When I was a kid, my favorite holiday by far was Halloween. My dad would bust out the bbq and fire up hot dogs for the whole dang neighborhood. Everyone came, warming up their cold little hands for a tasty meal amongst the sea of noxious candy. Of course it was also awesome that one of our neighbors brewed rootbeer in a giant cauldron and served it up while dressed as a cackling witch. We were lucky kids in that corner of Green Valley.
One Halloween, I had the flu and couldn’t go trick-or-treating. I swear I thought it was a fate worse than death. I sobbed (and puked) on the couch in our front room as I watched out the front window and saw what seemed like hundreds of gleeful kids come eat hot dogs and enjoy the festivities.
I’ve always wanted to follow in the family tradition and grill up hot dogs too, but since I’m vegan now, and you can’t really give kids anything that isn’t store bought and pre-wrapped anymore without the parents having a heart attack, we do mini bags of potato chips, a savory salute to my childhood days.
Anyway, when I got a review copy of Bake and Destroy, it was like the perfect Halloween present had come early. I dare you to read through this book and not be thoroughly amused by the dark and silly humor whilst developing a sweet girl crush on bad-a** Natalie Slater.
First up, I made the Cannibal Corpse Crock-Pot, which is made with Jackfruit, in an awesome BBQ sauce that will blow your mind. I also put it all over a deep dish pizza, but we ate it before I could get non-Iphone photos of it. Oh, the Vegan Mayo in the book that’s on this sandwich is so delicious and diabolically simple that it’s worth the purchase of the book alone: you’ll have no more guilt over eating oil-laden store bought vegan mayo, but you’ll also stop pretending that blocks of tofu seasoned with lemon juice and pureed, or the non-fat vegan mayo versions taste anything like real mayo. Stop fooling yourself kids. Her special sauce tastes even better than the real deal without clogging your arteries or leaving your taste-buds fully disappointed.
As for the Samoa Joe Cupcakes, well, I took these bad boys to a Halloween party. They won the competition for Best Dessert Overall. Yes, they were that good. People are still talking about them… What’s not to love about a luscious cupcake filled with caramel sauce and topped with salted caramel-coconut butter-cream and chocolate drizzle? Yeah, vegan desserts rock.
Even more awesome, was that my brother Abe (vegan siblings rock) was staying at my house for several days for a printmaking show and conference while I was testing recipes from the book. He fully worshipped them all. We had this totally legit Non-Cop-Out Tofu Scramble on his last morning. Since Abe mostly eats beans and rice, he was on the edge of pure vegan food bliss at every meal.
These cute cupcake mummies made out of Natalie’s ridiculously simple Vanilla Cake Mix also went to the Halloween party. I got a second award for best themed dessert. Ah yeah.
Funnily enough though, the recipe I tested that made me the most nostalgic, was the Pretzel Dogs of the Dead. They were insanely delicious. You know I’ll be baking these up again on Halloween with a pot of chili and another batch of those Samoa Joe Cupcakes, even if I can’t serve them to the neighbor kids. (p.s. these really are vegan hot dogs, no animals were harmed in the making of this post). I made some of Natalie’s No-Honey Mustard to dip these in, but ended up using it as a delicious salad dressing instead after I forgot all about the dip.
Now, for the awesome bit. I made these Cheryl’s Sweet Revenge Cookies (not in the book and based on the movie, The Evil Dead double bonus here) and there were so many, that I took a big part of the batch to a neighbor so I wouldn’t eat them all. Somehow during our discussion I found out that my neighbors know Natalie Slater and her mom. Some things are just meant to be.
Cheryl’s Revenge Cookies
Recipe used with permission
Somer’s Note: I couldn’t help myself and added a half cup of mini-chocolate chips to this recipe to make them the ultimate “Everything Cookie.” They were amazing!
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used half organic all purpose and half whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, your choice (I used a combination of sunflower seeds, whole almonds, cashew pieces, peanuts and hempseeds)
- 1 1/2 cups dried fruit, your choice (I used cranberries, raisins and goji berries)
- 3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut or whole rolled oats (I went with the coconut, but used unsweetened since that’s what I had on hand)
Method: Preheat your oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Whisk the dry ingredients into a small bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the margarine until smooth and fluffy. Add sugars and beat until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the ground flaxseed and water together until thick and gooey. Add this to the sugar mixture and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the nuts and fruit. Drop batter (2 tablespoons = one cookie) onto the lined baking sheet, about 2″ apart. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes about 2 dozen vengeful, murderous cookies (unless you are Somer and you make smaller cookies and end up with 3-4 dozen).
Visit Natalie Slater at her site Bake and Destroy here.
For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only. You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Halloween on the 31st of October to enter! I will notify the winner by email on Friday the 1st of November. GO!!