In my family the holidays always kicked off with the annual family Christmas party. In addition to quite a bit of cleaning, the week leading up to the party was spent baking. Luckily, New Hampshire is cold enough in December that we could use our screen porch as a walk in freezer and I still remember looking around in awe at the plates upon plates of appetizers, cookies, and cakes that accumulated as the day grew closer. My siblings and I would brave the cold to sneak cookies off the porch all week long and you could always count on a volunteer to take newly baked goods out to the “freezer” – it was probably the most helpful we were all week.
My first solo baking assignment were the sugar cookies when I hit my teenage years. I cut out over one hundred trees, and stars, and bells, mixed together bowls of red, yellow, and green frosting, and only snuck half a dozen cookies or so 😉 One year I burned half the cookies and had to spend another three hours mixing, cutting, and baking. But when it comes to baked goods, I’m a bit of a perfectionist.
I haven’t attempted Christmas parties on the same scale as my mother since living on my own (I couldn’t host two hundred people in one night even if I wanted to!), but I love the tradtion of gathering with friends and family over great food to start the holiday season.
And now, as much as I love a good cookie to end an evening, I’ve discovered the power of a really great appetizer to start the evening off. Whether it’s a big-scale fancy ge-together or an intimate, more casual gathering, having something ready and warm when guests arrive is a nice touch.
If you’re having a sit down meal, the appetizers do not need to be elaborate, just something for guests to snack on when they arrive. Another option is going with a party where appetizers and desserts are the full menu. That way you don’t have to worry about place settings or catering to everyone’s different palettes – they can just eat what they want without feeling rude! This is how we’ll be doing our Christmas party this year and I’m excited for the excuse to come up with a few more appetizer options.
Pie crusts are my GO-TO for easy appetizers that look a lot more sophisticated than they are. I picked up a pack at Sam’s Club so we’re set for the holidays and I’ll keep you posted on how the other combos come out. I also grabbed big things of flour and butter, basically everything you need for the holidays, right?
But back to the pie crusts. Today I’m sharing a sweet and savory pie crust idea but the options are endless. And have I mentioned how easy these are? So, so easy.
My only word of caution is to serve them warm. And if you need to reheat them, use the oven and not the microwave. You can prep the whole recipe before a party and keep the cookie dish with the appetizers in the fridge. Then, right before guests arrive, pop them in the oven and not only will you have hot, flaky, delicious stuffed pastries, your house will smell fantastic.
Give them a try and let me know what you think!
Some other ideas I’m dying to try:
- Basil pesto (with or without shredded chicken)
- Crumbled italian sausage and mozzerela
- Cinnamon + sugar
- Pumpkin pie filling with simple glaze
- Chocolate chips + mini marshmallows (the marshmallows would melt … and be delicious ;))
What You’ll Need:
- Nutella + Almond Slivers + Chopped pecans (I couldn’t find hazelnuts but you could sub chopped hazelnuts for the pecans if you’d like!)
- Tomato Sauce + Goat Cheese + Parmesan Cheese
What You’ll Do:
- Unroll pie crust on a cutting board.
- Cover in pizza sauce or nutella.
- Sprinkle with toppings (either cheese or nuts).
- Using a pizza cutter, or knife, cut the pie crust in half. Cut each half in half, dividing the crust into four quarters. Cut each quarter into 2-4 triangles (see picture).
- Starting from the short base of each triangle, roll up each piece and place on greased cookie sheet.
- Brush with milk and press in cheese or nut pieces.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until top and edges start to turn golden brown.
Pin it for your next party:
Thanks to Sam’s Club for sponsoring this post! #MakeTheHolidayYours