Spinach Ricotta Skulls
You'd never guess these tiny skulls are actually quite wholesome for a Halloween party. They're cut from a baked custard of spinach, basil, and ricotta cheese, then arranged on crackers. A black cardstock "coffin" makes a fitting bed for the skeletal snacks.
- Yield: Makes about 3 dozen
Source: Halloween 2009
- 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
- Olive-oil, cooking spray
- 1 bunch fresh spinach (or a 10-ounce bag), stems removed, washed well and dried
- 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves (from 1 bunch)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 large whole eggs, plus 1 egg white
- Crackers, for serving
Wrap ricotta tightly in cheesecloth; place in a colander over a large bowl. Place a heavy object (such as a bowl or canned good) on top; let drain in the refrigerator at least 3 hours (or up to overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. In a food processor, combine drained ricotta, spinach, basil, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add whole eggs and egg white; process for 5 seconds. Pour mixture into prepared pan; bake until set and just brown around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate, covered, until cold, preferably overnight. To unmold, run a paring knife around edge before removing side of pan.
Cut into quarters. Using a wide spatula, transfer to a cutting board coated with cooking spray. Cut out shapes with a skull-shaped cookie cutter coated with spray (if cutter doesn't come with eyes and a mouth, use aspic cutters to make features). Using a cotton swab, gently press skulls out directly onto crackers (leave eye and nose shapes in cutter).