Jack Skellington Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

“This is Halloween, this is Halloween, Halloween Halloween…!” This is my favorite holiday of the year, it’s so much fun I can’t stand it. Horror movies, haunted houses, costumes, candy, what can be better!? Since Halloween is only a few days away, here is a super easy and delightfully creepy recipe for a cheese ball that you can conveniently serve at your party or bring to a potluck. Everyone will recognize the charming face on it… =P

-Mel

Health tips: Cheat meal!

Ingredients (24 servings)

  • Two 8 oz. packages (16 oz. total) of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 container of whipped cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (You’ll need two 8 oz. packages)
  • 1 small packet (0.4 oz.) Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Recipe DRESSING mix; located in the salad dressing aisle (IMPORTANT: Do not buy the dip mix in the chips aisle, this is too salty.)
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  • 1/2 cup bacon crumbles, to taste (TIP: You can fry up fresh uncooked bacon, heat up pre-cooked bacon (less salt) or buy Real Bacon Bits in the salad dressing aisle.)
  • 3-4 green onions (green part only) or a whole bunch of chives, thinly sliced, to taste
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • A few dashes of hot sauce, to taste
  • Optional: Toasted slivered almonds or chopped pecans
  • Black olives, drained and dried
  • Crackers (I recommend Ritz crackers or something similar because they are buttery and not salty.)

Steps

  1. Leave the cream cheese out at room temperature until soft enough to handle.
  2. Mix two 8 oz. cream cheese and ranch mix in a medium bowl. Ranch mix is strong so start with half the packet (0.2 oz.) and add the rest to taste.
  3. Mix in cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, chives or onion, Worcestershire and hot sauce (and nuts, if desired) until thoroughly combined. It may seem like a lot of cheddar cheese, but it really melds in there well once it’s all combined. It will look like a loaded baked potato! =)
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  5. Form into a ball shape using plastic wrap. It’s ok to leave the bottom flat since you’ll be serving that way.
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  7. Cool in the fridge for a few hours or overnight (Overnight is better so flavors can marry.) until it’s firm.
  8. A few hours before you serve, leave the whipped cream cheese out at room temperature until softened enough to spread easily.
  9. Take the firm cheese ball out of the fridge, and thinly spread the whipped cream cheese around until all white and smooth. You can create pretty little waves if you want, but Jack has a pretty smooth head, so to keep with the theme, I tried to make as smooth as possible.
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  11. Cut up some black olives and form Jack’s face on top of the cheese ball. (The eyes were the toughest, just try to form upside-down half circles for the mad eyes look.)
  12. Serve with crackers and enjoy!
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