Happy Halloween (Cereal)!
It's the best time of year! I could, however, do without the fact that it's supposed to snow in Chicago on Halloween. But on the bright side, it's an excuse to stay in, have a warm dinner, and then snuggle up and eat a bunch of candy (and if you want to make your own candy, I gotchu). And the entire month of October (and...November) is basically Halloween, right? I will be baking with pumpkins while surrounded by decorative gourds until spring, so keep the pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon coming. Keeping with the theme of Halloween treats, today's recipe is a seasonal spin on one of my favorite recipes—Halloween Lucky Charms! Ever since I made vegan Lucky Charms with aquafaba a few years back, I've wanted to make a Halloween cereal with little pumpkin, bat, and cat marshmallows.
Where to find vegan Cheerios
This homemade cereal has a "Cheerio" base (Aldi brand "Cheerios" are vegan) with tiny hand-piped pumpkin, bat, and cat marshmallows. The marshmallows are basically tiny meringues with a crispy texture that pairs nicely with the crunchy cereal and your favorite non-dairy milk. They'll melt in your milk after a few minutes just like regular Lucky Charms and turn your cereal milk into a weird Halloween tie dye pattern. It's not a quick and easy recipe, but these kinds of recipes are fun to make if you have an afternoon to spare. It's also super kid friendly!
Since making Halloween cereal can be a pretty meticulous endeavor, I made a recipe video to help you get your ducks (bats?) in a row before jumping in. The video also shows a time lapse of the meringue forming in the stand mixer so you can see exactly when to add the other ingredients. You can use the same technique to make any kind of cereal marshmallow. Maybe a Christmas or Valentine's version is in order.
Now before you tell me about how my black cat marshmallows are purple and not black...have you ever tasted black food coloring? It's disgusting. Also, you need to use a lot of it to get "black as your soul" saturation. We don't want to risk the meringue deflating when mixing the food coloring into the meringue. Normally I would add the food coloring before whipping up the aquafaba, but we need multiple colors for the Halloween Lucky Charms marshmallows. I used Wilton gel food coloring—it's colorful, it won't add excess moisture to the meringue, and most importantly, it's vegan!
Watch the recipe video (and subscribe to Seitan Beats Your Meat on YouTube!):
Some aquafaba meringue making tips
- Wait until the aquafaba and cream of tartar have thickened up before you add sugar.
- Add the sugar gradually rather than all at once so the meringue doesn't collapse.
- Err on the side of caution when adding food coloring. Too much food coloring may deflate the meringue structure (that's why my "black" looks a little more purple).
- It may take up to 15 minutes to make your meringue depending on whether you're using a stand mixer or hand mixer. I would not recommend making the meringue by hand, but hey, meringue existed before electricity and stand mixers, so you do you!
- Use an oven thermometer. Meringue is very finicky and will melt if the temperature is too high. Make sure your oven is heating at the right temperature.
- Leave your meringue alone while it's baking. If you must look at your baby marshmallows, turn on the oven light, but keep the door shut to avoid rapid temperature fluctuations.
Is it just me, or do you say "mer-een-goo" in your head while spelling "meringue"?
Get the recipe:
- 1 box vegan "Cheerios", or similar cereal
- ⅓ cup aquafaba, (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon agar powder
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
- Food coloring, orange, black, and green
- Combine the aquafaba and cream of tartar in a stand mixer equipped with a balloon whisk attachment and whip until it starts to thicken.
- 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 orange, black, and green. You don't need a ton of green since it will just be used for the pumpkin stems.
- Preheat oven to 200°F.
- Fill 3 small piping bags or ziptop bags (cut off the tip) with each color of meringue.
- Pipe your tiny marshmallows onto the prepared cookie sheet in bat and cat shapes, using the video for instruction.
- Bake/dehydrate the marshmallows for 1-2 hours depending on the size.
- Turn off the oven and leave the marshmallows in the oven until they return to room temperature.
- Finally, mix with cereal, and eat with your non-dairy milk of choice!
- 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.
- Brand name Cheerios are not vegan, but the Aldi brand "Cheerios" are vegan. You can use any type of cereal that you'd like.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 70mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 2g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on seitanbeatsyourmeat.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.
Bert is always in costume for Halloween and wanted to check out the cereal: