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4 Hors D'oeuvre Recipes Perfect for the Holidays

Published:
December 20, 2023
December 11, 2023
Check out these four recipes for holiday appetizers that are sure to stand out at your next seasonal gathering.

You’ve been assigned the task of bringing an hors-d’oeuvre to the annual holiday party this year.  It’s the dress rehearsal for the main meal, the opening act before the big show, and some may argue it is the best part of the night. And yes, you could totally bring a bag of carrots and some dip, but an appetizer fit for a seasonal event deserves so much more. Quite literally, the French word hors d’oeuvre means “outside the work,” and it's a term that means this dish can stand on its own. And coming from a self-appointed appetizer aficionado, a great hors d’oeuvre spread can certainly stand on its own, maybe even overshadowing the other food acts to follow. I guess we can say je veux des pigs in a blanket? 

Upping the food ante doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen with a difficult recipe — a delicious appetizer can easily look as good as it tastes. From a baked brie to a dynamic charcuterie board, we’ve got some of the best appetizer recipes to bring to all your festive events this season.  

Baked Brie

Brie is a cheese that can do no wrong, especially when it is paired with brown sugar and maple syrup. The delicate balance of salty and sweet makes for an incredible appetizer that is sure to impress. Two Peas and their Pod offers a simple, yet flavorful recipe that will make your job of assigned appetizer agent an easy one. 

For this recipe, you will need: 

Puff pastry: This can be found in the freezer aisle; you will need one sheet for the recipe but can save the other sheet in the freezer for a later date. 

Brie cheese: This recipe requires an 8 ounce round of brie cheese. 

Pecans: This addition will add a nuttiness to the cheese. 

Butter: Salted or unsalted butter will be needed for sauteing the pecans. 

Brown sugar, cinnamon, and pure maple syrup will add sweetness to this appetizer.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 8 ounce round of brie cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • ½ cup of roughly chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Crackers or apple slices for serving

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the thawed puff pastry on the baking sheet with the parchment paper (it is important to check how long it will take to thaw the frozen pastry, usually the package instructions will indicate.)
  2. Using a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the pecans and cinnamon, heating until fragrant. Make sure to stir every two to three minutes to keep from burning. Once cooked, immediately pour the pecans into a separate small bowl and add the brown sugar, mixing until combined. 
  3. Next place your round of brie in the middle of the puff pastry. The rind does not need to be cut off since it is edible. Pour maple syrup over the top of the brie and sprinkle with the toasted pecans and brown sugar mixture. Press gently to ensure the toppings remain in place. 
  4. Then, fold one edge of the puff pastry dough over the brie. Brush the top with egg wash. Continue to follow the same pattern by folding the remaining edges until the brie is covered in puff pastry. Make sure the dough is tightly sealed and brush the top and sides with egg wash. 
  5. Bake the brie for 20 to 30 minutes or until the pastry is a golden brown. Remove the brie from the oven and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
  6. Lastly, place the brie on a tray and serve warm with crackers or apples!
Charcuterie Board

We’ve all experienced a great charcuterie board, the combination of meat, cheese, fruit, and crackers makes for a perfect snacking experience. And for those of us who lack an interest in making an hors d'oeuvre, the charcuterie board is an easy way to bring a dish to share — no cooking required. According to the Food Network, “The key to a good charcuterie board is doing what you want. Choose all your favorite ingredients and whatever you think your guests will love. There are no wrong answers.” However, if you need slight guidance on creating a dynamic board, the Food Network offers advice on how to pick the right meat, cheeses, and extras for your board. 

The best meats for your charcuterie board: 

  • Dry-cured pork: ham, prosciutto, capicola, and salami

The best cheeses for your charcuterie board: 

  • Soft Cheeses: brie, camembert, burrata, goat cheese, and soft ricotta
  • Semi-Soft Cheeses: roquefort, havarti, and muenster
  • Firm: cheddar, gouda, or jarlserg
  • Hard: parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino-romano, and asiago. 

The best bites for your charcuterie board: 

  • Bread: baguette or flatbreads, crostini, or toasted pita 
  • Crackers: saltines, cheese straws, or seed crackers
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, radishes, and celery

The best extras for your charcuterie board: 

  • Nuts: candied nuts, almonds, or toasted pecans
  • Fruit: apples, grapes, pears, dried apricots, or cherries
  • Spreads: mustard, fig jam, honey, and pepper jelly
  • Pickled or Brined: olives, marinated artichokes, or pickles

How to assemble: 

Divide your board into quadrants and start by placing some of the meat in each quadrant. Next, place the cheeses and then the jams or spreads. Lastly, scatter the nuts, dried fruit, and other extras in any spots that need to be filled. If there is room on the board, you can add the crackers or you can place them on a separate plate. 

Whipped Goat Cheese Dip

Pass on the chip dip this season and try creating a whipped goat cheese dip, an underrated but incredibly delicious appetizer. What Molly Made offers a simple recipe that combines goat cheese, honey, and herbs in a blender to create a smooth dip that will elevate any holiday party. 

For this recipe, you will need: 

Goat cheese: Goat cheese (also called chevre) comes in the shape of a log or a 4 or 10 ounce container. A grocery brand goat cheese, like Trader Joe’s, will work well for this recipe. 

Cream cheese: This addition to the dip adds creaminess and a bit of sharpness as well. 

Honey: The flavor of honey in contrast to the goat cheese makes for an ideal pairing. 

Lemon juice and zest: The acid of a lemon will balance out the sweetness of the honey.

Olive oil: This will help to thin out the whipped goat cheese.

Herbs: Rosemary and thyme add extra freshness and flavor to the dip as well.

Ingredients:

  • 10.5 ounces of fresh goat cheese
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ lemon juice and zest
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of honey and more for drizzling 

Directions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender. 
  2. Blend on high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You can thin out the consistency of the dip with a small amount of milk or heavy cream, if needed. 
  3. Put the whipped goat cheese dip in a serving bowl and drizzle honey on top. This dip is best served with bread, pita, pretzels, or even vegetables. 
Pigs in a Blanket Wreath

A tried and true appetizer, pigs in a blanket is a must-have dish to pass. Although traditionally boxed, frozen, and baked in the oven, the recipe from Dish recreates this beloved hors d'oeuvre in a fancier and holiday-esque way. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube refigerated crescent rolls
  • 24 mini hot dogs
  • ¼ cup dijon mustard
  • Egg wash (to help the crescent rolls become a nice, golden brown)
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional, for decoration)
  • Ketchup, ranch dressing, or extra mustard for serving

Pro tip: you can make this recipe ahead of time, just cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate no longer than 24 hours.

Directions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the crescent rolls lengthwise into thirds. 
  2. Brush the crescent rolls all over with the dijon mustard. Then place a mini hot dog on the thicker end of each triangle and roll up. 
  3. Next, arrange the pigs in the blanket in a circle, side by side, on the baking sheet (they should be touching). 
  4. Then, brush the crescent rolls with the egg wash. Add the salt and poppy seeds last. 
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the crescents become golden. Let the pigs cool for at least 20 minutes. 
  6. Decorate the “wreath” with rosemary sprigs and place a small bowl of ketchup in the center of the appetizer. 

Remember: it’s not what you bring to the table, it’s who you bring to the table. And a gathering of friends, family, and loved ones during the holidays is very much the best part of the season. Having a great appetizer to pass is an added bonus to an already full plate. Whether you are bringing a board full of your favorite cheeses, a whipped goat cheese dip, or a bag of carrots, the holidays are a time to break bread and enjoy a table full of love.

Creators:
Lauren Lawson
Published:
December 20, 2023
December 11, 2023
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