What to Do with Your Leftover Peeps → Cookie Bars!
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Updated August 25, 2020.
Are you a fan of peeps? Do you prefer them fresh or stale? I have heard that this is a big debate. On my end, I can weigh in now that they are not terrible fresh, though I am still not much of a fan.
For Easter last year we visited my in-laws and there were baskets ready for us with Marshmallow Bunny Peeps inside, among a few other things. As my mother-in-law did not remember which one of her children was a fan of the candy, and she did not know my preferences yet, we all received them.
My husband is not really a big fan either, but neither are we fans of waste. Once we arrived home I had to get creative. A week later I was looking for something to make for dessert to go with our ice cream and I remembered the s’mores cookie bars I had made at sometime in the past. Those cookie bars had turned out pretty well, and for all those of you who are impatient and claim to prefer black marshmallows in your s’mores, they were just right. 😉
Peeps are just sugar coated marshmallows, so they would work fine as the marshmallow topping that gets put under the broiler to puff up, like in a toasted s’more. Admittedly, the first time that I made the s’mores bars they got a little too toasty and I ended up scraping charred sugar off the top. They still tasted pretty good though. Now I am that much more experienced in the arena of cooking and baking and time management, so I can do better.
Besides not being a fan of Peeps, neither am I a huge consumer of s’mores. Summer nights and cooking out on the grill overlay a happy quality on the treat, but I just don’t gravitate to the dessert like I do to ice cream, pie, or a delicious cookie. I DO, however, really like graham crackers and dark chocolate and thus, decided to make this s’mores bar more of a cookie bar option, with a graham flavored twist.
Like I mentioned before, my husband and I were looking for something to pair with our ice cream and did not want to go out to the store for more ingredients. Seeing the peeps on the counter, my idea for the s’mores cookie bar sprouted and I went to the cabinets. Our pantry cabinet had plenty of staples, and in another cabinet was half a bag of Wal-Mart mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, cookie recipe on the back. A quick internet search provided me with an oven temperature and cooking time. I was ready to go.
The original recipe on the chocolate chip bag was for basic chocolate chip cookies. It called for 2 ¼ cups of flour. I only used 1 ¼ cups flour and nabbed some graham crackers from the cupboard, which I crushed up in a bowl with the bottom of an 8 ounce mason jar to act as a pestle. Once pulverized, I measured out a cup of the graham cracker powder to take over for the flour I did not use. Combine the graham and flour evenly.
Beyond that any chocolate chip cookie recipe will work for the first steps of mixing the ingredients.
The next change is in the baking. Spread the batter evenly in an 8×8 baking pan. Bake the cookie bars for about 30-35 minutes at 350ºF.
Once the timer goes off you can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. If the toothpick is not completely clean, but nearly there, don’t fret. Your cookie bars need a little more time anyhow.
Space Peeps evenly in rows across the tops of the bars in your pan and return the cookie bars to bake for about five more minutes. I was able to fit three rows of five in my 8×8 pan. When time is up check again with the toothpick for doneness. This is a little harder to do going through the marshmallow, but doable.
If you would prefer, you can cook the bars until the cookie portion is done and then apply the Peeps. To finish the bars, put the pan under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minutes and watch carefully for burning. This method will toast the marshmallow a little more if you want more of a golden toasted look and flavor to your Peeps on the top.
Overall, the recipe was rather simple and fairly tasty, but also very sweet. My graham crackers were cinnamon sugar flavored, so that added to the sweetness of the cookie bars that much more. Someone with a super sweet tooth would really like these. Me, I can do without, but it was a good use of the Peeps and the bars did go well with vanilla ice cream.
That’s the last peep from me. What about you? Do you think you might try this the next time you have Peeps on hand? How will you make it your own? Please share your ideas with the rest of us in the comments.