Vegan Zombie Jerky
Is it made from vegans or for vegans? You’ll have to bite in to find out.
Vegan Zombie Jerky
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 cups flour
- ⅔ cup brown sugar, divided
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp kosher salt
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp red food coloring
- ⅓ cup water
I wanted to make some dark red pumpkin crackers with scabby, red dyed pepitas on top. The first batch came out adorably cartoony. This was something I could feed squeamish eaters in order to make them feel brave.
Something went horribly wrong with the second batch, though. Instead of an evenly dyed red dough, I ended up with something that looked like Morningstar Farms soy bacon. It wasn’t anywhere close to what I wanted. It was better. It looked like something that’d be dangling off a Walking Dead zombie’s arm.
Om nom zombie skin!
You can make a huge batch of your very own completely vegan leathery zombie skin in about an hour.
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Mix the canned pumpkin, flour, ⅓ cup brown sugar, olive oil, kosher salt, and cinnamon. You should end up with a mealy crumble that almost but doesn’t quite look like a dough. Well done.
Now sprinkle in the red food coloring. This is the important step. You want to make red splatters. When you stir it in, you want red nuggets and striations. If it blends perfectly, you did it wrong.
Once you’ve got a lumpy, unhealthy looking mix of red and orange, go ahead and add in the water. Stir it as little as possible in order to make a dense dough.
Spitz a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray.
Drop a baseball sized wad of dough on the foil, cover it with a sheet of waxed paper, and roll it out as thin as possible. If some oozes out the sides, just throw it back in the bowl along with the rest of your dough. You want this super thin. Wafer thin. Cracker thin.
Now put your aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and attack it with a knife. You can cut long, straight lines, as though you personally skinned a zombie, or wavy, fake-bacon style lines, to make it look more like rotted skin that has organically curled and peeled off.
Sprinkle about a tablespoon of brown sugar on top of your crackers. Where it melts into the dough, you’ll get dark red, nicely bloody looking spots.
Bake your crackers for 9-11 minutes at 375F.
You want these to be deliciously crispy. Leather-like crackers are just gross. This means you have two options. If you’re as lazy as I am, you can sacrifice the outer crackers to the gods of burnt food in exchange for the center ones coming out perfect. The ones in the middle are probably prettier anyway. If you believe every crumb is precious, you’ll want to pull your crackers out around 10 minutes, as soon as the outer ones start to look really dark golden brown, and carefully remove the hot crackers from the cookie sheet. Put the rest of the sheet back in the oven for another 3 minutes, or until they darken up.
Keep a close watch on the crackers. There’s about a 15 second difference between beautifully crispy and horrifically burned. It’s worth the risk to show up at your Halloween party with a gory bouquet of dried vegan zombie skin.
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