Since Therese and I were planning to attend a family Easter dinner this year at my nieces house, and I knew there would be young people present (i.e., less than 5 years old), I thought it would be fun to make a special dessert.
For inspiration, I thought of one of the constants of childhood for Eastertime, the Peeps, or more specifically, the Bunny Peeps. It didn’t take me long to find this delight recipe from Life, Love and Sugar, where Peeps are lain across brownie rectangles and then covered with a little blanket of chocolate and sprinkles.
For the component parts, it didn’t take me long to fill in the blanks. I have recently become a big fan of Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Cocoa (Amazon link). On the back of the package, there is what they call an award winning brownie recipe (I don’t know what award they won, but it sounded good to me). Then for the dipping chocolate (i.e., the “blankets”) I had two kinds of chocolate on hand: Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Amazon link) and Valrhona Noir Cairabe Baking Bar. I thought I would start with the first one, and then use the second when the Ghirardelli ran out.
The one element that was a mystery to me was the sprinkles. Luckily, Therese is a genius at finding things on Amazon, and within a couple days, a large package of Edible Pastel Confetti Sprinkles (Amazon link) lay at our door.
The concept of the entire dessert is pretty simple: make brownies, and let them cool; melt chocolate; put some melted chocolate on the back of the peep and adhere it to a rectangle of brownie; dunk the peep and brownie into the chocolate; apply a pinch of sprinkles before the chocolate cools.
Like everything, there is a bit of a learning curve, and as I went along, I got better at it. The chocolate dunking part was the most challenging – my brownies were still a little soft, and the melted chocolate sucked the brownie/peep into it. When I tried to pull it back out, the brownie started to crumble (oh no!). So I determined that the best thing to do was put a small spatula into the chocolate, dunk the brownie/peep, and then use the spatula to extricate it in one piece.
As for my dipping chocolates, both of them contributed just incredible flavor. As far as texture goes, the Valrhona seemed to be more liquid, and after melting, remained tacky on the dessert even after several hours of cooling. So I refrigerated them all overnight so they would be pretty solid for the next day.
How did the Peeps in their chocolate-y blankets go over? They were a big success. My niece’s older daughter proudly announced that she only likes the yellow ones, and my niece’s in-laws’ two sons both took blue ones. They were a chocolate-y mess, but loved by one and all. Even some of us adults got into the fun (I had two and thought they were scrumptious – the first-rate brownie and chocolate overshadow the potentially cheap marshmallow flavor of the Peeps.