I know you read that headline and clicked on this article because you think I’m lying about a Peeps grilled cheese sandwich actually tasting good. But I’m not. It’s good. Real good. As in, “I hate Peeps and I ate the whole thing” good.
I mean, look at it.
But there’s a secret to making a Peeps grilled cheese taste good: giving it a dessert twist. Instead of the usual melted American cheese, we used a healthy serving of mascarpone. And then, we added Nutella — because you always need Nutella. The final product is salty-sweet perfection.
You’re probably wondering where Peeps come in. We did, too, and after some successful (and some not so successful) testing, we found four or five Peeps to be the perfect ratio. To get a perfect Peep rainbow, you have to commit a Peeps massacre. That is, you must break them into smaller pieces. The evidence of the crime is below.
The other secret weapon in this recipe is brioche. Trust us: A white-bread Peeps grilled cheese does not taste right.
For this recipe, you can use any old kind of brioche — “old” being the key word here. If the brioche is too fresh, it won’t hold up as well and could wind up mushy and thin. To avoid this problem, lightly toast the bread for a few minutes before loading in the Peeps, Nutella and mascarpone. That provides a foundation solid enough to handle all the melt-y deliciousness to come.
Peeps melt quite quickly, so heat your griddle to about 400F — hot enough to get everything nice and toasty without melting it entirely. We nailed this down via lots of trial and error; our first “error” looked like a Pinterest fail, albeit a very tasty one.
While this recipe was inspired originally for Easter, we have good news: You can eat Peeps any damn time of the year that you want. So, grill up this sandwich for 4th of July, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day – whatever celebration you want.
5-6 Peeps (we used four different colors to get the rainbow effect, but any Peeps will work)
2 tablespoons colorful sugar, *optional
Heat griddle to about 200F.
Lightly toast brioche slices to dry them out, about 5 minutes. Remove slices from heat as soon as they start to get brown.
Increase griddle temperature to 350F.
Spread one slice of cooled bread with 1 tablespoon Nutella, and the other, with 1–2 tablespoons mascarpone.
Divide each Peep in half. Line up the 10 halves on mascarpone-smeared slice of bread.
Layer on other ingredients and top with other piece of bread.
Brush on thin coat of butter to outside of each piece of bread.
Place sandwich on heated griddle for no more than two minutes, after which the bread should be a deep golden color.
Optional step: Add colored sugar on the outside of the sandwich to mimic the sugar on the Peeps. Sprinkle the sugar on the outside of the sandwich and toast for the last 15 seconds of cooking. Be careful, sugar burns quickly and is very hot when melted.
Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes to allow Peeps to melt.
Do not press your pieces of bread down with a spatula. This will cause everything to get too melted and flat. You want your bread and peeps to stay as fluffy as possible.
Softened or whipped cream cheese can be used as an alternative to the mascarpone.
Be sure to share your Peeps grilled cheese creations with us by tagging @HomeOfTheHolidays or #Holidays365 on Instagram.
Thanksgiving.com executive producer Kristopher Juniel contributed to this article.