A story about bunnies AND beauty and the beast?? Alright, sold. I’m on it.
Remember that angry rabbit from Belle and the Blueberry Muffins that led Belle into the open maw of the Beast? Well, it turns out he actually suffered from a mood disorder due to a lack of B vitamins and low immune function. It was probably a result of living in a dark forest where it rained a lot. But truly, Mr. Rabbit had become insufferable of late.
“I don’t know how you’re ever going to be ready for Easter,” said Mrs. Rabbit, a week before the holiday. “How will you jump and dance for the children, much less hide eggs? All you do is complain about your ache-y joints all day long.”
Mr. Rabbit glared at her. “It’s not my fault I can’t get enough sunlight in this goshdarn forest, where the degraded soil has ruined the nutritional quality of my carrot patch.”
Mrs. Rabbit sighed and turned back to the cake she was making. “Why don’t you go up to the chateau and see what Beast has been cooking up? He may have a new recipe for you. I hear he’s been experimenting with a lot of alternative methods lately to suit his new lady guest.”
“Err.” Mr. Rabbit’s face grew red. How to explain that he had tricked the young woman into entering Beast’s lair in the first place, and that they might not be so happy with him up there.
“Come on, get on with you,” said Mrs. Rabbit, shooing him out the den door with her broom. “I need to clean and can’t have your sour puss collecting dust in the armchair all day.”
Reluctantly Mr. Rabbit hopped towards the castle, making his way to the back door where he hoped he could speak directly with Chef Bouche. Upon entering the kitchen entryway, however, he came upon a startling sight: Belle chasing Beast around the cluttered kitchen with a filled pastry bag while Lumière, Cogsworth, Chip, and Mrs. Potts laughed and hooted and tried to stay out of the way of flying whipped cream. The Master and Mistress of the castle stopped, bent over with giggles. Looking up, Belle noticed Mr. Rabbit.
“Why hello,” she said. “Aren’t you the rabbit that led me to the castle?”
“Erm…it’s hard to say. We rabbits look awfully alike. Also have terrible memories. You know the sayings, ‘harebrained,’ ‘dumb bunny,’ ‘mad as a march hare’ – all offensive, but all kinda true.”
Belle smiled at him. “What can we do for you today Mr. Rabbit?”
Mr. Rabbit cleared his throat. “My wife mentioned that you might have something to help with my arthritis.”
At this Beast jumped up. “Yes! I have just the thing! Made them yesterday.” He lunged for a bowl on the counter. “These will do wonders.”
Belle tied a generous assortment of the wobbly golden confections in a pretty box with a blue bow and handed them to Mr. Rabbit.
Mr. Rabbit accepted the offering gratefully and hopped off, humbled by the kind reception. On the way back his hind leg started bothering him, so he popped one of the desserts. “Tasty. These are medicinal? Coulda fooled me,” he muttered. He had another and felt even better.
By the time he reached the den, he was smiling.
“You’re not limping!” exclaimed Mrs. Rabbit. “And what’s going on with your face? I’ve never seen it do that before.”
“I guess I have been something of a gloomy gus. But Mrs. Rabbit, I have the best idea! What if we make this year’s peeps using the Beast’s recipe? They’ll be naturally yellow, much better for the kids.” Mrs. Rabbit agreed readily, and before long the pair had reverse engineered Beast’s creation into delicious superfood peeps, which were a huge hit at this year’s Easter egg celebration.
- Bloom (mix) gelatin in ¾ c cold water in metal mixing bowl with turmeric and sea salt.
- Simmer honey/maple syrup w/ remaining water (1/2 c) in pot over medium heat until mixture reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
- Pour (very hot) mixture carefully into bloomed gelatin and beat on high with electric mixer. Mixture should quadruple in volume and start to look like liquid marshmallows (about 5-10 minutes of mixing).
- Beat until stiff peaks form (but don't overbeat, stop before mixture is solid).
- Pour mixture evenly onto parchment-lined pan. Refrigerate for a few hours to set and cut into squares to serve.
- Dust with tapioca to prevent sticking (optional).