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.
So 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!
Peeps Candy Bars *adapted from my Neapolitan Gooey Bars recipe
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Even 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!!
Karyn 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
Thanks for stopping by!! Have a happy Tuesday!!