6 Steps to Your Perfect Halloween Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards are the perfect way to combine sweet and savory flavors for a special fall treat. They also make a great dinner substitute, where family members can snack and pick while you decorate Halloween cookies or carve pumpkins.
A Halloween-themed charcuterie board would also make a great dinner for Halloween night, when you're watching scary movies or having a candy scavenger hunt as a family.
Get the whole family ready for pumpkin season with this fun snack tray. We've prepared this list of everything you'll need to make the perfect autumn charcuterie board at home.
1. Choose your board
Be inspired by the boards and platters you have on hand. Got a wooden cutting board? Great, use it. If you don't have one, a few alternatives are a cookie sheet, an extra-large plate, or any piece of wood or tile you might have. Just be sure to cover any non-food surfaces with parchment paper before assembling your board.
2. Choose some vessels
To get a beautiful look for your board, it's important to add add vessels or bowls with different heights, shapes, and sizes. Since our board is a rectangle we're adding in some small round vessels of various sizes to give our board a well-balanced look. Got some of those cute ceramic pumpkins? Grab them, too!
3. Choose your ingredients
This is where you get to exercise your most creativity. The best charcuterie board will have a mix of sweet and savory, but you can decide the ratio that's right for your family or gathering. Keep in mind everyone has different tastes, so offering a well-curated variety is important.
A trick that works well when choosing your savory options is to select one of each:
- 1 hard cheese (like Cheddar)
- 1 soft cheese (blue cheese or goat cheese works well)
- 1 cured meat (prosciutto, lox, salami)
- 1 sleeve of crackers (sturdy ones work best)
- 1 pickled veggie (green or black olives, pickles, pickled okra)
Don't forget your favorite cheese knives and toothpicks.
It's Halloween after all, so candy is expected — even required. You can be playful and display pumpkin-shaped mallowcremes or candy corns, or if you prefer your candy a little more serious, break up dark chocolate bars into chunks and sprinkle a few truffles on the board.
Fruit: Both fresh & dried can work well. It's always fun to have a sweet cracker to go with a sweet dip. We're doing graham crackers in this spread, but cookies work well, too.
But your creativity doesn't have to stop there! You can choose dips by color to suit the mood, like the orange of pimento cheese for a savory dip and the brown of a chocolate-caramel dip, both of which would work beautifully for a Halloween board. And you can always get crafty with a little food coloring.
Now that we have our board, our vessels, and our ingredients, we're ready to brainstorm where items will go.
When you're ready to design, keep these designs in mind:
4. Build your base
Your bowls and fillings will go down first. These are the pillars around which the rest of the board is built.
5. Place meat and cheeses
Next, we'll add the savory items. On this board, we grouped our savory items together, which works well for a candy-heavy board. (Nobody wants their prosciutto touching their candy bars, right?)
6. Fill in with candies and sweets
Next, starting at the top right we'll add stacks of white chocolate, a pile of graham crackers, a row of yogurt-covered pretzels, then a curve of crackers. We continue with piles of candy and nuts. You'll notice we're using the pretzels and crackers to create a border that the piles can fit into snuggly.
Use this board as a template if you're making your first meat-and-cheese display. Simple is always better, so keep the basic patterns we use and replace them with your own ingredients. The options are endless, and the more boards you make, the easier it gets.
Once you start making charcuterie boards, you'll want to make them all the time. Come up with your own themes for family movie nights or just a weeknight dinner. This board is great for a movie night, a cool fall evening on the back porch, or cozying up in your favorite fuzzy socks.
Before you display the board, take a look at it from overhead and several angles. Fill in any empty spots with extra crackers or candy. Then, enjoy your Halloween charcuterie board, and watch everyone marvel at your creativity.
This story originally appeared on allrecipes.com