Christmas Appetizer Recipes For Parties

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Delicious Christmas Appetizer Recipes

Holiday guests appreciate a little something to eat before the main meal after a long trip. Satisfy their hunger with these tempting Christmas-themed appetizers.

Evergreens and Christmas Colors

These treats bring Christmas colors and evergreen shapes to your table.

Christmas Tree Forest

You'll need:

  • Three pounds of block cheese such as cheddar or Colby jack
  • Small Christmas tree cookie cutters
  • Dried parsley or other dried green herbs
  • Large rectangular crackers.

Slice cheese about ¼ inch thick, and use cookie cutters to cut slices into Christmas tree shapes. Place each Christmas tree on large cracker, sprinkle green herbs, and arrange on a pretty plate.

Ready for Planting Finished Product

Red and Green Mini Puffs

These colorful, warm puffs are made from:

  • 1 pound puff pastry
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1 ounce grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
  • Rosemary garnish.

To make puffs:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Cut pastry in half and roll each half into a 9 inch by 6-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into six three-inch squares.

3. Arrange squares on non-stick baking sheet, with some space between them.

4. Top pastry with tomato slices, mozzarella cheese, diced pepper and grated cheese.

5. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and puffy.

6. Remove from oven, sprinkle with rosemary and serve warm.

Here Comes Santa Claus

What would Christmas be without Santa and his reindeer? Your guests will love these adorable, edible depictions.

Cheese Ball Santa

Start with:

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces Grated Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • ½ tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Red bell pepper
  • 2 cups whipped cream cheese
  • Radish, stuffed green olives, dried apricots, and a cherry tomato
  • Crackers and/or raw vegetables

1. Blend first seven ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2. Transfer mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a ball to form Santa's head.

3. Chill, tightly wrapped for one hour, then unwrap and transfer to serving tray.

4. Cover ball with plastic wrap, flatten, and shape into face.

5. Remove plastic wrap and place red pepper on top for Santa's red hat.

6. Using pastry bag or plastic bag with a corner removed, pipe whipped cream cheese on to create Santa's beard, brows and trim for his hat.

7. Finish Santa's face by using stuffed olive slices for eyes, dried apricots for ears, a cherry tomato nose, and a radish slice for a smiling mouth.

8. Serve with crackers or raw veggies.

Mini Hot Dog Reindeer

You'll need:

  • 24 cocktail franks
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of mustard
  • Colorful curly-top toothpicks
  • Plain wooden toothpicks
  • 2 cups of prepared onion or mustard dip.

To build reindeer:

1. Prepare cocktail franks either by boiling or baking.

2. Insert toothpicks into franks for antlers.

3. Insert plain wooden toothpicks underneath for legs.

4. Pipe on mustard eyes and noses, using plastic bag with a corner cut out.

5. Arrange on a tray around a bowl of dip.

Edible Snowmen

Building a snowman is even more fun when you can eat it afterwards!

Pretzel Snowman

These delicious sweet and salty snowmen will satisfy everybody's cravings. You'll need:

  • 1 bag 8-inch pretzel rods
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • Raisins, mini M&Ms or mini chocolate chips
  • Orange decorators' gel
  • Fruit leather
  • Peanut butter cups.

To build your snowmen:

1. Melt white chocolate chips in the top of double boiler.

2. Carefully dip one end of each pretzel rod into chocolate to cover most of each rod.

3. Arrange pretzels on waxed paper and press raisins or candy into soft white chocolate for eyes and buttons.

4. Create carrot nose with decorators' gel.

5. When chocolate is hardened, stand pretzel rods in a tall glass.

6. Cut fruit leather into strips to form the snowmen's scarves.

7. Cut center from top of each peanut butter cup, turn upside down and stick on top of each pretzel for a hat.

Popcorn Snowmen

Start with:

  • 15 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 10-ounce packages marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Raisins
  • Skittles, M&Ms, Reese's pieces or candy corn
  • Fruit leather
  • Gum Drops
  • Licorice Shoelaces

1. Melt butter over medium-low heat in nonstick saucepan.

2. Add marshmallows, stirring constantly until completely melted.

3. Pour over popcorn in large mixing bowl and stir until popcorn is evenly coated.

4. When mixture is cool enough to handle, form into balls, using about a cup of popcorn per ball.

5. For each snowman, stack three popcorn balls on waxed paper.

6. Create arms with pretzel sticks.

7. To help features stick, mix a stiff icing by adding a few drops of water to confectioners sugar and stirring until blended. Coat snowmen with icing "glue."

8. Use raisins and candies to form features.

9. Stick gumdrops onto either end of a short licorice shoelace to form earmuffs.

10. Cut fruit strips into scarves or kerchiefs.

Easiest Christmas Treats

If you don't have much time to prepare, try these very simple Christmas crowd pleasers.

Herbed Bagel Wreaths

Spread toasted mini bagel halves with cream cheese, colored green with a few drops of food coloring. Decorate wreaths with sprigs of dill, basil, rosemary or parsley. Add tiny vegetable accents.

Cracker "Ornaments"

You probably have most of these ingredients at home:

  • Whipped cream cheese or canned cheese spread
  • Large round crackers
  • Diced colorful red and green veggies.

Spread cheese on crackers, and design a festive mosaic on each using finely diced veggies.

With just a little time and imagination, you'll be serving yummy Christmas appetizers your guests will be talking about next spring.


Last Updated: December 28, 2011
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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