Govino solves that for us with their paper-thin, sleek polymer glass design that not only makes your wine and champagne look stunning, but actually reflects their color and aromatics just like crystal glasses do. The ergonomic thumb indentation is also a great touch and lets the glass sit comfortably yet firmly in your hand. No fragile glass crashing to the ground here!

govino's champagne flutes
Photo: govino
Bryan and I aren't the only one's who appreciate govino's design; the glasses won an International Design Excellence Award in 2010. They're elegant, shatterproof, reusable, recyclable and truly a "go anywhere" kind of glass. And for $12.95 for a four-pack you can afford to stock up on them, which is exactly what we did. Now our outdoor patio is outfitted with a slew of unbreakable govino wine glasses and champagne flutes that are just waiting to make their appearance at summer BBQs. And this time if we lose one, it's no sweat.

- Shop online or at govino's list of retailers
- Glasses available in wine (16 oz.), champagne (8 oz.) and cocktail (12 oz.) sizes
- All lines available in 4, 12, 36 and 72 packs


Picnic For the Planet: Help Set an Earth Day World Record

If I asked you to tell me the significance of April 22nd, what would you say? No, it's not just another Sunday. It's Earth Day; 24 hours to put all global warming, nuclear weapon and political worries aside and just appreciate the beautiful planet we call HOME. Personally, I can't think of a more perfect way to celebrate Mother Earth than by putting together a basket of our favorite grub (Bay Cities sandwiches, please) driving up PCH and enjoying a beach picnic overlooking the sparkling Pacific ocean.

Turns out the Nature Conservancy -- the world's largest conservation organization -- not only agrees, but is hosting Earth Day's Picnic for the Planet 2012, intended to be the largest picnic celebration in the world. Remember 1986's Hands Across America? It's like that, but you get to sit down and chow. Picnic for the Planet connects would-be picnickers, both of the host and attendee variety, and encourages both to gather friends, pack some food, and head outside to celebrate Earth Day. If you're really motivated, get 25 friends together and you can help the Nature Conservancy set a world record for the world's largest picnic!

Will you help picnic for the planet?
Just as with any good competition, there are a few ground rules:

  • Each picnic must have at least 25 people
  • The picnic must take place within our 24-hour period: 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday, 4/21/12 to 8 p.m. EDT on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22
  • Picnics must be outdoors
  • Each picnic must have three people to witness the event, count participants and fill out a couple simple forms
  • The Nature Conservancy will need at least one photo of your fabulous picnicking

Interested? Download the informational packet, invite some friends and get eating. There are few better things in life than enjoying the great outdoors with loved ones and delicious food. Especially when there's a world record on the line!


My Secret To The Perfect Chocolate Shake!

Make Your Best Chocolate Shake Ever
Photo: ThePinkApronBlog
I just had an epiphany, literally five minutes ago. I had just returned home from the gym and was making my post-workout protein shake. Let me start by saying I'm not the best protein-shake maker in the world. I often err on the side of putting too much ice in the blender, so there's an unequal ratio of ice to milk to protein powder. The shake inevitably gets gritty, and there's always one of two chunks of ice that didn't make it to the blades. Not super appetizing. Suffice to say Bryan won't let me make him protein shakes (for obvious reasons), but that might change after I made a chocolate protein shake that was silky smooth and tasted -- honest to God -- like a full-fat milkshake! All it took was a few slices of ripe AVOCADO.

Stay with me here. Avocado is a natural, delicious binder. It's a great substitute for butter or oil in baked goods. It guarantees moisture and body without making your cookies or cake taste like guacamole. Turns out it's also perfect in protein shakes, which at best are watered down, less chocolate-y versions of the real thing.

All I did was toss one quarter of a ripe California Haas avocado in my blender along with 3/4 cup ice cubes, one cup non-fat milk and one scoop of Trader Joe's chocolate protein powder. I blended everything on high for 30 seconds to one minute or until the mixture was smooth. When I poured the shake in my cup, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was like liquid silk... no grit, no chunks of unblended ice, no watery texture. It looked like, dare I say, the perfect milkshake. When I took my first sip, I was sold. It was absolutely delicious. Cold, creamy, chocolate-y goodness while still light and airy. I'll never make another "healthy" shake again without avocado. That is, unless, it involves ice cream. But that's a recipe for another time...


Makin' Bacon: A Decadent Underground Dinner

Got plans on Saturday, April 21st? Cancel them. I've got three words for you: UNDERGROUND BACON DINNER. Chef Amy Jurist, founder of Amy's Culinary's Adventures and Kitchit private chef, is dedicating the latest in her underground dinner series to Makin' Bacon. Don't let the tiny humping pigs on the flyer below distract you, because Amy means serious bacon business. 

The dinner is normally $145/person, but lucky Pardon My Crumbs readers get $40 off the rack rate (enter Pardon My Crumbs at check-out). Just make sure to bring a hefty appetite. Guests will indulge in three decadent appetizers and four plated courses of bacony delights, all with wine pairings and a secret specialty cocktail created by Natalie Bovis, The Liquid Muse (I can only assume bacon will have something to do with it). The event's ever-changing location -- which is kept a secret until three days before -- has ranged from art galleries, auto garages, penthouses, Hollywood homes, and photo studios. Amy's actual menu is also a secret until you get to the event, which only heightens the bacon suspense.  

Makin' Bacon marks Amy's 4th annual Decadent Bacon Dinner, but the top chef has been running her Decadent Underground Dinner Club in LA for over six years, saying "I love creating these one night-only experiences where the food, the people, [and] the location will never be together again." In past dinners Amy says she has "taken my dinner guests on culinary tours to Italy, France, Asia, Morocco, Greece & California. I've plied them with cheese, mushrooms, chocolate and bacon."

Bacon Napoleon? Yes, please!
Amy's Underground Dinners have been featured on CBS, KCAL, NBC, KCRW, LA Magazine, Thrillist, Tasting Table and more. Media aside, I can vouch for Amy firsthand after attending a dinner she cooked for a friend's birthday. Her style is inventive, bold and flavorful; I can only begin to imagine what delights await guests on April 21st!

Tickets to Makin' Bacon are available Eventbrite. For more information, visit Amy's Culinary Adventures website. To get on Amy's Decadent Underground Dinner list, email amy@amysculinaryadventures.com


Uber: LA's Affordable (& Life-Changing) Private Car Service

Bryan & I next to our sweet Uber ride!
I hate to admit it, but we've all had the following scenario: You're enjoying a night out with friends, had a glass or two (or three) of wine, and next thing you know, it's time to drive home. If you're in New York or Chicago, it's no problem; you call a cab and you're good to go. If you're in LA, however, cabs are a nasty proposition. They're dirty, rip-you-off-expensive, and sometimes don't even show up. Well, thanks to an incredible new private car service called Uber, Angelenos no longer have to deal with taxi atrocities. 

Uber is like having your own private driver on speed dial, except "speed dial" happens to be an app on your phone. All it takes is one click (or a text) and the satellite finds your current location and dispatches the nearest black-suit-sunglasses-and-bluetooth-clad driver to pick you up. Uber does the rest (for the same price as a taxi) while giving you a bird's eye view from your phone:

  • Car icons on your phone's map reveal the closest Uber drivers
  • Uber dispatches the nearest driver to pick you up, sending you a text with the estimated arrival time (in my experience, it's rarely more than 15 minutes!) 
  • Watch in real-time while "your" driver is en-route to pick you up (there's even an option to call him/her with short-cuts or directions) 
  • Uber sends you a text when your private black sedan/Range Rover/Cadillac has arrived (complete with miniature water bottles)

But what about the bill, you ask? Will you have to haggle over a tip or deal with the driver passing a miniature clipboard into the backseat, held together with a rubber band? Oh no, Uber is far too sophisticated for that. When you first create an Uber account online, the 100% secure site saves your credit card information. After your ride, Uber drivers show you the total fare* on the car's iPhone "meter," then automatically charge your credit card (including tip) and email you a detailed receipt. You don't have to dig into your purse for your wallet or into your pocket for loose change. You literally hop in the car when they arrive, and hop out when you reach your destination. No exchange is required between you and your driver, although a genuine "thank-you-for-saving-me-from-taxi-hell" might be nice.

*Prices start with a minimum fare of $15. After that, Uber charges depending on speed, just like taxis do. When travelling at over 11mph, they charge a distance fee. Below 11mph, they charge a time fee. 

Uber: Everyone's Private Driver
Website: www.uber.com
Twitter: @Uber


Leftover Easter Candy? Make Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes!

Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes!
When I was little, the anticipation for Easter morning to arrive was second only to Christmas. The Easter Bunny would have magically arrived sometime during the evening, leaving colorful baskets loaded with stuffed animals and plastic eggs concealing a bounty of Peeps, Reese's peanut butter eggs, and the King of Easter candy: the Cadbury Creme Egg.

To this day, the Cadbury Creme Egg remains one of my favorite Easter candies... its soft chocolate shell, oozing a shimmering fondant egg "white" around an imitation "yolk"... it's quite literally a sugar coma in a miniature, foil-wrapped package. My mom had to ration them out to my brother and I, knowing full well we could not be trusted with more than one Cadbury Creme Egg in a single sitting. They would have disappeared in record time and we would left be bouncing off the walls.

Now that I'm older (and only slightly more responsible), I've found a great way to use any leftover Cadbury Creme Eggs: Bake them inside chocolate cupcakes. I don't have an official recipe but if I had to guess, I would recommend placing one (unwrapped) Cadbury Creme Egg in a cupcake mold, filling the mold with store-bought chocolate cake mix until approximately 2/3 full, and bake according to the directions on the box. Let cool and top with your favorite frosting. When ready to serve, cut one cupcake in half to expose the glorious Cadbury Creme Egg surprise filling. Then try your very best to limit yourself to just one...


Lent's Almost Over: Break Your Fast At Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery's Easter Cupcakes
Photo: Magnolia Bakery
Lent is almost over, which means in just a few short days you can stuff your face with whatever "vice" you decided to cut out of your diet for 40 days. I'm just assuming that vice would be food-related because let's face it; nothing else would be nearly as difficult to give up. I know a few people who gave up soda (smart), one that gave up cheese (gasp!), and several that gave up sweets (double gasp!!). This post is for the latter group, folks that are jonesing for that first reintroduction bite of cupcake, macaron or flourless chocolate cake. 

If you ask me, there's only one place to get that fix: West Hollywood's Magnolia Bakery, home of the signature buttercream swirl. For Easter and Passover, the good folks at Magnolia have baked up almost 15 types of desserts that will crush your 40-day sugar craving, satiate your sweet tooth, fulfill your frosting fantasy... you get the gist. I've included the full list below, all of which can be found in their store and some of which is available for shipping online. Personally, my vote goes goes to the matzo crunch, made from layers of Matzo cracker, handmade buttercrunch candy, chocolate, white chocolate and toffee pieces. How anyone can resist the likes of that for 40 days is beyond me, but what a sweet reunion it will be. Literally.

Magnolia Bakery's Easter Sweets:
  • Easter Egg Brownie Bites: Decorated with pastel vanilla buttercream ($3.75 per bag)
  • 3 Layer 6” Pastel Cakes: Classic vanilla and chocolate cake with vanilla and chocolate pastel hued buttercream ($36 per 6” cake)
  • Easter Cupcakes: Classic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate buttercream, adorned with festive decorations and sprinkles ($3.50 each)
Vintage Egg Carton Minis
Photo: Magnolia Bakery
  • Vintage Egg Carton Minis: Vanilla or chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, toasted coconut and chocolate covered sunflower seeds ($26 for a dozen)
  • Chocolate Wafer Whoopie Cookies: An assortment of pastel vanilla buttercream sandwiched between two rich chocolate wafer cookies ($6 for 3)
  • Lemon Shortbread Sugar Rolled: Lemon shortbread cookies rolled in pastel lavender, blue & green sanding sugar ($7 for a bag of 6)
  • Lemon Shortbread Chocolate Dipped: Lemon shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and decorated in pastel non-pariels ($7 for a bag of 6)
  • Easter Cupcakes: Classic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate buttercream, adorned with festive decorations and sprinkles ($21 for 6) (available online)
  • Easter Cupcake Box: Rich, fudgy flourless chocolate cupcakes with assorted pastel vanilla bean meringue buttercream and Easter decorations ($24 for 6) (available online)
Flourless Chocolate Cake & Cupcakes
Photo: Magnolia Bakery
  • Easter Cookie Basket: One dozen lemon shortbread sugar rolled (purple and white) cookies, one dozen lemon shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate, bag of miniature pastel meringues ($35) (available online)
Passover Treats:
  • Matzo Crunch: Layers of Matzo cracker, Magnolia handmade buttercrunch candy, chocolate, white chocolate and toffee pieces ($3.25 per bag)
  • Single Layer Flourless Chocolate Cake (also available as cupcakes): A dense, rich chocolate cake made without flour ($35 per 9” cake)
  • Mandel Bread: Loaded with chopped almonds and chocolate chips and made with cake meal (pulverized matzo) ($3.25 per bag)
  • Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes: A dense, rich chocolate cake made without flour and topped with vanilla bean meringue buttercream ($4 each)
Magnolia Bakery
8389 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 951-0636


Petrossian's "Egg Royale": Almost Too Pretty to Eat

"Festive Egg Royale"
Photo: Petrossian
Oooohhh la la! Look what Petrossian West Hollywood is serving as first course of its prix-fixe Easter brunch. Appropriately called "Festive Egg Royale," pastel-dyed eggshells are filled with soft scrambled eggs, topped with vodka whipped cream and finished off with a dollop of Petrossian's signature caviar. I'm not normally a big caviar fan, but even I can get over my textural hurdle and indulge in this beauty.

The petite dish kicks off the West Hollywood caviar outlet's Easter brunch menu ($45/person) and is followed by a choice of smoked salmon bagel with caviar, caviar scrambled eggs or caviar flatbread. Dessert options are caviar-free and include vanilla panna cotta, almond crème brûlée or carrot cake. Wash it all down with glass of champagne, lavender mimosa or bellini. 

Want to experience the Egg Royale for yourself? Reserve your spot by calling Petrossian at (310) 271-6300. 

321 North Robertson Boulevard 
(one block north of Beverly Boulevard) 
West Hollywood, CA 90048


Recipe: How To Make Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Photo: The Kitchn

Peeps scare me. Sure, they're all cute and adorable lined up in their packaging like sticky little soldiers. But Peeps fall into the "Twinkies" camp for me, meaning I have a hard time eating something that has a better chance of surviving the apocolypse than I do. A natural hesitation, I would think. That's not to say Peeps (or Twinkies, for that matter) aren't delicious, because they are! Sugar-coated, sugar-filled and in some cases, dipped in chocolate... that's practically the definition of delicious.

So when I found The Kitchn's recipe for homemade marshmallow peeps this morning, I jumped on it! The at-home version must be a little more organic, natural and perishable, three things I like in my food. If you've ever made homemade marshmallows during the holiday season, making Peeps at home is nearly the same process except the marshmallows are cut out into seasonal shapes (Bunnies, chicks and tulips, oh my!) and are dipped in colorful, natural sugars. It's an activity that's fun, appropriately messy and perfect for kids. Here's how you make them:

Homemade Marshmallow Peeps
Makes about 12 peeps


  • 7 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (I used 3 Knox gelatin envelopes)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Butter for greasing pans (and your fingers)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • Sanding sugars
  • Food coloring
  • Smoked sesame seeds (for eyes of peeps)


  • Stand mixer 
  • Medium–sized pot
  • Candy thermometer (I used this one)
  • 2 standard sized cake pans (or a pie pan or sheet pan would do fine)
  • Cookie cutters

Step-by-Step Directions: 
Photo: The Kitchn
1. Place the contents of the three gelatin envelopes in the bottom of the bowl for the stand mixer. Add 1/2 cup of cold water and set aside while preparing the next part of the recipe.

2. Prepare the candy mixture: In a medium–sized pot, heat the sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla over high heat. When mixture is boiling, put thermometer in and bring the mixture about 240°F. Whisk continually while this mixture cooks. This will take about 7 minutes.

3. Carefully pour the sugar/corn syrup mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add another 1/2 cup of water and use the stand mixer's whisk attachment to beat on high speed for about 12 to 15 minutes total. (This image shows the mixture after 5 minutes of whisking.)

4. After 10 minutes of whisking: The marshmallow is coming together, but not quite there.

5. After just under 15 minutes of whisking: The marshmallow is ready to go (or add food coloring).

Photo: The Kitchn
6. Add food coloring: I divided my marshmallow into two parts, for two colors. It took about 12–15 drops of food coloring to achieve the pale pastel color I wanted.

7. Pat the marshmallow into prepared pans: Lightly grease two pans or one larger one and pour the marshmallow into the pans. Greasing your fingers can help because things get really sticky.

8. Clean up tray: I found it helpful to have one pan dedicated to putting my sticky utensils down on, because this really is a messy, sticky job.

9. Cover the marshmallow sheets for about 4 hours or overnight: Then when you're ready, just turn the marshmallow out onto a flat surface and gather the cookie cutters.

10. Cut out your Peeps: Combine a little cornstarch and powdered sugar and dredge the cookie cutters in between cuts to make things smoother and less sticky.
Photo: The Kitchn

11. Apply the sanding sugar: Dip your finger into a little water and coat the entire marshmallow. Dredge the marshmallow carefully in colorful sanding sugar. Let air dry on a cooling rack.

12. For the eyes: Use a little dab of corn syrup and a few smoked sesame seeds to create eyes on your creatures. I found a tip of a toothpick worked perfectly to apply the corn syrup and sesame seeds.

13. Enjoy your Peeps: Wrap up with cellophane, tie with a ribbon and delight your friends.


Global Tastes: A.O.C.'s April "Flights & Bites" Line-Up

A.O.C. Restaurant and Wine Bar
Photo: A.O.C.
A.O.C. Restaurant and Wine Bar's popular Monday night series, Flights and Bites, has announced its April line-up, available at the restaurant 6 to 10 p.m. Hungry diners and wine aficionados can ‘travel’ around the world, tasting two different flights of a winemaking region and tasting three "bites" of perfectly (and culturally) paired dishes. All of Flights & Bites wine "mapping" is created by master sommelier Caroline Styne, so the choices are nearly guaranteed to be great.

Today kicks off the Flights and Bites line-up with a flight from Canada and the Finger Lakes. Following Mondays include Bastianich wines (April 9), Portuguese wines (April 16), Paso Robles (April 23), and Mexico & the Southwest (April 30). Two flights of wines begin at $12, while three selections of bites range from $8-12. That's a minimum of $22 for some great grub and fine wine. Not bad. If you're looking for heartier dishes, the complete A.O.C menu and wine list is also available.

A.O.C. Restaurant and Wine Bar
8022 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
*Reservations Recommended
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