Halloween is my favourite holiday. Simply everything about it appeals to me. I love the costumes, the fall weather, the mystery, the mischief. It’s the one holiday in which creativity is necessary, and creativity is my raison d’etre.
Most of my life’s halloweens have focused on making my costume, and how far can I push my creativity and ambition. The trend has been to have elaborate imaginings and the results seriously pale in comparison — but I do it all over again, because it is the imagining of possibilities that really thrills me. One halloween, however, I would like to show up with the costume of my dreams. Maybe this year…
Since finding my love of food and cooking, my main halloween focal point has shifted. Each year, my husband and I host a halloween party at our home, and it has come to be that the motivator for having these parties is mostly the food. For the past few years, what has really excited me about halloween is menu planning.
I delight in creating creepy versions of our favourite party snack foods, and our guests love it, too. Last year, I successfully created our first Vegan Halloween Menu (and blogged about it), but it definitely had room for improvement. So, this year, I am planning ahead and testing recipes… and sharing them!
If you are planning a vegan halloween, please stay tuned in to the blog this month, because I have several recipes to share. First up, mini vampire sliders — next, fried bat wings!
The Vegan “Vampire” Sliders are made with a charcoal bun, vegan burger, vegan sliced cheese cut into teeth, ketchup (for the “blood”), and whatever other toppings you want to hide in there. If you want to go the easiest route, purchase your vegan burgers (cut them into sliders if they’re full size), and your vegan cheese slices (and cut them into teeth), so that all you have to do is make the buns and assemble.
A word on ACTIVATED CHARCOAL: Activated charcoal’s primary purpose is as a detoxification medicine. It’s what hospitals use (in large doses) to combat alcohol and other drug overdoses. Because of the charcoal’s extremely porous properties, it binds with toxins in the body to release them. Recreationally, it is used for anything from upset stomach, allergies, detoxification, and food colouring! It is completely safe to ingest in the latter form, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure that you are using food grade charcoal (as it is also used cosmetically). You can get it in capsule or loose powder form. Secondly, make sure it is vegan. Thirdly, don’t eat your charcoal items at the same time as taking medication or vitamins, as they will be rendered ineffective.
The inspiration for this recipe came from a photo I found on pinterest, and then promptly lost, (my apologies for that) of a burger with cheese cut into teeth. I thought it was such a cute idea for halloween. Then, when I saw the Werewolf burger (pictured below), I knew I had to combine the ideas into a vegan vampire slider dish.
As usual, I went all out for this recipe and DIYed everything (I made the buns, the burgers, AND the cheese), but I wouldn’t feel badly about cutting corners on this one — and I strongly recommend purchasing vegan cheese instead of making it. Arm twisted, right?
I got the initial recipe for the buns off of Quitegoodfood.com, but I didn’t love it. The buns lacked flavour, and were pretty dry. I tried making them again with my mother-in-law’s gifted bun recipe, and modified it to blacken it, and had much better results. I will share my preferred recipe below, but check out the inspiration here.
For the burgers, I modified the recipe from Harmony Home Slice. If you’d rather purchase pre-made burgers — go for it! The value of this menu item is in the novelty. They’re just so darn cute!
For the cheese, I tried a few different versions. I initially made cheese to test out my cheese recipe with a tweak (adding tahini), but decided against using it in this recipe. You are really better off purchasing sliced vegan cheese from the grocery store. My favourites sliced cheeses are Field Roast‘s Chao Cheese and Earth Island’s mozzarella (the new recipe).
Vegan “Vampire” Sliders
This recipe will make 10-12 mini vegan vampire sliders, depending on how big or small you shape them. You will need to purchase a package of sliced vegan cheese for the teeth.
Prep time: 1.5 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Black Burger Buns Ingredients
- 1 ½ cups warm water (not too hot, or it will kill the yeast)
- ¼ cup of cane sugar
- 1 ¼ tsp yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp activated charcoal (must say “food grade”)
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Black Burger Buns Directions
Mix the warm water with the sugar, and gently add the yeast. Wait 5-10 minutes for the yeast to bloom (the yeast granules start to burst into foam clouds).
Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. It will look grey, instead of black. Don’t worry; the mix will darken when the wet ingredients are added.
Once the yeast mixture has gotten foamy, add the oil and then add it all to the dry, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Then, knead the dough for 5-10 minutes, adding more flour if needed, to achieve an elastic dough.
Rinse out your mixing bowl and lightly oil it. Turn the dough in the oil to lightly coat, then cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for an hour (or until double in size.
After your dough has risen, start to section it off into your buns. Depending on the size you want for your sliders, you will get between 10 and 12 buns. Let them sit, covered, to rise again as you preheat your oven.
Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Vegan Burger Patty Ingredients
- 1.5 packages Yves original veggie ground round
- 1 shallot
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 2 tbs flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 flax egg (1 tbs flax meal, mixed with 3 tbs hot water)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
**Recipe taken from here and adapted.
Vegan Burger Patty Directions
The burgers can be pretty well left to your own experimentation. There’s no real “wrong” way to make them.
I decided to caramelize a shallot for the flavour and as a binding agent, but you can omit this step, if you want. Slice or dice your shallot and sauté in a pan over medium heat with a bit of oil. Add the 1/4 tsp of sugar once the shallots have cooked slightly. Continue to cook until browned and translucent. Chop the onions and add them to a medium sized mixing bowl.
While the shallot is cooking, prepare your flax egg, by adding 1 tbs flax meal to 3 tbs hot water. Mix, and let sit until the consistency turns gooey.
Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, and mix together until thoroughly combined. It should be sticky enough to hold together.
Form your patties in the size you wish, then fry them until browned on each side (about 8-10 minutes).
Take your cheese slices and cut them into quarters. Next, cut your vampire teeth out (hopefully, better than I have done).
Slice up your buns and add your topping of preference to the underside of the burger. Top with your patty, a glob of ketchup (for the blood), then your cheese teeth, and the top bun. Et voila! Your mini Vegan Vampire Sliders are ready to eat!