Thank you VERY much to who told me about “Emeril’s Halloween Recipe Challenge” on Thursday night! We’ll see if Emeril’s team likes my Eerie Eyeballs recipe with my “anecdotes and other Halloween traditions,” but I have a feeling he wouldn’t make them on the show because the decorating takes too much work..but we’ll see! Wish me luck! 🙂
My Food Network “Emeril’s Halloween Recipe Challenge” Entry:
My Eerie Eyeballs are my annual Halloween party pride and joy ever since I had the idea around 1996. I wanted to make realistic but tasty eyeballs, so I thought of making eyeballs somehow out of gelatin. My mother had a layered gelatin dessert recipe that included a layer with cream cheese, marshmallow and pineapple juice, so that was adapted for my eyeballs. Some party guests are braver than others, since the texture is so realistic, when they try to pick up an eyeball off the platter and it squishes, they often are too disgusted to continue eating! However, if they do, they agree they love the pineapple cheesecake flavor. This recipe has been posted on my Halloween Recipes page on my personal website Britta Blvd since 1997. My Halloween parties have become more and more elaborate over the past decade, and are documented with photos on my website. Not only do I host a costume contest in “spooky elegant” decor complete with fake stone walls, but I have a delicious Spooky Spread every year, including a bleeding Haunted Human Heart, savory brain spread, edible spiders, merangue bones, witch finger cookies, Decayed Corpse Chips with Entrail Salsa, and of course the Eerie Eyeballs. If you search for “Halloween party food” on Google, my Halloween Recipes page is the top link!
3 oz lemon gelatin (can be sugar-free)
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup pineapple juice
8 oz cream cheese (can be lowfat/Neufchatel)
1 cup mayonnaise (can be fat-free)
Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 cup water in double boiler, add marshmallows and stir to melt. Remove from heat. Add pineapple juice and cream cheese. Beat until well blended. Cool slightly. Fold in mayo. If you have a truffle candy mold or round ice cube trays, pour the mixture in the molds and leave to set in the fridge. Otherwise pour into a deep ceramic dish and chill until thickened or firm enough for scooping into eyeballs. Using a melonballer, scoop full balls of the mixture and set aside for decoration. To decorate, use liquid food coloring and an old detail paintbrush and get creative. You will need black food coloring for the pupils. Also, if you are in a hurry, instead of painting the colored irises, you can carefully dip the ball in a small pool of food coloring to approximate the iris, but still paint on the pupils.
For 1999, I found rubber ice cube trays that worked beautifully with much less waste than the melonballer technique. I sprayed the rubber trays with non-stick cooking spray beforehand like you would any gelatin mold, let the gelatin mixture sit in the refrigerator to set, then I was able to carefully pop the eyeballs out to paint them. Some of the eyeballs did break, and they do have one flat side, but that actually works, since then they don’t roll around while you are trying to paint them. Since 2001 I have found that Wilton truffle candy molds are even better, since the swirl design on the top is the right size for the cornea shape on the eyeball. When using the truffle molds, one recipe makes about 9 dozen eyeballs – plenty for a party crowd!
Thanks and Happy Haunting from Britta, Webmistress of the Dark