As the colorful cousin to the chocolate Easter bunny, marshmallow Peeps are a sugar-flocked reality this time of year.
But while some love them, others would just as soon gargle with gasoline. So the question is, if you’re not going to eat them, what do you do with them?
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Never fear, Peep haters. We got you.
Three years ago, 21-year-old Steven Harper of Overland Park awoke to a colorful nightmare. To his horror, the dining room table was awash in traditional yellow Peeps. (They also come in a rainbow of other colors.)
“My mom won them in some contest at her office,” he said. “She goes, ‘Do you like these?’ I said, ‘No. Gross!’
So Harper did what any self-respecting big brother would do. He dressed the candy chicks and bunnies in his sister’s Barbie clothes.
“I turned them upside down and used the ears as legs,” he said. “But they were still kind of chunky, so I had to squeeze them to get them to fit. And sometimes, to make them tall enough, I had to use a lighter and fuse two of them together.”
They wore wedding dresses, pantsuits and sequined gowns. He used a permanent marker to draw faces and tiny glasses.
“It was pretty funny,” he said. “They looked like Minions in drag.”
His sister wasn’t amused.
“She had a fit, undressed them and threw them out,” he said. “I thought it was kind of creative. But my mom made me buy her some new (doll) clothes ’cause some of them got ruined. Totally worth it, though.”
At Evan Meyers house, when the Peeps got stale, they served as small, colorful baseballs.
“When I was in high school my mother bought a bunch of them one year on sale, and nobody ate them,” the 26-year-old Lee’s Summit finance manager said. “A year later my friends and I found them in our basement, and they were hard as rocks. So we grabbed my Wiffle ball bat and went out in our backyard and played home run derby.
“It was great! We hit them over the house and they landed in the street. It was hard because they weren’t exactly round. But every time we connected we’d imitate (ESPN announcer) Chris Berman and yell “PEEP! PEEP! PEEP! GONE!” Still makes me laugh.”
Kimmon Smutz, front-of-the-house manager at Succotash restaurant, used to eat Peeps as a young girl.
“I stopped liking them at 13,” she said. “They hurt my teeth now. Too sugary.”
Still, she sometimes ends up with some at Easter. She doesn’t know what to do with them.
“I tried making s’mores out of them, and it didn’t turn out right,” she said.
Can the restaurant use them in recipes?
“Cooking with Peeps would be a little harder because the sugar on the outside would caramelize and become a really hard shell before the marshmallow on the inside had a chance to expand,” she said. “But we do use Peeps to top some of our cakes closer to Easter.”
So what else can you do with Peeps if you don’t want to eat them? Let’s check the Internet.
blog, “MandyEats” suggests having “Peep Wars.” Here are the rules:
1. Choose your Peep. Different color purchases are necessary.
2. Place them on a paper plate across from each other.
3. Arm them with toothpicks. This is war, after all.
4. Put them in the microwave, set on high for three minutes.
5. Wildly cheer for your Peep to annihilate the other one.
6. The Peep that explodes first loses. Owner of said Peep cleans the microwave. If having multiple Peep Wars, it’s a good idea to clean the microwave after each battle, so you don’t have sugar cemented on the walls. A mix of warm water and lemon juice works well and gives the battlefield a pleasant citrus scent.
7. Repeat until you run out of Peeps, you lose interest or you realize that you just killed two bottles of wine while making Peeps explode in the microwave.
Reader110 had another suggestion: “We like to put them on a rotisserie and have a Peep roast. We call them “Sacrificial Peeps.”
Then there were these suggestions from “i8thecat.”
• Get a Sharpie and write “Tom” on them and set them on a friend’s window sill. (Peeping Toms)
• Save them for your white elephant gift at your next office Xmas party.
• Make a colorful Easter wreath.
• Use them as a sugar scrub to exfoliate your skin.
• Get out the badminton rackets and whack them around the yard.
• Play Peep street hockey (especially good for stale Peeps).
Whatever you do, be safe, have fun and ask your parents for permission if you’re underage.
Good luck, Peep-le!