Halloween is such a fun holiday because you can really use your imagination for every aspect of it! I especially love making cool Halloween party snacks, like my creepy Halloween punch or Jo’s Halloween monster marshmallow treats.
Some new friends of ours over at the California Olive Committee recently challenged us to create a new Halloween treat that featured black olives. It was such an intriguing challenge and I love olives so much that I just had to immediately agree! They sent me a couple cans of gorgeous black olives along with some fun decorative items and then I put my brain to work to see what I could come up with. Hmm, what to do… what to do…
I thought about it long and hard and Jo and I went through a few ideas before finally nailing down the perfect Halloween olive snack — an edible dip graveyard, complete with haunted house! I’m so pleased with the outcome, and it’s pretty easy to make, too.
The first step to setting the scene was to get a big, round platter and add a long chunk of cheese to it, which would serve as the base for the haunted house. It may look like a stick of butter, but it’s actually a block of Monterrey Jack cheese. I used a wooden skewer to poke some holes down one side of the cheese, then I set it on the platter, towards the back.
Next, I stuck a few black coffee stirrers into the cheese. It turns out I added more than necessary, and I ended up removing every other one later. You’ll need to space them out depending on the size of your olives.
Then I mixed up a batch of my family’s favorite Mexican dip (2 blocks of softened cream cheese, 1 cup of sour cream, and taco seasoning mix to taste) and added it to the plate.
I smoothed the dip out as best I could with an offset spatula, making sure to cover the block of cheese completely.
Then it was time to add the olives, and I started by building the haunted house. I strung the olives onto the coffee stirrers on the back, pausing in the middle to add two rectangles of cheese that would serve as windows.
I continued adding olives, forming a peak at the top, until I had myself a nice spooky house! A quick snip with some scissors took care of the extra coffee stirrers that were sticking up.
Next up was the cobblestone walkway that I wanted to have curving through my graveyard. To make the stones, I cut some olives in half and then trimmed the halves into little rectangles.
I then put the olive cobblestones on the dip, side by side, to create the walkway. I made the path wider at the front and narrower at the back in order to give it a sense of perspective. I love it!
Next up were some tombstones, which I made out of oval Townhouse crackers and rectangular Club crackers. I mixed some black food coloring in with some softened cream cheese and “frosted” the crackers with it.
I stuck the crackers into the dip and then used a toothpick dipped in the food coloring to add a few decorations.
My dip graveyard was coming right along!
I wanted to cover up that dip with something, though, so I grabbed some corn tortillas and cut them into super-thin strips. Then I dropped them into some hot oil for a minute or two to fry them up nice and crunchy.
After they cooled, I crumbled the strips up with my fingers and sprinkled them around until the dip was completely covered.
I absolutely love how this project came out. I served it at a party last weekend with more crackers and tortilla chips on the side, and everyone loved how it looked and how it tasted. The olives added such a sharp touch to the scene, with their smooth and shiny appearance. This would be a great addition to any Halloween-themed party or gathering.