Cereal was a huge part of my childhood. My siblings and I would race down to the kitchen in the morning to get the “fat spoon” (really the lone soup spoon with the bunch of teaspoons) and eat refill after refill of bright, colorful sugary cereals—mixing them, adding more sugar to them. Then, sometimes, we’d do the same for lunch or dinner. As we ate, we’d study the box in front of us, grasping it tightly so no one else could steal the it… which is why we’d all race through eating it: to be to refill it.
We all had our favorites. I was a huge fan of Cookie Crisp, Alphabits, Frankenberry, Boo Berry, Trix, Fruity Pebbles, and (randomly) Cracklin’ Oat Bran–all which are still available I think. But many favorites are long gone: Circus Fun, Ice Cream Cones, Kaboom, and… Freakies.
Ah, the simple pleasures of childhood.
But that is only part of the reason I embarked upon making vegan marshmallow treats for the full nostalgic experience. I also wanted to try the chickpea liquid meringues (aquafaba), which has had the vegan blogging community very excited. It is pretty kooky to think that chickpea liquid belongs anywhere but down the drain!
Right off the bat, aquafaba (who the heck named it that?!) is a very inexpensive and not at all difficult to find in a standard grocer, compared to powdered egg replacers, Versawhip, etc. You’ll still need tiny amounts (1/8 teaspoon) of agar powder and cream of tartar, some sugar and vanilla, but that’s it. At least using this recipe. It’s a very easy recipe.
So magical to see meringues form.
Well, it worked. I was impressed. The taste was different though. Perfect for making artificial-artificial mini marshmallows for my Freakies redux.
I used this kosher set of food coloring. No worries, the colors are vegan; they’re all petroleum-based. Ehhh…
Now the tedious part, piping the Freakie alien shapes. I piped them how I remembered them, not how the cereal box shows them. So they were blobs. I tried to get fancy with the blue. And in the end, after an hour of firming up at 200 degrees, the blue were the ones I liked the best.
Now I had enough vegan mini-marshmallows for plenty of bowls of cereal!
They were much more airy and delicate than the assembly line cereal marshmallows. And they’re cleaner tasting but still sugary sweet in a faux-artificial way! Genius!
And then I did something I hadn’t done in almost two decades: I ate a bowl of marshmallow-laden cereal. “Mwauh” (That’s was the noise we used to make when looking at Boss Moss on the box of Freakies.)