Tis the season for pumpkins, goblins, and everything spooktacular!
I hosted a small Halloween-themed gathering the other night (don't worry, we kept it to less than 10 people). We had a wonderful time carving pumpkins, making Candid Apple Spritzes (check my IG feed @thecandidcork for this delicious cocktail recipe!) and of course, watching Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson capture the Moonstone in Double, Double Toil and Trouble.
But the REAL showstopper of any proper Halloween bash should be the snacks, and this "skinned face" charcuterie board is no exception. It's so hauntingly horrifying, it will have your guests gasping at the mere sight of it. You'd think something so grotesque would be a real hassle to make, but this recipe is easy and fun to make, plus it only calls for a few ingredients, so I thought I would share the recipe (adapted from allreciepes.com) so you can witness the Halloween magic for yourself.
Before you start, you'll need to grab a DIY full face mask (either plastic of biodegradable paper pulp will work) to use as the mold for the prosciutto and cheese dip. You can find these at any craft store, or you can grab this pack of 12 that I used from Amazon (eligible for prime delivery!)
The rest of the ingredients can be purchased from your local grocer:
-2 (3 ounce) packages prosciutto
-2 Pimento stuffed olives for the eyes (you can use the remainder of the jar to garnish your board)
-24 ounces cream cheese (softened)
-6 ounces cheddar cheese
-6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
-1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
-1/4 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
-salt and pepper (to taste)
Since the cheese ball needs to set for at least 30 minutes, plan to start the recipe about an hour and 30 minutes before you'd like to serve it. Begin by lightly spraying the inside of your mask with cooking spray, then line the inside of the mask with plastic wrap. Be sure to press the plastic into the groves and holes of the mask.
Set aside 2 slices of prosciutto for finishing touches at the end. Now time for the fun part! Use the remaining slices and lay them into the mask to form the face. Be sure the press the prosciutto into the nose and lips so your final form is recognizable. Leave the eye holes open (we will be filling them in a later step.) You may need to cut or tear your prosciutto into narrow slices for the tighter areas, like between and around the eyes. When you're done with this step, the inside of your mask should look something like this:
Next, place two olives (pimento side down) into the open eye holes, as pictured here:
Now, you can set your mask aside while we mix up our cheese spread. Alternatively, you can use your favorite dip recipe to fill in the face.
Add 24 ounces softened cream cheese, 6 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese, 6 ounces of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup pitted and chopped green olives, 1/4 cup chopped and drained roasted red peppers, and salt and pepper to taste into a mixing bowl.
Use either clean hands or an electric mixer to thoroughly combine.
Next, place a heaping spoonful of the mixture into each of the eye holes and gently press the mixture around the pimento olives (I mean, the eyeballs!) I found that an ice cream scoop works well for this step. Don't worry about the olives moving around during this process; we will be able to straighten the eyes out at the very end.
Next, use your spoon or ice cream scoop to fill in the rest of the mask with the remaining cheese mixture. Be sure not to move the prosciutto slices during this process.
Lastly, gently press the cheese into the mask to ensure the mixture is even and filling in all the cracks and crevices. Then, let chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes.
When you're ready to begin assembling your charcuterie board, remove your mask from the fridge and gently invert it (mask side up) on your serving platter:
Then, slowly remove the mask and plastic wrap. If your eyeballs are crooked, gently adjust them to your liking. Voila! You should now have a gory looking skinned face made of delicious meat and creamy cheese:
If the bottom edges of your mask are messy, you can use the 2 slices of prosciutto we set aside at the beginning to conceal any areas that need to be touched up. Then, fill in your charcuterie board with fixings of your choice. I used grapes, an assortment of crackers, dried cranberries, candied pecans, baked baguette, dark chocolate covered peanuts, apple slices, and cranberry cheddar cheese.
Don't forget to serve your face with a knife! Being a Minnesotan, nobody wants to be the first one to destroy the face. After all, it does appear to be a work of art that took hours and hours to create! If this is the case, let all of your guests get a photo (they always seem to want one) then slice into it yourself. Once you do, everyone else will follow suit and before you know it, the skinless face will be devoured.
Here's another helpful Halloween party hack: if you will be carving pumpkins, grab a few disposable drop cloths from your local hardware store, or snag this pack of three from Amazon. Spread them out on the ground either in front of the TV (if you will be indulging in Halloween movies), or wherever you plan to do your carving. Sitting on the ground is actually a great way to carve pumpkins and the disposable drop cloth will make clean up a snap. Be sure to set out some grocery bags for all the pumpkin guts, too! Templates, tape, plastic wrap, markers, pencils, paper towels, carving and scooping tools, and wine are also essentials for hosting a carving party.
Once everyone has completed their carvings, light each one with a tea candle, then turn off all the lights for the "big reveal".
Cheers, Corkers! Enjoy your ghoulish gatherings and Happy Halloween! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @thecandidcork for more hosting tips and tricks, and join my email list on my homepage to be notified when new blog posts and giveaways are available!
Oh! In case you wanted to see all of our completed works of art:
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