Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What To Do With Your Vegan Marshmallows

peanut butter chocolate rice treats

To be perfectly honest, I've never been a big fan of the humble Rice Krispie square. As a dessert it was just never, well, bakey enough for me. I like my desserts much richer. Rice krispie squares just seemed like kids' stuff to me. Plus in these modern times they've turned into one of the stupider packaged foodstuffs. The kind of thing that is easy to make, but still somehow needs to be shot full of chemicals and packaged into single servings. I understand wanting to make food more convenient, but when something has three ingredients and can be made in mere minutes, why does it have to be sold to us in an ever-so-slightly more convenient form? (I'm looking at you, iced tea.)

Where was I? Right, I was in my kitchen making squares and watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. How did you know?

Even with my Rice Krispie square prejudices, I honestly couldn't think of anything else to do with the package of vegan marshmallows that Jill brought me from Toronto. They were too sweet to eat all by themselves and I wasn't ambitious enough to concoct some kind of crazy new marshmallow-based recipe. So Rice Krispie squares it was! Or perhaps we should just call them rice squares because I don't really like Rice Krispies cereal very much. Way too sweet and crunchy. What I did instead was to buy some organic, health-foody puffed rice cereal. And I grabbed a bag of puffed millet too, just for kicks.

two puffs

To add some much-needed excitement, I decided to turn these into peanut butter and chocolate flavoured squares.

You're welcome.

The final product was chewier than conventional Rice Krispie squares, mostly because of the cereals I used. I liked the texture a lot, but if you're a traditionalist, you'll probably want to use conventional Rice Krispies. The marshmallows behaved just like regular marshmallows, melting quite nicely and not giving me any trouble at all. And with the sugary marshmallows diffused into a whole pan of treats, I wasn't overwhelmed by sweetness. I liked these way more than I thought I would.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice and Millet Squares

4 cups puffed rice cereal
2 cups puffed millet cereal
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp vegan margarine
1 package (roughly 2 cups) vegan marshmallows
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix puffed rice and puffed millet together. Set aside.

In a double boiler or a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt marshmallows, peanut butter, and two tablespoons of the margarine.

Mix melted marshmallow mixture with cereal mixture by combining small portions of each in a large bowl and mixing (I used my hands) until well combined. Keep adding both and mixing thoroughly until everything is combined.

Press mixture into a rectangular baking pan (I used my Pyrex lasagna dish, which I think is 9" by 13" or so) and set aside.

Melt chocolate chips and remaining margarine in a double boiler or a saucepan over medium-low heat.

Spread melted chocolate over puffed rice mixture and refrigerate for at least half an hour before eating.


Some Notes:

-I really, really, love the new Hannah Georgas album. She's a bit scrappier than a lot of female singer-songwriters and her music walks a pleasant line between stripped down folk songs and rockier stuff that makes me want to dance in my kitchen. Super-mega recommended.

-Those of you who live in Ottawa might perhaps like to come see me read some new fiction at the Raw Sugar cafe this Thursday night at 7:30 PM. I'll be warming up the stage for my friend Jeff Miller whose first book, Ghost Pine: All Stories True just made the Montreal Gazette's best seller list. Local writer Adam Thomlison will also be reading, hence rendering the event two thirds vegan.

-I'm looking forward to this coming Saturday and not just because The Banditas are playing at The Dominion Tavern and Betty White is hosting Saturday Night Live. While those things are both exciting, Saturday is also exciting because it is the opening day of my beloved Main Farmers' Market. I can't wait to get my hands on some locally grown produce again. Hooray!


This Time Last Year: Saturday Night Pizza (when I was still eating cheese!)


T said...

YUM! I have this bag of quinoa puffs which would probably be good like this too. I love vegan marshmellows- the sweet and sara brand just kills me.

Mary said...

These look lovely!! I love a good grown-up take on rice krispies...the traditional-style ones are alright for nostalgic purposes but let's be honest, they were never the greatest tasting dessert. I LOVE the addition of chocolate to these...if I ever get my hands on vegan marshmallows again (our local vegan grocer closed...sigh...) I will definitely be trying these out.

Jacqueline said...

What's not to love? A tempting treat indeed :)

The Ordinary Vegetarian said...

Smooth move with that peanut butter, lady.

Midnite said...

Ooh, good luck with your reading. Maybe I'll see you there. Sounds like it might be something fun to check out.


Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Those look awesome, especially with the pb and chocolate...mmmmm. And you just reminded me that last night I dreamed that I made a HUGE vegan marshmallow... it was the size of a baby. And I was just carrying it around and eating it, feeling so proud of myself.

Mud Mama said...

Oh these look just too awesome! Now, what I really need is a recipe for vegan marshmallows!

Yesterday my kids asked me what marshmallows were made of. I told them. (We are not vegan btw - we're locavores and eat as cruelty free as we possibly can...to the point we just bought our own farm).

My 5 year old looked at me and asked whose bones do they use. I said cows mostly. He said "Poor old worn out dairy cows riiiight?" I sighed, and said yeah.

He loves himself a good marshmallow but he's 100 percent on board with making our own now.

simplyshaka said...

Thanks for posting this. I have been craving krispie treats in a MAJOR way lately and looking for a somewhat healthier alternative to the normal recipe.