Kate Prouty, editor of a new book about Peeps, says the DayGlo marshmallow candies are being used to garnish drinks and make arts and crafts. The ideas range from Peeps chopstick rests to a Halloween party pound cake, cataloged with Technicolor seriousness in Peeps! Recipes and Crafts to Make with Your Favorite Marshmallow Treat.
"It's huge," Prouty says. "There is such a cult following for Peeps. It's crazy. I actually had no idea when I started working on the book. ... I found that people are just nuts about these little candies."
She says Peeps first gained popularity in the 1950s, when the process of producing the candies was mechanized. Prouty says it once took 27 hours to make a single chick. "Today they bang them out in six minutes."
Fifty years later, Peeps — just a 32-calorie mix of sugar, gelatin, corn syrup and wax — are a food that is also a craft product. A few other highlights: Peeps in a blanket, Peepsicles, Peep Smores. Then there's Prouty's favorite: the "Peepinata."
"That's the beauty of Peeps," she says. "They do have an extraordinary shelf life. Eat them or craft with them, whatever you want. I think they're a great decoration to sort of add a little whimsy ... a sort of childlike joy to an otherwise sophisticated dinner party."
>> What do you do with Peeps? Let us know on the BPP blog.
>> Plus: Peeps go Hollywood. Or at least YouTube.