I've been meaning to dress up like Norma Desmond from Sunset Blvd. for years and the Haunted Dinner was the perfect opportunity. I didn't want to buy much to pull off the look and so I went with the outfit she's wearing in the first scene in which she appears. She wrongly assumes that Joe Gillis is here to bury her dead monkey. She thinks the monkey should be buried in a pink lined-coffin. It's creepy right from the start! Here's Norma:
And here's what I came up with:
I think it worked out really well and I would definitely dress up like this again. I wore a long black silk skirt and a black wrap sweater. I piled on all the gold bracelets I could find and wouldn't ya know that I already had a turban. All I had to buy was a piece of animal print fabric ($1.50 at Joanne's) and some nifty sunglasses ($4.99 at Five Below).
For the Haunted Dinner I wanted to make a really over-the-top indulgent desert- something with candy. I went for what Betty Crocker called a Trick or Treat Cheesecake. I'm not really into cheesecake but this felt right and lemme tell you that it also tasted right!
It's essentially a regular cheesecake with a chocolate wafer crust, but you dump in about 20 fun size candy bars and they settle at the bottom of the crust, making this a really decadent desert. I went with Butterfingers, Snickers & 100 Grand bars. It was awesome.
I'm not sure I had ever used a Betty Crocker recipe before, mostly because it's not really my style, but this one had a great tip: When you preheat your oven place a cookie sheet half filled with water on the lower rack. I really didn't understand it at first and thought that maybe I'd be submerging the cheesecake into the water later, but what it did was provide a great place for cheesecake drippings to fall with making a mess or burning. It might also have helped keep the oven moist so the top of the cheesecake wouldn't crack.
Trick or Treat Cheesecake
Adapted from Betty Crocker
- 1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies (about 25 cookies)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 20 bars (fun-size) candy, unwrapped, cut into quarters (about 2 cups)
In medium bowl, mix cookie crumbs, sugar and butter. Press into the pan. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until combined. Stir in vanilla and candy. Pour into crust.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until edge of cheesecake is set at least 2 inches from edge. The center should still jiggle slightly! Turn oven off; open door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes. To loosen cheescake, run a knife or metal spatula around the edge of pan. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
You really only need a small slice. I promise.