Recently, I was sent some Dandies marshmallows to goof around with and blog about. This was an easy offer to accept, because I already know that I love Dandies! Plus, I met one of the founders of Dandies at Vida Vegan Con last year and he was super nice. He was wearing a Bobby Hill tshirt (from the TV show King of the Hill). My husband used to really love that show, so I've watched it quite a bit -- and my favorite character is definitely Bobby! So, when I saw his tshirt I immediately blurted out "My name is Bobby, and I like to parrrty; if you don't believe me, watch me shake my body!" ha ha. That's how we met!
The case of the missing marshmallows
Needless to say, getting a box of Dandies in the mail qualifies as A Good Mail Day. Woot. I must confess, there was a third bag of mini-Dandies... but, uh, it disappeared somehow! We opened it up, so put a little marshmallows in our coffee... and then a few more in our mouths... and then a few more... and viola! Just like that, it was gone!
I decided to put my Dandies to work and make some Valentine's day treats for my yoga classes. I always enjoy making goodies for my students. I even bought some cute little Valentines (featuring cupcakes!) on the last class before V-day. Aren't they so cute! I can only assume those are vegan cupcakes!
a little bit of extra chocolate = edible love note for Mr. VE&T
I love rice krispie treats so much - some times I even make them for my brother's birthday instead of a cake! And Dandies make really great krispie treats... so I used that as a starting point and made a batch of Raspberry Rice Krispie Treat Hearts. I used the recipe from the official Rice Krispies website, but of course I used vegan versions of everything involved. Then I added some raspberries & chocolate -- for flavor and color!
Raspberry Rice Krispie Treat Hearts
makes about 25, plus yummy scraps ~ depending on the size of your cookie cutter
1 10oz package of Dandies (original or mini size)
3 Tbsp vegan butter (homemade or earth balance)
6 cups krispie rice cereal (i used whole foods brand)
1 bag of freeze-dried raspberries (you won't need it all)
1 vegan chocolate bar, or 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
First, take the freeze-dried rasberries and dump them into your blender and blend, blend, blend until you have a fine, bright red powder. Measure out 1/4 cup of the raspberry powder (and save the rest for another use).
Next, melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Once it's melted, add in all the marshmallows, and stir well. Add a lid, and check every couple of minutes. Cook until the marshmallows are completely melted and integrated with the butter. It takes a little while.
While the 'mallows are melting, take a 9x13 casserole dish and lightly oil it. Also, get a piece of parchment paper or saran wrap ready to help you with a step that is coming soon.
When it's ready, remove the marshmallows pot from heat and add the 1/4 cup raspberry powder and the 6 cups krispie cereal. Stir like a maniac! Stir stir stir until the whole biz is well-integrated! Then, use a spatula to scoop the goop into your prepared dish. Now, use the parchment paper to press the rice krispie "batter" evenly into the whole pan. Set aside to cool a little.
Place a large piece of parchment paper on to a flat work surface. Once the treats cool off a little, use a heart cookie cutter to cut out cute heart shapes. My cookie cutter wasn't quite deep enough to reach the bottom, so I had to use the cookie cutter to mark the shape and a paring knife to finish the cutting out job. Once you have all your hearts ready, transfer them to the parchment paper on your work surface.
There was one lonely heart left after class. How sad.
I had to eat it and put it out of its misery.
eating heart-shaped food can improve your mood
Now, melt your chocolate. I usually just use the microwave (20 seconds- give it a stir - 20 seconds - give it a stir), but you could also use a double boiler. Break up your chocolate bar and set aside a few small pieces (or a few of the choc chips). The best thing is if you can melt the chocolate almost all the way, but not quite - so that you still have a few chunks left, then add your reserve chunks and stir until all the lumps are melted. This means the chocolate will harden again as it cools.
Spoon or pour the melted chocolate into a small ziplock baggie and then cut small tip off one end of the baggie. Then work your drizzle magic! And drizzle chocolatey goodness over each of the hearts. Let them cool for a bit (even you can put them in the fridge). If you have extra melted chocolate left, you can write little love notes on the parchment paper, like I did. Everyone loves an edible love note!
Of course, I also wanted to make a sweetie for my Thursday night class!
While I was riding my bike I came up with a plan for some Raspberry Rocky Road Hearts.
makes 25 little hearts
25 mini Dandies
25 whole almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tbsp raspberry dust (see previous recipe)
First, preheat your oven to 350 F. Once heated, put the almonds on a small baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes, until roasted but not burnt. Set them aside to cool.
Meanwhile, carefully cut each mini-Dandie in half cross-wise, so you have 25 pairs of mini-mini-Dandies.
Melt the chocolate (see previous recipe for instructions) and carefully pour it into a ziplock baggie. Arrange a large piece of parchment paper out for yourself to work on. Now, here's what I did:
I gave a couple to my sweetie, on this cute little lovebirds plate.
'cuz I like that guy.
also 'cuz he is my guinea pig! ha ha.
Here they are, all lined up cute and pretty on a plate. I loved how these turned out!
Dandies + Amey = Fun!
Dandies really are great marshmallows - they're poofy soft pillows of vanilla-y sugar-y love and joy. As evidenced by the fact that a whole bag of them disappeared straight down our gullets! I loved how they combined with rasberries and chocolate in the treats I made. I also think freeze-dried strawberries would be great -- and even bananas (but that wouldn't be red for Vday).
It always seems to me that Valentines Day celebrations should extend to all fields of love and affection - beyond romance and into friendships and community members and people we appreciate and value. I'm so grateful to have so much fun and smart and engaged blog readers, so...
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!