I made you something for Halloween. You can serve it a party. Or maybe make it as a snack for your viewing party of The Walking Dead.
These are both made of soft cheese spread on a plastic skull. Easy. Creepy. Delicious. That is, if you can get people to dig in.
You know that old trick of unwrapping a block of cream cheese and topping it with soy sauce and some sesame seeds? Yum right? I added some food coloring and a life sized plastic skull and called it Halloween worthy.
(This is version #1, a slightly easier version is just below.)
First get a life sized plastic skull (wash it really well), some soy sauce, one 12 ounce tub of cream cheese spread and some food coloring. Tint the cream cheese to a fleshy color, I used about 15 drops of red and 10 drops of yellow here.
I found a plastic skull like this one at a local party supplies store, but I really wish I’d managed to find a plastic skull where the top of the head is removable. Something really frightening could be made with that. Spinach dip brains anybody?
Then add just one drop of blue food coloring and stir only a few times until the blue appears streaky. Less is more here, it will further streak as you spread it. Now, frost your skull like a cake. Start with the tricky bits around the face first. If you can’t hold the crown of the head to stabilize the skull it makes it much more complicated. Try to keep the teeth clean.
A detail of the blue-streaked cream cheese.
I used a small flexible spatula to spread this. There is no need to be tidy here, the messier the grossier. Grosser? Grossest? You know what I mean.
You can also stick a few rectangles of parchment paper surrounding the head so you can be a bit messy while frosting and then pull them out after you are done, a trick I learned about frosting cakes. If you can putting the head on a smaller plate on top of a larger plate will be useful to catch the fake blood, and it will be easy to artfully arrange the crackers. Saltines are the traditional cracker for this but these more artisanal crackers I found looked like creepy bandages and still have that bland and salty taste you want. You can frost your head a few hours early and refrigerate. It’s amusing to sit nearby and observe as unsuspecting people open the fridge.
Cocktail onions create nice dead eyes.
Just before serving mix a bit of soy sauce with some drops of red food coloring and drizzle it over the head so that is streams down. I used a pipette but if you don’t have one handy a small measuring cup with a pour spout or a carefully wielded spoon will work just as well. If you can get the soy sauce to pool around the onion eyes, it looks extra creepy that way. Also sprinkle on some bugs, I mean, toasted sesame seeds.
It’s even scarier after it’s been eaten. Yikes.
This is version #2, it’s slightly less involved. You just need spreadable cheese, cocktail onions and a plastic skull. Let’s face it, just about any pink or orange tinted spreadable cheese will look suitably disgusting.
I used this cheese that has reddish port wine streaks in it. I didn’t manage to capture the reddish colors in these pictures as well as I hoped but I promise it was pretty gross looking.
I’m smitten. What should I name it?
(See also: The Outtakes wherein I attempt to carve a tongue from Spam and am entirely too successful.)