Halloween is a festival of chills and thrills. Gear up to meet people in bizarre costumes! Impress your guest with some ghoulish goodies. This skull shaped cheese ball will be the life of the party. No bones about it.
Let me tell you about my first Halloween party here in the States. I was excited and nervous. I didn’t know what to expect or how to dress up. I imagined people would be really creative with their costumes and I wanted to match up. Since I have never met any of them (they were my date’s friends) I wanted to leave a nice impression, so I lost some sleep over what to wear. Finally I decided to go as a French maid. Oh, it’s not what you’re thinking – I wasn’t going for THAT kind of impression! There was nothing inappropriate about my costume. While remaining tasteful, I was able to imply that I was a hot date 😉
Ooh the expectations I had for that night, all very worthy of the French maid. Classy hors d’oeuvres, wines, meaningful conversations….
We drove for an hour away from the city and arrived at some isolated farm. We walked up to a huge barn and opened the door. I have never felt less classy and overdressed at the same time. The barn was filled with people wearing oversized pleaded shirts and overalls (What’s special about that? Isn’t that daily farm dress code?) and one person was even dressed as a giant wiener, if you know what I mean. We sat on tree stumps, ate baked beans and drank beer. Yeah…
Anyhow, Halloween is confusing. All your life parents tell you to never take candy from strangers and then they dress you up and send you off to beg for it. What do you do? You knock on people’s doors and say “trick or treat.” “No, thank you.”
For the skull cheese ball:
4 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoon Mayo
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened at room temperature
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon Pepper
1/3 cup poppy seeds
Crackers for serving
For the ghostly spirits:
1 ¼ cups Whole Milk
1/3 cup Whipping Cream
¼ cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
¾ cup Vodka
2/3 cup White Chocolate Liqueur
Pressurized Whipped Cream
White Chocolate shavings and/or White Chocolate Ghosts (optional)
Combine the Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, garlic and onion powder, Worcestershire, mayo and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during the processing. You can mix it by hand; it just takes a bit longer.
Shape the cheese ball anyway you want. I like the skull shape. If you decide to leave it in a ball shape, place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather the edges of the wrap and pull up, twisting around the cheese to form a ball. Place on a plate and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Remove the plastic wrap. If you‘re not happy with the shape, let it soften slightly at room temperature and then reshape. Refrigerate the ball for 1 hour more before rolling in the poppy seeds. When you cheese mixture is firm, coat with poppy seeds. Transfer to a serving plate and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers.
These Ghostly Spirits from Better Homes and Gardens make a fun addition to a Halloween party spread.
In a small pitcher or glass combine milk, whipping cream, sugar and vanilla. Stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in vodka and liqueur. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.
To serve, for each drink, put ice cubes into a cocktail shaker; add 1/3 to ½ cup of the milk mixture. Cover and shake; pour into glasses. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and/or top with White Chocolate Ghosts.
To make chocolate ghosts:
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Coarsely chop desired amount of white chocolate (about 2 oz.). Place in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high about one minute or just until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds. Place melted chocolate in a small resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Cut a very small piece off one corner of the bag. Pipe small ghost shapes on prepared baking sheet. Add two miniature chocolate chips to each ghost for eyes. Allow to stand until chocolate sets. Peel off waxed paper.
To make egg ghosts:
Hollow out eyes and mouth to form a face on hard-boiled eggs. Cut small pieces of olive to press into these areas if desired.
To make spider deviled eggs, use your favorite deviled egg recipe and top with creepy-crawly spiders made with black olives. Place one olive half, cut side down, in the center of each deviled egg to create the body. Cut another olive half lengthwise into four pieces. Arrange on each side of the “body” to create the spider legs.
To make a haunted forest, use broccoli heads to create trees. Place on a serving platter and cover the surface with shredded cheddar or carrot. Cover broccoli trees with cooked spaghetti to create moss. (Place spaghetti in a small amount of water mixed with a few drops of green food coloring for about five minutes)
Use your imagination to create more creepy creatures with vegetables to add to the platter. Trick or treat, give us something nice to eat!
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of the Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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