Spring is officially here, which means the birds are a-singin', the bees are a-buzzin', and everywhere you look, there are signs of new life. What better time to buy a crap-ton of delicious, squishy Peeps and murder them one by one?
See, we at Serious Eats await each Easter with bated breath, eagerly anticipating our moment of glory: the systematic torture of the pastel army of Peeps that flood our supermarkets and pharmacies come March. We've tried them in many different forms, but there's one activity we like most of all, and it just so happens to also be the cutest, kid-friendliest form of Peep massacre we've ever practiced. Say hello to Peepshi: inspired by the solemn Japanese art of sushi-making, but fueled by some Lisa Frank levels of Technicolor craftsmanship. Plus, you know, decapitation.
It's been a few years since we first introduced our readers to Peepshi, and, with some fresh new tricks up our sleeves, we decided it was high time for an update. So without further ado, here's a step-by-step look at the carefully honed techniques behind MakiPeepshi, Peepshi à la Carte, and beyond. All you'll need to shop for are Rice Krispies Treats, Fruit by the Foot, and as many Peeps as your heart desires. For our bonus "tobiko" roll, throw a little box of Nerds in your shopping cart, too.
Peepshi à la Carte
If Peeps nigiri looks simple, that's because it is: You basically can't mess these guys up. This understated morsel requires nothing more than the Peeps of your choosing, a Rice Krispies Treat, a pair of scissors, and a knife.
We'll begin by cutting the Rice Krispies Treat in half and taking each piece down to about 75% of its original thickness. Use a rolling pin if you're feeling dainty, or just smoosh down with the flat of your palm. It'll be sticky, but boy, does it feel good to show that treat who's boss. With your fingertips, press all four corners to round the edges of the treat for a classic nigiri look.
Now comes the fun part. DECAPITATE THAT PEEP. No hesitating—just grab your scissors and hack it up! Save the heads to use in our MakiPeepshi, or hoard them like a serial killer until they become delectably stale.
Turn your headless, flightless Peep over and get ready to inflict one more wound, by snipping a third of the way up its tail with your scissors.
Now that you're getting the hang of things, we can introduce a new ingredient: a nice, long, sticky roll of Fruit by the Foot. While the Peeps remain sadly intact with this technique, they will be mercilessly bound to their beds of Rice Krispies, helpless to escape.
Start off just like before: cutting, flattening, and rounding your Rice Krispies Treat into shape. Unfurl a length of Fruit by the Foot and cut off a piece about twice the length of a Peep.
Next, use a knife to slice your Fruit by the Foot in half along its entire length, forming two skinny "seaweed" strips. Simply place your fully intact Peep on the Rice Krispies Treat and then wrap the "seaweed" around the entire package, just over the chick's midsection. If your Fruit by the Foot doesn't want to stick to itself, a dab of water will activate its adhesive properties.
With some simple Peepshi à la Carte under our belts, it's time to join the big leagues. The key to MakiPeepshi is confidence, a little bit of patience, and a determined commitment to channeling your inner Hannibal Lecter.
Begin by carefully ordering your mise en place. You'll want a set of five peeps (or any heads left over from nigiri), a roll of Fruit by the Foot, and a Rice Krispies Treat, plus a rolling pin, scissors, and a chef's knife.
With your knife, slice a Rice Krispies Treat into five relatively even strips. Then, using light pressure, gently elongate each slice with the rolling pin. You're looking to create a thin, pliable rectangle of "rice," but if it gets too thin, it'll fall apart in your hands—aim for a thickness of about a quarter of an inch.
Portion out a length of Fruit by the Foot roughly one inch longer than the Rice Krispies Treat slice. Gently lift said slice and shape it into a hollow tube, pressing the edges together. If it breaks, don't despair! This is the beauty of working with a whole slew of sticky ingredients—just mush and mold it back together again.
Now for the fun part! Dispatch all five peeps, removing their heads from the base of their chubby little necks. You'll want to leave yourself with enough neck to pinch and squeeze into an ice cream cone shape, which you'll then shove into your Rice Krispies Treat cylinder.
For the finishing touch, wrap your Fruit by the Foot strip around the cylinder, using a bit of water (or a furtive lick of the tongue) to help it stick. Repeat the process four more times and you're looking at your very own five-piece Peepshi roll!
Rainbow Inside-Out Roll
But what, you're asking, should I do with all these leftover, headless corpses?
Worry not, dear reader, there's more mutilation to come! Take, for instance, the colorful inside-out roll featured above. Our Rainbow Roll may take a little more guesswork than MakiPeepshi, but trust the intuition you've honed in your intensive study of this fine art.
Start by trimming your Fruit by the Foot to be slightly shorter than your smushed Rice Krispies Treat strip. Dismember any remaining Peeps into quarter-inch pieces and nestle them into the center of the roll. If necessary, adjust the number of pieces based on how thin and long your Rice Krispies Treat is—you want to fill the roll just enough that everything fits snugly, without causing any breakage.
Squeeze the ends of the roll together until they firmly adhere to one another; press it into a nice, round cylinder; and admire the carnage.
Nerds Tobiko Roll
For our final creation, we'll begin with a classic preparation of MakiPeepshi, with a flattened Rice Krispies Treat strip wrapped around a single piece of Peep, cut to size. You may need to try out a few different cuts to find the right one—I'm partial to the tail end, myself. The key here is to make sure the Peep slice doesn't reach the top of the roll. If it does, compress it with your fingertip to make room for our finishing flourish: a generous spoonful of Nerds "roe" to add a bright, sour nuance to the bite-size roll.
Good enough to eat? Perhaps; you'll have to let me know. But is it good enough to look at? Abso-freakin'-lutely.