19 August 2008

product placement: sweet and sara vegan marshmallows

Let me just say this: I am not a marshmallow person. Never really have been though I have enjoyed the occasional S'more or Rice Krispy treat. After trying some Sweet and Sara Vegan Marshmallows... consider me converted.

Recently, I was considering having a bake sale and was pondering the different fun treats I could make. I like to do a lot of my baking vegan when possible, but at the same time, being that it's summer and most NYC apartments aren't air conditioned, baking seemed kind of like an awful idea. In brainstorming with a friend we thought of Rice Krispy treats and wondered if you could make them vegan. (Marshmallows are not vegan because gelatin is one of the key ingredients). Never having done it, I wondered if vegan marshmallows would melt and hold up the right way and also looked into alternative recipes, most containing corn syrup or other syrupy sweeteners. After a few failed attempts of making the treats without a marshmallow product and just enough Organic Puffed Brown Rice left in the box, I shelled out the $7 and bought a container of Sweet and Sara's Toasted Coconut Vegan Marshmallows at Whole Foods. I've had my eyes on these for awhile and was pretty excited because they are made locally in Queens.

So 1 bowl, 1 small pot, some additional shredded coconut, and a couple of tablespoons of virgin coconut oil later, and about 1 hour of 'cooling' time later... a vegan crispy treat feast was had with comments of "this is the best rice crispy treat I have ever had" shared all around. Success! (Let it be known that I ate one of the marshmallows on their own, and was very very pleased.)

Thank you Sweet and Sara! <3

basic recipe: vegan coconut crispy treats
This is dangerously easy to make. It makes me a little happy that the marshmallows a little expensive, because that's the only thing keeping me from making these once a week.

3 cups puffed brown rice cereal
2-3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (could substitute vegan margarine or organic canola oil)
1 7.5 oz. package Sweet and Sara toasted coconut vegan marshmallows (use plain if you prefer)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened), optional

Place the cereal in a large bowl.

In a small pot, gently heat the oil and the marshmallows until they melt. Pour into the bowl with the cereal, add the coconut, and gently mix with a spatula until well combined.

In a 9x9 baking pan lined with parchment, pour in the crispy mixture, and press gently to even out. Allow to cool on the counter for 1-2 hours, if you can stand to wait. Cut into squares or other desired shapes and sizes, and enjoy.

Dip in or pour on some melted chocolate if you are feeling really crazy!

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