Thursday, February 6, 2014

Floating "Peeps" Soap

Finished "Peep" Bars
I was trying to decide what kind of soaps to make for spring.  I wanted to have at least one that would be fun for the kids in my life and those of my customers.  I finally settled on making something that would be appealing to the child in everyone.  After all who can refuse a marshmallow peep.  I can't and I am not a marshmallow fan to begin with.   I also wanted to make the bar somewhat substantial.    

As you can see it is pretty stiff.
I started by measuring out ice and water to the full amount in my recipe.  The ice helps to keep the lye water's temperature low so that it can be used more quickly.  When making whipped soap the key is to keep your oils COLD.  Warm oils are soft and liquid, but cold oils will hold the air bubbles that you are going to beat into this soap.  Because lye will heat up your water considerably due to the chemical reaction, you want to start with mixing this first and using a good bit of ice to keep the temperature down.  You don't want to get your oils all whipped and have to sit around waiting for your lye water to get cool.

4 "Peeps" on a bar
After my lye water was mixed and set aside in the sink I started measuring my oils.  Since my space is normally unheated, I had turned on the space heater a couple of hours ahead so that it would warm up a bit and placed my coconut and olive oils on top to melt.  Unfortunately, they took forever to cool.  I was able to measure both in a liquid state and I ended up beating them in my bucket inside a bucket with ice water to get them cool enough to start holding the air.  As you can see the batter is very yellow orange.  This comes from using turmeric infused sunflower oil.  I knew from reading up on whipped soap that the batter would be much lighter after whipping so I wanted to make sure that the color would not disappear.

Rows of individually piped bars
After whipping the oils with the orange essential oil I was using for fragrance for what seemed like an eternity it finally got to the point of holding a firm peak.  Most of my research had said to get to the stiff peak stage before adding the lye, but at this point I was dealing with very cold feet and was getting pretty tired.  ( After all I started on the soap at 8:45 after I had put the kiddos to bed for the night. )  I added my lye water, which was almost completely cool by this point, in stages.  Then I started beating the batch again after each addition.

I made the mistake of making this batch too large and my batter was too high in my widest container.  This prevented me from being able to whip as much air as I wanted into the batter.   The soap will still float it just won't float as high in the water.  It took a while but I got the soap stiff enough that it would stay in the piping bag without pouring out.

It really does float although not as well as I would like.
Once the soap was stiff enough to work with I filled my piping bag and started to pipe the bars. I piped each one onto a separate cupcake liner.  I piped two layers of 1 1/2" x 3".  Next I piped the body of the peep, then the head.  I realized also about 2/3 of the way through that I had a problem.  The soap was stiffening up and getting very difficult to pipe.  It was hard to make the peeps look presentable at this point.  I finished up what I could with piping.

I brought everything into the house so that I could work in the warmth.  I neatened up the bars that had ended up looking a little too rough for my taste.  I also pulled out the sugar.  I coated the top and sides of each bar with sugar to get the same appearance as peeps.  These should be ready for purchase from my Etsy shop by March 3rd in plenty of time for Easter baskets.

It is so nice to work on something for spring when it is cold and nasty outside.  I hope that you are all staying warm and cozy where ever you are.

I am linking with the following blogs:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


  1. These are so neat. They look almost good enough eat :P Thanks for linking up!


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