March 2, 2011

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Dandies Vegan Marshmallows

Image courtesy of Chicago Vegan Foods


I'm not much of a junk food girl. Dessert? That's another story. I love me some cakes, cookies, brownies, and other baked pastry treats. But the majority of candies and uber-sugary confections leave me feeling "meh", save for a few childhood favorites that hold sentimental value, like Kit Kats (my grandpa's favorite) and chocolate breakfast cereals (nothing quite like chocolate for breakfast). So it is with a mix of shame and child-like delight that I share with you my favorite sugary guilty pleasure.

S'mores.

Seriously, whoever thought up this dessert-sandwich has my eternal love and respect. It's a perfectly balanced party of deliciousness - hot, gooey marshmallow and melty, rich chocolate nestled between two crispy, lightly-sweet graham crackers. All components are important, of course, but for me, the key is the almost sickly-sweet oozy marshmallow gluing the whole yummy mess together. I suppose my love of s'mores is also sentimental - every summer of my childhood involved countless nights making s'mores with marshmallows roasted in the fire pit at my grandparents' house in the country, consuming more sugar in a single evening than I should have in a month. It's a tradition I took for granted would carry into my adult years as well.

Enter vegetarianism.

Exit marshmallows.

Commence a five year sabbatical from the s'more.... until now.

That's right, the sun has risen again on my s'more obsession with the help of the wonderful folks at Chicago Vegan Foods and their 100% animal-hoof-free Dandies Vegan Marshmallows. Oh, you guys, they are so flipping good. Denser than traditional air-puffed marshmallows, Dandies have a texture closer to that of homemade marshmallows and a flavor that is spot on - intensely sweet, slightly grainy, chewy, and vanilla-scented. In a word, heavenly. I mean, look at this:



I can hear your yummy noises from here. It's ok. I'm making them too. We're in this together.

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