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Peeps Candy Bars: Spring Hop Along PEEPS Party!

peeps

I have a bone to pick with Easter.

Not the actual meaning of Easter itself, but the whole “Easter = chocolate rabbits, plastic eggs, etc” part.

I think food manufacturers are onto something when it comes to Easter candy. They KNOW that most people like myself are woefully incapable of resisting candy when it is dipped in pastel colors. Suddenly, the most nose-wrinkle-worthy candy becomes OHMYGOSHSOTEMPTING because it’s dyed robin’s egg blue.

I heard once that people respond to the color red when eating in restaurants, but red is a rude color, in my opinion. I’d much prefer to be enveloped in bubblegum pinks, minty greens, buttery yellows and lavender purples while I’m stuffing my face with chocolate eggs and marshmallow chicks.

Anyway, maybe that’s why the pastel colors make me crave anything and everything adorably colored and sugary. And extend that craving to everything else, like wanting to dye my hair turquoise, or feeling the intense need to buy a pair of cantaloupe-colored jeans if only for the reason that I can describe them as “cantaloupe-colored” and not “orange.” (BTW, ‘orange’ sounds kind of rude, too. Maybe I have problems with color names from a deep-seeded childhood trauma).

When I think of Easter, admittedly, I think of the candy. And PEEPS. PEEPS are kind of the ambassador of this springy holiday, with their adorably simple faces, their squishy, bright sugar coats and their gooey, chewy bodies. Normally, I’m not a big PEEPS lovah, simply because I don’t like marshmallows on their own (I know, there HAS to be some kind of childhood trauma, right??) but I do LOVE pairing marshmallows with basically everything edible in life. I love the chewy, pillowy texture marshmallows give desserts. It just makes it extra special.

DSC_0578So when Christi from Love From The Oven invited me to this super sweet PEEPS Party, I knew I wanted to participate by jazzing up a basic brownie bar with the fluffy stuff. And thus, these Peeps Candy Bars were born! Not only do the PEEPS provide a beautiful pink color (or whatever color you choose to use!), but they offer that delightfully plush texture on top of these fudgy chocolate bars. Your kids will love them!

DSC_0572Peeps Candy Bars *adapted from my Neapolitan Gooey Bars recipe  

Peeps Candy Bars: Spring Hop Along PEEPS Party!
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Use up leftover PEEPS to make these delightfully plush and super gooey PEEPS Candy Bars.
Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 20-24 PEEPS candy (you could use bunnies or chicks; I used pink chicks)
  • 1 cup speckled Easter M&M's candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Mist the foil lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs + oil until well blended. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. While the bars bake, roughly chop the PEEPS into bite-sized chunks and set aside.
  3. Quickly spread the chopped PEEPS evenly over the bars. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until the PEEPS are puffy and are juuuust beginning to brown a bit on the tops (you don’t want them to start toasting). Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle both chips and the M&M's evenly on top of the PEEPS.
  4. Allow the bars to cool in the pan completely before cutting into bars. I used a dampened knife to help me cut through the ultra-gooey marshmallow. These bars keep when covered at room temperature, for a couple of days.

 

DSC_0576Even if PEEPS aren’t your favorite, you’ll love these bars. The chocolate, brownie-like base is irresistibly paired with the puffy, slightly toasted PEEPS.. and one of the best parts about these bars is when the sugar on the PEEPS slowly caramelizes and melts, turning into this delicious, crunchy topping between the crevices of the marshmallows.

Be sure to check out my favorite PEEPS also participating in this fun Hop Along Party!!

PEEPS Easter IdeasKaryn from Pint Sized Baker
Katrina from In Katrina’s Kitchen
Christi from Love From The Oven
Jocelyn from BruCrew Life
Sarah from Miss Candiquik
Aimee from Shugary Sweets
Jennifer from Not Your Momma’s Cookie
Dorothy from Crazy For Crust
Sue from Munchkin Munchies
Hani from Haniela’s
Robin from Bird On A Cake
Michelle from Creative Food
Beth from Hungry Happenings
Jill from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons
Liz from Hoosier Homemade
Michelle from Sugar Swings
Lindsay from Dollhouse Bake Shoppe
Melissa from The Baked Equation
Kathia from Pink Little Cake
Betsy from Java Cupcake
Meaghan from The Decorated Cookie
Southern Institute

Thanks for stopping by!! Have a happy Tuesday!!

xo, Hayley

 

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Comments

  1. You never fail to crack me up, lol! Red’s my favorite, am I rude? :P

    I do love the pretty colors though and these bars are super adorbs!

  2. Usually I’m not a fan of the way Peeps taste, but they are so colorful I end up getting them anyway. This looks delicious!

  3. I’m with Thoughtsy– Peeps are not usually my thing but I usually buy them anyway and sugary marshmallows and brownies AND m&m’s sound just exactly right! Also red IS a rude color. I totally agree.

  4. These look DELICIOUS! Totally agree about PEEPS. Regular marshmallows? Ehn. Marshmallows shaped like chicks and bunnies in pretty colors? GET IN MY BELLEH!

  5. Oh wow..this is one of my favorites! Love the colors…how fun!!

  6. So fun! Thanks for playing along!!

  7. I think it’s quite the abomination to chop up all those defenseless Peeps! What did they do to you? The humane thing is to shove the entire thing into your mouth! Hahaha!
    These look great Hayley!

  8. Hayley, these are so pretty. The color is making me super hungry-I too get giddy over pastels! I’m not a big fan of Peeps, but even I couldn’t resist them in these bars!

  9. I’m in LOVE with these bars, Hayley. And oh, the woe-ful Easter candy. Maybe they should put it’s bright colors next to the swim suits…sigh.

  10. These are being added to the MUST BAKE LIST!! YUM! :)

  11. eee, I love these! The hot pink looks amazing on top of the chocolate!

  12. O-M-G. YES PLEASE. I will take 1 dozen please? And eat them all for lunch and then feel bad about myself and then eat some more. I love these so much girl. They are so pretty too! You know I am a sucker for pretty desserts :) xo

  13. These look amazing! I will take two please! I am so with you on the woes of Easter candy!

  14. Awesome. These will be great for my little one on Easter. :)

  15. Look at all you amazing bloggers posting these great Peeps ideas!! LOVE! ♥

  16. Pastel overload is one of the main reasons why I love Easter. These bars are like a prettier version of a s’mores bar!

  17. Haha! Your blogs crack me up. I’m a vegetarian, so hacking up peeps would make me feel funny… but these sound interesting!

  18. I love Peeps! I can’t wait to make these!

  19. Oooo a peeps party?!! My kinda party!! haha. I am also a big fan of the pastel-colored candies. They are so tempting!

  20. Michelle | Creative Food says:

    I Love these! They look delicious and I love the hot pink color!

  21. PEEPS ARE TOTES MY FAVORITE!! Agh this peeps party is blowing my mind – so many options, so many peeps, so little time til Easter! and OMG hayley these colors! When you’re right, you’re right: pastels make me want to eat ALL THE PEEPS. :D

  22. I love how supremely PINK these are. LOVE.

  23. I’m going to try these but I have 2 questions…..you only bake for 10 minutes that doesn’t seem very long and also what are the “chips” you sprinkle on with the M&M’s..thanks!

    • Hi Monica, you bake the bar BASE for ten minutes to give it a chance to set up. Once the ten minutes is up, remove the bars from the oven (keeping oven still on), and top with the remaining ingredients, then return to the oven and continue baking :) the total bake time is about 15-17 minutes, just until the Peeps appear puffy.

      As far as the chips goes, that’s my mistake! Usually when I make bars like this, I add chocolate or white chocolate chips to the top. You could totally add that if you wanted it more chocolatey, but this was a typo. I’ll fix it!

  24. So festive looking. That pink with brown is a great color combo!

  25. OMG these NEED to be a seasonal grocery store candy bar item! Such a fantastic addition to the Peeps party! So glad we got to collaborate :D
    -Lindsay Ann @ Dollhouse Bake Shoppe

  26. Aimee @ ShugarySweets says:

    hayley these are too cute, and pink. I love pink!!

  27. I love how you stay true to PINK with these bars! These pictures definitely scream pink and I LOVE it!

  28. What a yummy idea! The colors just pop! :)

  29. These are wonderful! I never thought of actually baking with Peeps! and, it was sad cutting their heads off, and their tails, but I did it and they are so yummy! Read this post while lying in bed trying to get up this morning and once I did, I couldn’t wait to get stuff done so I could go play in the kitchen with all this yummy-ness! Thanks for a sugary sweet way to start the day!!!

  30. What a gorgeous looking cake bar…the hot pink on top of the chocolate looks so pretty!!!

  31. These are so colorful & festive, Hayley!!! I love all brightness to remind you of spring!!

  32. Back for Seconds says:

    These are the friendliest bars I’ve ever seen! I love brownie anything, and these look really gooey and delish. Plus I’m obsessed with m&m’s. yum!!

  33. These are so beautiful, but I hate the Peeps have to be all cut up (I feel for the little guys!) Regardless, I hope to try a variation of these soon. And I totally agree about Easter colors, they are so irresistible in a number of ways.

    Check out my Maple Coconut Granola @ megbakes11.blogspot.com

  34. I love this! I am not a huge fan of peeps myself but I love seeing all the different things bloggers are doing with them!

  35. Add ‘Chips” and M&M’s? I see know chips in the picture of recipe ingredients until the instructions. Are you using choc chips?

  36. Wow, what a great way to use the clearance candy after Easter for Baby Showers, birhday, or any summer party!

  37. Oh, man. These look wonderful and are such a creative way to use peeps! I love that bright pink color against the chocolate. So cute!

  38. Can you substitute the cake mix with brownies?

    • Hi Ashley! You sure can. Just bake up the brownie batter according to package directions, and in the last few minutes of baking, toss on the PEEPS and proceed with my recipe as normal. Should be tasty!! :)

  39. Brittney says:

    I would like to gift these in a jar but I’m unsure of the size jar I should use, there are a lot of peeps to squeeze in lol

  40. Kimberly Walker says:

    Made this for Easter Day dessert! Super easy…will let you know how it goes over later! :) thanks for the idea ~ Peeps are my husbands favorite Easter treat so hoping he likes this new way to have them :)

    • Kimberly Walker says:

      Big hit but we went into a sugar coma at my house lol. But everyone loved them and they were so easy to make. Definitely make again :)

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  42. Just tried making this and I have a few points to make.
    1. There is no way you can get the cake as thin as the picture if you are using one box mix and a 9×13 pan. Not possible!
    2. And there is also no way a cake can cook all the way through in just 16-17 minutes. I ended up with chocolate peep soup instead lovely solid but fluffy peep bars. By the time I realized that it needed to cook way longer than directed the peeps were already on and I couldn’t bake them much longer without them burning.

    So I’m summary I would reccomend a way longer cooking time or a bigger pan so they are thinner and cook faster.

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      Hi Hannah! Sorry your bars didn’t turn out. Not sure what went wrong without having been there, but it sounds like you made a cake rather than bars. If that’s the case, this recipe is for candy bars made with a cake mix; however, you do not prepare the cake mix like you would on the back of the package. It sounds like that’s what may have happened, resulting in a soupy mess rather than brownie-like bars.

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