Appetizer recipes are always fun to create in the Test Kitchen, and we always have plenty of willing tasters when we make them. Over time, we seem to have favorites that we personally go back to when we entertain. We selected some of our favorite recipes to help you with your New Year’s entertaining.
Easy and yet elegant – Cindy
I like to have recipes ready during the holidays for spur-of-the-moment entertaining. Raspberry Brie with Caramelized Pecans is that perfect recipe. The ingredients are relatively straight-forward: a round wheel of Brie cheese, raspberry jam, a jalapeno pepper and some pecans. When I serve this appetizer with crackers, it is amazing! Besides its visual appeal, the flavors of the Brie pair well with the sweetness of the jam and the slight heat of the jalapenos.
Try changing up this appetizer for variety – Amber
One of my favorite appetizers to bring to a party is the Pull-Apart Party Loaf. It looks impressive and tastes even better – who doesn’t like cheese, bacon and a little spice? I’ve also tried mixing up the toppings to keep it interesting. You can only show up with the exact same appetizer so many times before your friends are ready for something new. For example, I made a Southwest version with black beans, extra jalapenos, tomatoes and a little taco seasoning instead of ranch powder. It was a great vegetarian option with tons of flavor. To serve this masterpiece, I recommend using two forks so that you can dig down into the bread to avoid losing any of the savory toppings. Whether you make the original or a variation, this appetizer will definitely be a crowd-pleaser!
Cranberries – a seasonal favorite – Samantha
Fresh cranberries are one of my favorite fall and winter seasonal berries. Whether it’s fresh cranberry sauce, or candied cranberries dropped into cocktails, I love using them throughout the holidays. They are wonderful in savory recipes, too! Dips are usually my “go-to” when I have to bring something to a party. They are simple to make and always a crowd-pleaser. For a New Year’s Eve party, Baked Cranberry Jalapeno Dip is the most delicious combination of creamy, “melty” cheese and tart cranberries, with a little heat from the jalapenos. It’s perfect when served with pita chips or crackers. A double batch might be in order!
A make-ahead appetizer – Kim
Appetizers can be a challenge during the holidays! Time is limited and expectations are at their highest. This recipe for Red Pepper Asiago Gougere Bites meets all my criteria for a great New Year’s appetizer. First of all, they taste amazing. I haven’t met a person who doesn’t come back for a second (or third). Next, they can be made ahead, a must when holiday gatherings come back-to-back. Lastly, they are customizable. I once substituted olives and rosemary, and they were “melt-in-your-mouth” good.
Crostini – this season’s special appetizer - Mallory
Let’s face it…with an almost 2-year-old in the house, we don’t usually make it to midnight on New Year’s Eve. In fact, I’m lucky if I make it to 10:00 p.m. But I still like to celebrate! My latest appetizer obsession is Balsamic Glazed Onion Crostini. It has all of my favorite elements – caramelized onions, balsamic glaze, and blue cheese. Oh, and bread. How could I forget the bread? Honestly, I could make an entire platter and eat them myself. My husband and son will both eat this, too, which is a win-win in my book. I never would have thought a toddler could love blue cheese so much! So, even if it’s just the three of us celebrating, this will be on the menu on New Year’s Eve – no matter what.
Let us know which appetizers are your favorites. Happy New Year!