- 1 unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1/3 cup cold water, for gelatin, plus 1/4 cup for syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and place a candy thermometer into sugar water; wipe sides of pan with a wet brush if sugar crystals have splattered up. Boil sugar until temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238 degrees). Remove syrup from heat; add to softened gelatin. Using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, hand-stir the mixture a few minutes to cool; place bowl on the mixer stand. Beat on medium high with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form and the marshmallow mixture holds shape, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer marshmallow mixture to a large (14-inch) pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (No. 11 Ateco) tip, and use immediately.
Line a baking sheet with the colored sugar or other coating so you can pipe in assembly-line fashion — the piping process goes quickly.
Fill rimmed baking sheet or small bowls with about 1 1/2 cups sugar. If desired, color white sugar by stirring in luster dust or sparkle dust a little at a time. Pipe shapes onto sugar. Bunnies and chicks must be completed one at a time.
For bunnies, pipe a 1 1/4-inch mound about 1/2 inch tall onto sugar. Pipe a small mound on one side for the tail; pipe a larger mound for the head on the opposite side. With a damp finger, pat down any spikes formed from piping the body, tail, and head. Pipe the ears, starting from the top of the head, and pipe onto the body, pulling forward and off to finish. Pat down the spikes on the ears. Working quickly so the marshmallow surface does not dry, use a spoon to cover the entire surface with sugar. Allow a few minutes for the shape to set, and lift out of sugar with a spoon or small offset spatula. Pipe on royal-icing faces with a 1/32-inch (#1 Ateco) icing tip; place in a parchment-lined airtight container until ready to serve, or up to 2 weeks.
For chicks, pipe an oval shape about 1 inch wide, tapering the end and pulling upward to finish with the tail. On the opposite end, for the neck and face, pipe a mound about the width of the body, pushing toward tail and up. Pull away from the face to form the beak. Working quickly so the marshmallow surface does not dry, use a spoon to sprinkle sugar over the surface. Allow shape to sit a few minutes to set; lift out of sugar with a spoon or small offset spatula. Make large and small chicks by changing the dimensions.