Halloween Treats: Spooky Ghost Cheese Ball with Crackers

Monday, October 31, 2011

Looking for some last minute, easy Halloween foods to spruce up today? This is something that can come together in literally minutes and is perfect for munching on while trick or treaters grace your doorstep. You can flavor the ball with any cheese combination you like, but I like simple cream and cheddar cheese. Finely chopped sundried tomatoes add a pop of color and tangy flavor as well. Enjoy!

Spooky Ghost Cheese Ball with crackers
16 oz cream cheese -- preferably at room temperature
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (yellow or white, your favorite brand)
2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
pinch of kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
small pinch of fresh thyme or basil leaves, finely chopped (optional)
about 1/2 cup cold sour cream
3 large black spanish olives
favorite crackers (I like ritz for this)

Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Add the cheddar, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and herbs if using and mix well with a spatula to combine. Having the cream cheese at room temperature isn't necessary, but it makes this mixing process easier. If you're using cold cream cheese, then try using a handheld mixer or standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to make it easier on you.

Once combined well, simply gather up all the cheese spread "stuff" into a ball form or as close you can get to it. Place the cheese ball on the center of a plate or serving platter and using your spatula, smooth out the tops and sides to create a nice shape. Spread the sour cream over the cheese ball and down to the sides, then press the olives in to make 2 eyes and a mouth. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour, preferably 4 to make sure the form is set. This can also be served right away, but if you do that then try to use the cold cream cheese.

Garnish with crackers and serve. I've found a cheese knife helps for easy service.

You can use any combination of herbs you like -- rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, chives, scallions finely chopped -- they all will go great with cream cheese. You can use any cheese combination you like too, but cheddar is always a crowd favorite. If you wanted, you can make a spicier version for the adults with some cayenne pepper or hot sauce added in. This version written above is perfect for kids to help themselves too during Halloween prep and before and after trick-or-treating.

Happy Halloween!!!

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