Vegan Burgers, Thug Kitchen Oven Fries, and Peanut Butter Buckeyes…

We’re up at the cabin for the long weekend, and James is reading a rather depressing book and has been looking despondent all weekend. Hoping to lift his literature-induced depression, I suggested we ditch the planned butternut squash soup for our evening meal and go for something a bit more decadent. This suggestion immediately lightened his mood, particularly when I suggested we attempt to find a perfect veggie-burger recipe.

So, the menu is….grillable vegan burgers by Minimalist Baker, with homemade focaccia buns, and Thug Kitchen Oven Fries, and followed by Thug Kitchen Peanut Butter Buckeyes.

We also made Thug Kitchen’s version of ranch dressing (Farmhouse Dip) to top the burgers and James made this barbecue sauce from the Food Netwok, but substituted tomato sauce for ketchup (because we had no ketchup!!).

Not sure if I’ve ever even posted my focaccia recipe here, but I make it all the time–sometimes in the form of focaccia, sometimes as pizza dough, and sometimes as buns (for hamburger and sandwiches). In a nod toward health, I substituted half the flour for whole wheat flour for this evening’s meal.

Focaccia

All you do is put these ingredients in a stand mixing bowl until the yeast blossoms:

1 TBS. yeast

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 3/4 cups warm water

Once the yeast has blossomed, I usually add a bunch of rosemary, oregano, and chopped basil if I have any fresh (so it’s throughout the dough), then I add:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. salt

4 cups flour (add gradually)

Once you’ve added everything, let the mixer go until it forms a ball around the dough paddle.

Leave it to rise for an hour and a half, punch it down, and leave it for another 40 minutes.

Once you’ve formed it, dimple it, and cover the top with chopped garlic, rock salt, and rosemary. Then, let it sit covered on the stove top for about ten minutes to rise a bit before you put in in the oven at 350 for twenty minutes (turn at 10 minutes).

If I’m making buns, I usually leave off the garlic and salt and just put a bit of fresh rosemary (if I have it, which I do because for some reason, it’s still growing like a weed even though it’s February!).

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So…the burgers were tasty, but, texture-wise, they just aren’t the elusive crispy veggie burger that James has spent the last eight-and-a-half years of his life seeking.

They look pretty good though.

Here they are pre-cooking…

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And here’s a burger all served up….

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The Thug Oven “Fries” turned out as brilliantly as always…

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And they tasted great dipped in the Thug Farmhouse dip.

But the winner of the evening was…..the Peanut-Butter Buckeyes. OHMYGOD…ARE THESE EVARRRR GOOD.

They are THE SERIOUS BOMB.

25/10: would do again in a minute.

Thug Kitchen’s Peanut-Butter Buckeyes

1⁄2 teaspoon coconut oil
1⁄3 cup uncooked millet
2⁄3 cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons flour
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and toss in the millet for 3 to 5 minutes. Set it aside.

2. In a stand mixer, mix together the peanut butter, powdered sugar, flour, and vanilla until a thick dough is formed. Toss in in the millet and mix until it’s mixed up. Make walnut-size balls with the dough and put them on a parchment-paper-covered baking sheet. The recipe says you should get about 24, but it produced only 17 for me…and they weren’t even walnut sized.

3. Put them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

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4. Right before you are about remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer, melt the chocolate (I used chunks of semi-sweet) and the coconut oil in a glass cup in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir, then repeat until you can stir it smooth.

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5. Using a fondue fork, dip each ball into the melted chocolate and place back on parchment paper. Leave a bit of the peanut butter exposed, so it looks like a buckeye. Put them back in the freezer until the chocolate hardens.

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They were surprisingly easy, actually, and they taste like heaven.

And they do look like a buckeye:

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Oh, and they’re about 100 calories of totally worth it each.

And we were listening to Jack White….