Vegan Lucky Charms

Reporting back with another vegan meringue development: you can make vegan Lucky Charms out of a can of freakin’ chickpeas and it’s blowing my mind.

When I made Lemon Meringue Pie and a test batch of meringue cookies over the weekend, my first thought was, “oh shit, this tastes like Lucky Charms marshmallows!” I waited about a day before trying it out. Set aside an afternoon for this recipe because we are making hundreds of little hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers, blue moons, pots of gold, rainbows, and red balloons by hand.lucky-charms

Vegan Lucky Charms


Box of sugary Cheerio-type cereal

1/3 cup (half of 15 ounce can) chickpea liquid
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon agar powder
3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

Food coloring: red, blue, yellow


Combine the chickpea liquid and cream of tartar in a stand mixer equipped with a balloon whisk attachment and whip until it starts to thicken (here’s a video for reference).
Mix together the sugar and agar powder. Gradually add the sugar/agar mixture and the vanilla, and continue whipping until thick, about 8 minutes.

Line 3-4 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Grab 3 small bowls and spoons and divide up the meringue mixture into the bowls. Using food coloring, make red, blue, and yellow meringue.

Grab 2 more small bowls. Using some of the red and blue meringue, mix some purple meringue. Using blue and yellow, make some green.

You should have red, yellow, blue, purple, and green meringue to make the following marshmallows:
1. Hearts (red)
2. Red balloons (red)
3. Red rainbow stripe (red)
4. Stars (yellow)
5. Pots of gold (yellow)
6. Yellow rainbow stripe (yellow)
7. Blue moons (blue)
8. Blue rainbow stripe (blue)
Mix purple and green out of your colors
9. Horseshoes (purple)
10. Clovers (green)

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Fill 5 small piping bags or ziptop bags (cut off the tip) with each color of meringue. Using Lucky Charms for reference, pipe your tiny marshmallows onto the prepared cookie sheet. How many marshmallows does this make? A lot. Depending on the size of your marshmallows and the spacing between them, you might fill up 2-4 full cookie sheets.

Bake/dehydrate the marshmallows for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the marshmallows in the oven until they return to room temperature.


Mix with cereal, and eat with your non-dairy milk of choice! I ended up grabbing some whole oat-y cereal, so the feedback I got was, “this tastes like childhood, but with fiber!”



These marshmallows are lighter and more airy than original Lucky Charms marshmallows, but they hold up just fine in a bowl of cereal and milk. Feel free to play around with the recipe and report back if you can make the marshmallows any denser. One method I heard was reducing the chickpea liquid by boiling out the water. Perhaps a mixture of that technique plus more agar powder or a different kind of gum would alter the results.

I accidentally made my rainbow colors in the wrong order because Lucky Charms doesn’t understand how rainbows work and uses blue on the outer stripe.


If you want to go into even more detail, you can mix orange and a darker green to add detail to the pots of gold and make clover hats. But let’s get real: we’re making these marshmallows by hand without the help of a cereal factory, so it’s okay if your clovers are all one color.


I would tell you that they’re magically delicious, but I don’t want a cease and desist letter from General Mills.


The aftermath:


Go make some Lucky Charms!

I did not invent the chickpea meringue, or Lucky Charms (duh). Thank you to Goose Wohlt and Révolution végétale for the inspiration!

Pancakes Recipe

Seitan Beats Your Meat is back! And with pancakes, naturally.


This pancake recipe is an oldie but a goodie. The original, non-vegan recipe is from an old cookbook my dad and I used to make pancakes every Sunday when I was a kid. Now I make a vegan version most weekends, or on a Friday afternoon when I go to bed the night before with an image in my head of a stack of 20 (21? 22?) pancakes. That sort of thing needs to be made and photographed, stat.

In this recipe, the applesauce replaces the eggs, and the margarine takes care of the melted butter. You could probably replace the margarine with any cooking oil, but melting the margarine in a cast iron pan before mixing it in the batter adds something special. Go easy on the non-dairy milk of your choice to make a thick batter for fluffy pancakes, or thin out the batter with extra milk for thin pancakes that are soft in the middle and crispy on the edges. Add fruit or chocolate chips…go versatility! But first, let’s review the cardinal rules of pancake.

Tips for Perfect Pancakes

Tip #1: Flip your pancakes when they bubble and the bubbles begin to hold their shape. Don’t wait any longer or you’ll run the risk of burning your pancakes.
Tip #2: Lower temperature, longer cooking time. A high temperature will result in browned pancakes on the outside, but they’ll be underdone on the inside. Similarly, if your temperature is too low, the pancakes will take a very long time to cook and turn out pale and gummy.
Tip #3: A cast iron pan makes for tasty, evenly-cooked, and crispy-in-all-the-right-places pancakes! Or you could use a non-stick pan; just don’t tell me.
Tip #4: Sprinkle chocolate chips, blueberries, or any other add-ins on your pancakes before flipping.



Makes 6-8 pancakes, depending on size


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more white flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon margarine


Combine all dry ingredients, stir with a whisk.
Make a well in the middle and add applesauce, vanilla, and soy milk. Stir until almost combined.
Preheat your skillet or cast iron pan at medium heat, rub some margarine on one of the pans and melt the rest in the other. Pour melted margarine into the pancake batter and stir until combined.
Drop by large spoonfuls or pour batter onto the pan and flip when bubbles start to form. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
Serve with a pat of Earth Balance, pure maple syrup, and fruit.


Cheers to Pumpkin Beer Pancakes

Now that it’s October, you’re probably prepared to face an overabundance of pumpkin-themed posts and photos in your blog readers and on social media. For me, the pumpkin craze is a reminder of the impending doom that is winter, which makes me swear, every year, that I need to move far away from the Midwest ASAP and never experience seasons again. But if there’s one thing I enjoy about fall and winter, it’s snuggling up with a blanket, a fluffy animal, and a hot beverage while reading a book or watching TV. I guess pumpkin fits right in that picture in the form of tea, baked goods, or one of my personal favorites: pancakes.


What makes pumpkin pancakes even better? Adding pumpkin beer to them. I made them for breakfast earlier this week, and have been eating leftovers for the past few days. They taste like pumpkin pie, and the beer adds fluffiness and flavor. The original recipe is from Cheers to Vegan Sweets.

I used Trader Joe’s pumpkin ale this time, but I’m waiting to get my hands on Lakefront Brewery’s Pumpkin Lager from Milwaukee, which I bought every year when I lived there.

Pumpkin Spice Beercakes

Adapted from Cheers to Vegan Sweets


2 cups white flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces (one bottle) pumpkin beer
1 tablespoon margarine


Combine the flours, baking powder, cornmeal, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir together the dry ingredients with a whisk.
Make a well in the middle and add the pumpkin, agave nectar, vanilla, milk, beer, and lemon zest. Mix until just combined.
Preheat your pans at medium heat. Rub some margarine on one of the pans and melt the rest in the other. Pour melted margarine into the pancake batter and stir until combined.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter (or any size you’d like) onto each pan. Flip when bubbles start to form and hold their shape. All pancake batters cook a bit differently, so feel free to check the underside of your pancakes while they cook so you can brown them to your liking. Repeat until all the batter is gone.


In other news, Cheers to Vegan Sweets is starting to ship out this week! If you ordered a signed copy from me, or pre-ordered on Amazon, you will be getting your book very soon. There is also an upcoming opportunity to win a copy, and a book party in Chicago next weekend…read on!

Cheers to Vegan Sweets

Want to win a copy of Cheers to Vegan Sweets?

Join me for a Twitter chat through @QuarrySpoonBlog on Tuesday, 10/15 at 1 p.m. EDT. Follow the conversation by searching #spoonchat, and ask all of your cooking and baking questions! The #spoonchat will last one hour and one participant will leave with a brand new copy Cheers to Vegan Sweets*.

*Well, you’ll get it in the mail a few days later.


Come to the book party!

If you’ll be in Chicago on October 19th, come to a book release party at Upton’s Breakroom at 2pm! Have lunch at the cafe (check out the menu…you can’t go wrong with Chicago-style Italian Seitan sandwich or Bacon Mac!) then come sample some desserts and get your very own autographed copy of Cheers to Vegan Sweets! RSVP on the Facebook event page. See you there!


“I made French toast.”

Don: “What’s on this?”
Sally: “Mrs. Butterworth’s.”
Don: “Go get it.”

Don: “That’s rum. Read labels.”
Sally: “Is it bad?”
Don: “Not really.”

This exchange between Don and Sally happens in season four’s ‘The Beautiful Girls’ when Sally Draper proudly presents homemade French toast to her father. (“Oh daddy, I do it all the time. And there’s no shells in it.”) This episode serves a generous helping of seemingly lighthearted situations that are immediately qualified with some of Mad Men‘s signature dark humor. Like many a character in the show, Sally’s attempts to prove herself end with her falling flat on her face. Literally.

*Warning: spoilers ahead in this post and most other ‘Mad Men’ MoFo posts. Spoilers are often necessary to provide context and write freely about the show. I’ll make a note in future posts when they are spoiler-free!


Sally Draper’s coming-of-age story begins in the latter half of the 1960s, where the way the world works, and her world, is shifting. A precocious child from season one, she’s now a child of divorce (cue hysterical Betty: “She’s from a broken home!”) in an era when such a topic is taboo, and carries a longtime insistence that she is, in fact, an adult.

Sally’s role in ‘The Beautiful Girls’ begins when a woman finds her on a train to Manhattan, specifically Don’s office, trying to avoid the fare collectors. Sally expresses her hatred for Betty, back talks Don’s fling of the month Faye Miller, and begs her father, in the thick of his season four downward spiral, to let her live with him. When Don’s secretary suddenly dies at her desk, the employees of SCDP attempt to take care of it without alerting Sally (or their clients), resulting in a darkly humorous series of events. Faye takes Sally back to Don’s apartment, where stilted conversation ensues.


Photo credit: AMC

In attempt to prove her adulthood to Don, whom she places on a pedestal for the greater portion of the series, she makes breakfast for him. The fatal flaw of her plan is when she mistakes rum for Mrs. Butterworth’s, revealing that she still is very much a child. While that metaphor was likely in place for viewers, Sally would not appreciate it.

If Sally photographed her food in 1965 with her brand new Kodak Instamatic 404 (that’s Instagram for those of you born in 2001), her set-up might look something like this. A disregard for the subtlety Betty attempts to epitomize, mod patterns, and audacious colors. Groovy.


Sally’s story in this episode ends when Betty comes to SCDP to retrieve her runaway daughter. Sally’s immediate response is to RUN (I can’t say I blame her). Unfortunately, Sally’s escape is stopped by a trip and fall, but she finds comfort in a hug from Megan Calvet. With Faye’s stature unmoved and out-of-focus in the background, the Mad Men creators foreshadow Don’s abrupt transition from Faye to warm, kind Megan as a wife and mother figure for his children. Sally gives up momentarily and returns to Betty with her bruised knees and ego, not for the first or last time.


Photo credit: AMC


Take a page out of Sally’s book and make The PPK’s Fronch Toast, then “mistake” rum for maple syrup. It’s not bad; take Don’s word for it. Or you might take a more palatable route and add the rum (or rum extract) to the batter prior to cooking, or make a maple butter rum sauce in lieu of syrup.