Friday, May 5, 2017

Tea Time with Brandy: XO Marshmallows Kickstarter

Brandy had a very vivid dream last summer that she still can't quite get out of her head. She dreamed she was standing on a bank of pastel pink clouds and all around her was blue sky. She bounced from cloud to cloud until she came across what looked to be a small table, which was set for a tea service, except instead of tea, there was a pot of steaming hot chocolate. Brandy sat herself at the table, and feeling a little like Alice in Wonderland, she poured out a mug of the velvet liquid. Then she noticed a silver jar in the center of the table, which had an ornate lid. When she lifted the lid, she found a multitude of the most luscious looking marshmallows she'd ever laid eyes on. Each one was as big as an ice cube, but lighter than air (indeed, some of them began floating out of the jar and Brandy had to scramble to make sure none of them escaped into the ether). She popped one into her mouth and savored the unexpectedly rich flavor of salted caramel. She tried another one and got a wash of coffee. Another tasted like green tea. And yet another tasted like lavender and honey. Then before her eyes, Brandy saw the marshmallows transform from perfect cubes to little circles with holes in the middle, almost like a donut. The thing was, these heavenly little marshmallow rings were the exact size of Brandy's mug of hot chocolate! She plopped one in and watched the little thing swirl happily in it's warm bath or chocolate.

The morning after this dream, Brandy journeyed down to the Lakeview Festival of the Arts, where she stumbled across two very hip looking young ladies, who just happened to be selling, of all things, handmade marshmallows. Brandy was intrigued, to say the least. She learned that the ladies were named Kat and Lindzi and that they had just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them grow their marshmallow making obsession in the form of XO Marshmallows. Brandy immediately purchased a few of their wears and found that they tasted just like the marshmallows in her dream had. Then she saw that one of the goals of the Kickstarter was to help them launch a new product; little marshmallow rings called Mars'halos that fit perfectly into a mug of coffee or hot chocolate! It was then that Brandy decided she needed to back these ladies and see her marshmallow dreams become reality.

Flash forward to the present day. XO Marshmallows successfully funded their Kickstarter and Brandy has been watching their progress with great interest ever since. Then last month, she saw that they had launched a second Kickstarter, this time with the goal of opening Chicago's first ever marshmallow themed cafe. "Oh, I simply MUST see this come to fruition!" said Brandy. One of the Kickstarter rewards was a special flavor of marshmallow; strawberry, which was made with actual strawberry puree. Brandy could not get enough of these juicy, fruity, little pillows of paradise. When she stumbled upon some strawberry flavored pound cake, she decided to use it to make a decadent triple berry shortcake. Giving the marshmallows just the slightest bit of caramelization with a torch made the snack the perfect sugary indulgence when combined with fresh tart berries and the creamy, moist cake. "I made something so simple, and yet so delicious with these things, with almost no effort," Brandy commented, "Just imagine what those girls could do with an entire cafe themed around these things!"

XO Marshmallow's Kickstarter has only 10 more days to go, so make sure to pledge before time runs out to get access to exclusive rewards like limited edition flavors, signature merch, or even a private coffee tasting! It is also worth mentioning that Brandy may or may not seek vengeance on all of Chicago if she doesn't get to see her prophetic dream of a marshmallow cafe come true. "If Chicago thought the Curse of the Billy Goat was bad, they don't want to see what I've got up my sleeve!" she threatened.

The writers of this blog were sent product free of charge in order to facilitate the writing of this post.

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