Peas and Compassion

Cruelty-free crunchiness and shameless veg-elation.

Inside Out Peanut Butter Smores

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I keep thinking I should post something healthy. But I seem to have lost all of my willpower. You see, I recently discovered the magical fluffy puffed joy of Dandies Vegan Marshmallows, which are pretty freakin’ awesome. They make me want to prance and dance and frolic around like a unicorn beneath a rainbow, because they take me back not just to my pre-gan days, but to my childhood. These are the perfect marshmallow – soft and airy and melting on the tongue – but without the gelatin present in conventional marshmallows. [Gelatin, of course, is extracted from the collagen in the skin, bones, and connective tissues of various animals (usually cows), which is why I avoid it.]

But let’s put that imagery aside. Instead, back to the marshmallows —

I’m reminded of my first real snowfall, a doozy of a storm that occurred when I was about 8 years old, at some point in the late 1980s. We lived in the south, which meant that we had no idea what real snow looked like or how best to manage in it. This particular storm only brought about 2 feet of snow, but we quickly found ourselves without power and without a stove – a scenario that would extend for 10 days. Our water pump also ran on electricity, so we began living colonial-style, hauling buckets of snow inside to melt by the fireplace in order to boil them for us. Soon we were cooking all our meals over candle flame – (remember those potpourri holders with tealight candles? They work perfectly for holding ceramic bowls of oatmeal or  tomato soup). It was both exciting and boring all at once.

One of the few joys of that cold period was the making of s’mores. It involved skewering marshmallows over an open flame, and using a chocolate bar to remove the marshmallow from its stake (I suppose we were out of graham crackers, and with the roads blocked with snow, we couldn’t run out to get any). This was a magnificent and wonderful mess of melted chocolate and scalded fingers – which was fine, because it was only about 45 degrees in the house and at least scalded fingers were warm fingers.

Now back to the present — tonight is warm, and we have plenty of power and fresh water, as well as graham crackers and peanut butter. But in order to relive that fun period, we’ve made some inside out peanut butter smores.

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These are the essentials.

Although I realize microwaves are the Devil, I find them infinitely more finger-friendly than open flames and so used mine to melt the marshmallows and peanut butter on the crackers. The chocolate was melted down with a bit of coconut oil and almond milk, then poured over the top in a messy pile. (No one ever said “inside out” was pretty.)

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The result is a pretty darn amazing – it’s a gooey, runny, peanut-butter-chocolate-mallow heaven. Yes, I know – it’s not a “real” recipe. I don’t care that’s it not fancy – after all, I have a vegan s’more and you don’t.

Though to be honest, if you came over… I would share.

Inside Out Peanut Butter Smores

Serves: 6. Prep time: 5 minutes.
Accessibility notes: Requires the use of a double boiler or at least a sense of comfort handling a second pot over steaming/boiling water. Other than that, it’s standard s’more making!

Ingredients:

  • 12 graham cracker squares
  • 6 Dandies
  • ~3 tbsp fresh grind peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet non-dairy chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp almond milk

Directions:

1. You may use either a double-boiler, if one is handy, or fill a medium pot of water with about 1 1/2″ of water and bring  to a boil. Once the water is rolling nicely, in a second, smaller pot, add the coconut oil, chocolate chips, and almond milk. Place the smaller pot inside the first and let the chips melt, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding.

2. Meanwhile, spread ~1/2 tbsp of peanut butter or less on one side of each of the 12 graham crackers. Add Dandies to six of the coated crackers and affix the remaining 6 crackers on top to make “sandwiches”, using the peanut butter as your glue. Pop these in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate for about 15 seconds, watching carefully – the Dandies and peanut butter will just melt into an ooey, gooey mess. Mash the tops of each “sandwich” down slightly to help everything blend.

3. Once the chocolate is completely melted down and the almond milk well-mixed, pour the topping over each cracker generously. If you want to get fancy, use a pair of tongs and try dipping the sandwiches, or use a knife to spread the topping around – I personally was only considering how fast I could get them into my mouth.

4. Try to restrain yourself from licking up all the extra, but don’t judge yourself harshly if you can’t. Let everything cool for 2-3 minutes and then share with everyone, or better yet, hide them all in a bowl and curl up quietly in a corner, trying not to smack your lips as you lick your fingers clean.

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