Saturday, April 15, 2023

Peeps Tasting & Torture


Peeps Tasting, Peeps Science

Peeps have invaded the library this month! In addition to our 2nd Annual Peeps Diorama contest, I decided to take advantage of all the crazy new flavors of Peeps and have a "Peeps Tasting" program. This was a quick and easy program with only a little preparation, and while I originally planned it with teens & tweens, I had enough left over for a pop-up family program the next day following the planned family "Peeps Mad Science" program (also described briefly below).


  • 1 package of each flavor of Peeps available locally, 9 total: Original, Cotton Candy, Hot Tamales, Kettle Corn, Sour Watermelon, Party Cake, Fruit Punch, Wild Berry, & Dr. Pepper
  • Paper Plates
  • Knife
  • Ratings sheet
1. I realized no one really needed to eat 9 whole Peeps, and likely would not want to, so I cut each Peep into 3 pieces. I labeled large paper plates with the numbers 1-9 around the edge, with "9" in the center, and put one piece of each flavor on each plate, and recorded which flavor was which number.

Peeps Tasting

2. I gave each person a plate of samples and a sheet of paper to record what flavor they thought each one was, mark thumbs up or down, and name the best and the worst, and let them begin sampling. 

Peeps Tasting, Peeps Taste Test

3. While they were sampling, I played the "100 Quacks" scene from Malcolm in the Middle of Francis trying to eat 100 "Quacks" (and told them absolutely not to try that at home!).

5. After they were all done, we went through the list and compared what they thought the flavors were to what the flavor actually was, which ones got a thumbs up or down, and what they thought was the best and the worst. I also offered them a whole Peep in their chosen favorite flavor if they wanted one.

How It Went 

Both the teens and the families (mainly kids aged 6-10) enjoyed it, and it was interesting to see the diverse responses to the flavors. Original and Cotton Candy were liked by everyone, and Kettle Corn was disliked by most (one boy had to spit it out because he hated it so much); the reactions to other flavors were much less consistent. 

One thing I didn't think of until too late, and I will definitely do next time, is include Original flavored Peeps in different colors to show how our other senses can affect our perception of taste.

Peeps Science:

Peeps Science

I also did "Peeps Science" in the family program, with testing sink or float, solubility in various liquids (hot water, cold water, vinegar, clear soda), microwaving, and making edible Peeps Playdough.

I was a bit surprised that not everyone could accurately predict that the Peeps would float, so it was a worthwhile experiment to do, and discuss why they float (because they are made of a whipped mixture of sugar and protein (from gelatin) that traps air making them light and fluffy, therefore less dense). They found they they really couldn't physically "squish" the air out to make them less dense.

The solubility experiment was disappointing, as at the end of the hour the only significant observable difference among the four was that the hot water dissolved the outer coat of colored sugar, leaving a naked mass of marshmallow. This would need to be set up as a demo in order to allow it to go overnight before the program in order to see observable differences.

However, microwaving (20 seconds or so) the Peeps and making edible playdough out of them worked really well, and we were all amazed by how big and jiggly the Peeps got in the microwave, and how quickly they deflated afterward.

Peeps Playdough

Peeps Playdough
  • 5 Peeps, any flavor/color
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch (OR, sub 2 T powdered sugar for 2 T starch for better flavor)
  1. Microwave Peeps in bowl for 20-30 seconds. This gets very hot! Let cool slightly (20 seconds or so). Be careful not to microwave too long or sugars will re-crystalize and make it gritty, or may scorch.
  2. Drizzle oil over melted Peeps and begin mixing.
  3. Gradually mix in 1 T cornstarch (or powdered sugar) at a time. Mix, fold, and mash fairly aggressively to get the oil incorporated. 
  4. Once it is cool enough, knead by hand.
  5. If it is still too sticky, add a little more cornstarch, but be careful not to add too much as the playdough will become much stiffer once completely cool. (You can microwave about 3-5 seconds to make more pliable if this happens).
This worked really well, and ended up being of a consistency very similar to actual Play-Doh. While it is edible if clean hands are used, the dough made with the original flavor Peeps really didn't have much taste, and the cornstarch gave it a somewhat "powdery" taste and texture. 

I experimented at home and found that using the strongly flavored Fruit Punch Peeps, and a combination of powdered sugar and cornstarch made for better flavor. somewhat like a less chewy Starburst. In the photos below you can see one of the eyes that remained as a solid piece and some things I molded out of my Peeps Playdough.


  1. Oh wow! I never knew you could make Peep playdough! What a super fun STEAM program for kids and teens. Thank you for sharing!


    1. It's basically marshmallow fondant, and can also be used to mold edible decorations for cakes and cookies!