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Spinach Ricotta Skulls

You'd never guess these tiny green skulls are actually quite wholesome for a Halloween party. They are cut from a baked custard of spinach, basil, and ricotta cheese, then arranged on crisp wafer crackers.A black cardstock "coffin" makes a fitting bed for the skeletal snacks.

  • yield: Makes about 3 dozen

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Ingredients

  • 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

Cook's Note

Be sure spinach is completely dry. Frozen spinach can be substituted for fresh: cook, drain, and press excess moisture from a colander.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    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).

  2. Step 2

    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.

  3. Step 3

    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).

Source
Halloween 2009, 2009

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Reviews (2)

  • Suzie the Foodie 24 Oct, 2011

    I absolutely agree with Joshuabsu. These are delicious but I had the same issue with cutting out the skulls and I had exactly the same cutter too. It was a little too fibrous to cut out the detail of the eyes and nose. I made half moons with a circle cutter quite easily in comparison.

  • Joshuabsu 25 Oct, 2010

    These have a great taste, but the skull is very hard to cut out and have them not tear. I recommend using cutters with less detail. I purchased the exact set that was used for these and the cat, ghost, and bat cutters worked much easier.