Add a little fright to your dinner table with a spooky Halloween centerpiece that’s totally, deliciously edible. If you’re having friends over for a Halloween party, your guests can nibble on this sinister spread of dark plums, grapes, and berries and a creepy-crawly cheese ball that combines blue cheese, dates, and pistachios. I displayed the centerpiece on my favorite mint-green milk glass cake stand. It’s a fun and unexpected color palette for Halloween and proves that the holiday can be spooky and sophisticated.
Once you’ve gathered all the supplies and ingredients, you’ll be able to put this together in just minutes. Read on for the recipe and instructions after the jump…
• Blue Cheese, Date, and Pistachio Cheese Ball (recipe below)
• Baguette or your favorite crackers
• Assorted dark-colored fruit such as grapes, plums, blueberries, blackberries, figs, etc.
• Red cabbage leaves
• One piece of shoestring black licorice
• Pedestal cake stand or platter (I used this Jadeite Milk Glass Cake Stand)
1. Follow the recipe below and make your cheese ball ahead of time. It can be made the day before and stored in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap. When the cheese ball is chilled and firm to touch, place it in the center of the cake stand.
2. To create the edible spider, cut the shoestring licorice into eight 2″ pieces. Place them in the cheese ball, with four pieces on either side of where the spider’s body will go.
3. Choose a large blackberry for the spider’s body and then place a blueberry for it’s head.
4. Wash and dry all the fruit. Evenly distribute the assorted fruit around the cheese ball by working in groups of three: Start with the grapes and place three evenly spaced bunches of them around the cheese ball.
5. Next, add the red cabbage leaves in between the groupings of grapes. This will serve as a liner for the remaining fruit.
6. Cut the plums into wedges and place two or three slices next to the grapes.
7. Use the blackberries and blueberries to fill in any extra space left on the cake stand.
Blue Cheese, Date, and Pistachio Cheese Ball
• 8 oz package of cream cheese
• 1 cup of blue cheese crumbles (a 5 oz tub works well)
• 1/4 dates pitted and finely chopped
• 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
• 1-2 tbsp. half and half or cream
Mix the cream cheese and blue cheese with an electric mixer until it begins to come together. Add 1 tbsp. of cream at a time to the cheese and mix well. You just want it moist enough to mold into a ball, so don’t add the second tbsp. of cream if it’s not needed. Add the dates and pistachios and mix until evenly distributed. With a rubber spatula, scrape all the cheese mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Using the sides of the plastic wrap, shape the cheese into a ball. Twist the the plastic wrap to seal and tuck the ends of the plastic wrap under the cheese ball. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours but you can also make it a day ahead. Serve with fruit, crackers, or your favorite crusty baguette.
This is a kid-friendly recipe as well—the sweetness of the dates helps mellow out the blue cheese’s kick. My kids loved it and they thought it was pretty fun that there was a spider on top of our food. This Halloween, I’ll be making this and munching on it while I hand out candy to all of the trick-or-treaters.
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