At your next party, include an array of little tastes that offer new and intriguing flavors.
At your next party, include an array of little tastes that offer new and intriguing flavors. Set out a varied selection of miniature morsels along with a festive cheese and charcuterie tray.
Complement your party nibbles with sprightly alcohol-free sippers. For each serving, fill a glass half full with ice and chilled fruit nectar. Slowly fill the glass with chilled sparkling white grape juice. Add a festive sprig, a wedge of fruit and serve immediately.
Select quality meats and cheeses to pair with homemade holiday crackers or savory paleo crackers. Choose cheeses from four basic categories: aged (extra-sharp cheddar and smoked gouda), soft (brie and mascarpone), firm (Parmigiano-Reggiano) and blue (gorgonzola and stilton). Include cheeses made from assorted types of milk (cow, goat or sheep) and ones that vary in sharpness and countries of origin.
Crackers & bites
Create something exceptional with homemade crackers as a base. Each of our eleven recipes uses just a handful of ingredients.
Prosciutto and cheddar bites
Stuffed tomato bites
Dyed deviled eggs
Shrimp cocktail bites
Candy Cane Cookies
As cute as they are tasty, these treats will be the star of the Christmas party.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp almond extract or ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Red food coloring
- In a bowl combine flour and salt; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, egg and extracts. Beat until light and creamy. Beat in flour mixture until combined. Divide dough in half. Add enough red food coloring to one portion to reach desired color; knead to evenly distribute color. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. For each candy cane, shape 1 rounded teaspoon dough of each color into a 5-inch rope on a floured surface. Place one red and one white rope side by side; press together lightly, and twist. Place on prepared cookie sheet; curve twisted dough to form a candy cane shape. Place candy cane shapes 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Chill shaped dough on cookie sheets for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until set and very light brown. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
Mini Key Lime Tarts
Citrus, always a welcome flavor around the holidays, is the main attraction of these irresistible bite-size tarts.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup key lime juice
- Lime zest, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Spray twenty-four 1¾-inch muffin cups with nonstick spray; set aside.
- Melt butter. Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar; toss to mix well. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups; press evenly onto bottoms and sides. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack.
- In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice. Spoon filling into baked crusts. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until set. Cool in muffin cups on wire rack. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before removing from muffin cups. Garnish with lime zest, if desired.
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