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Recipes for an Appetizer Party

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Ring in the New Year with a Festive Appetizer Party

appetizers

The holidays are the time of year to host fun and festive parties.  Appetizers are an easy way to host a holiday get-together, here are a few tasty appetizer recipes.

 

Mini Quiche

These tiny quiches are a great and flavorful bite-sized appetizer. You can experiment with different filling combinations, making exciting little appetizer options for your party guests.

Pie Dough:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 cup water

Blend the four and butter, with a food processor, pastry blender or even by hand, until it has the texture of course meal. Add the water slowly, while using the food processor or mixing with a spoon. You may not need the whole quantity of water, add part of the water at a time, blend until the flour and butter begins to adhere, but does not form a single mass without being pressed together. Be careful not to over blend or your pie dough will be tough instead of flaky. Chill the dough for approximately 30 minutes.

When the dough is firm and chilled, roll out on a lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Roll out the dough, then cut out small circles, which will be pressed into a mini tart or muffin pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Filling:
1 egg
3/4 cup heavy cream
Assorted filling items, such as bacon, ham, onion, leek, broccoli, asparagus, basil, zucchini, cheddar cheese, gruyere, swiss, pepper-jack cheese

Lightly beat the egg and stir in the cream. Prepare any items to be placed in the quiches. If you would like to include bacon, onion, broccoli, asparagus or other vegetables, it is important to precook any items. When the filling items are cook and diced into small pieces. Place the filling ingredients in the bottom of the mini-quiches, be sure not to overfill the small quiches, but don't under-fill as the quiche will not be as delicious. Fill the quiches almost to the top with the filling.

Once the quiches are together, cook in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until the curst is golden brown.

Vegetable Platter with Hummus

A vegetable platter is always a great option for any party. This means that  anyone attending your party will have some nutritious and healthy appetizer options. You can also serve your vegetables with some delicious home-made hummus.

Vegetables:
Carrots, peeled and cut into quarters approximately
Broccoli, cut into small florets
Cauliflower, cut into small florets
Celery, cut into sticks

Hummus:
19 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
pinch cayenne pepper
fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Put all of the ingredients except the parsley in a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth. Put the mixture into a serving bowl and chill. Do not chill for less than 30 minutes. Serve your homemade hummus cold.

Cheese and Salami Plate with Crackers

Another simple appetizer dish to serve is a nice cheese and salami plate. Visit your l coal grocery store and select a variety of cheeses, you will probably want one soft cheese like a brie, and one medium cheese like cheddar or swiss. You will find many wonderful cheese options. You can choose to try some new types of flavorful cheeses. You may also want to find some nice salami options to slice and serve with your cheeses. Also be sure to find some nice crackers to pair with your cheese and salami.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

This delightful dessert is a great healthy option for a New Years party. They are simple to prepare and are always a hit. In addition, strawberries are great when prepared with traditional New Years champagne.

2 cups fresh strawberries
4 oz bittersweet chocolate

Start by thoroughly rinsing and drying your strawberries. Next chop the chocolate. Prepare to make the strawberries by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or using a double boiler. Make sure the chocolate is thoroughly melted and smooth, whisk often while melting the chocolate.

Once the chocolate is melted, hold the stem of the strawberries and dip each one in the chocolate. Place each strawberry on the baking sheet. When all of the strawberries are dipped and placed on the baking sheet, put the baking sheet in the refrigerator and cool the strawberries.

Cream Wafers

These delightful little cookies are light and buttery and are a family favorite. They make an excellent dessert option at any party. Make sure you have plenty of time to prepare these cookies, as they are a little time consuming.

Cookies:
1 1/2 cups soft butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 cups flour
Granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flour, butter and cream well. After your dough is mixed cover and chill for an hour or so. The dough needs to be firm and cold before you can roll it out, if the dough is too soft you will have a mess.

Divide the dough into quarters, roll out one section at a time, and keep the remaining sections chilled. Roll out the dough on a floured cloth. You want the dough to be about 1/8 inch thick once rolled out. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch rounds, for this you will want a floured circular cookie cutter if you have one, small biscuit cutters also work. You will want to make sure you have an even number of cookies since they will be put together into little cookie sandwiches.

Put some granulated sugar on a plate or piece of wax paper. Carefully transfer each uncooked cookie onto the sugar and turn over so the entire cookie is coated with a thin layer of sugar. Place the cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet and prick with a fork about 4 times. Bake your cookies for about 7-9 minutes; they should be set but not brown. Allow the cookies to cool, while they are cooling prepare the almond cream filling.

Filling:
3/8-cup soft butter
1 1/8 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy and smooth. If you want more festive filling you can divide the cream into 2 or 3 parts and add drops of red and green food coloring to the icing. You can also add almond extract to the filling to make a slightly different flavor for your cookies.

Once your filling is ready, use the baked cookies to make little cream wafer sandwiches. Spread filling on one cookie and top with another. Once all of your cookies are put together you are ready to serve and enjoy.

Mini Pecan Tarts

Pecan pie is a delicious dessert, often served at holiday events. Here is a great way to prepare pecan pie, and make them a delicious appetizer option.

Pie Dough:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 cup water

Blend the four and butter, with a food processor, pastry blender or even by hand, until it has the texture of course meal. Add the water slowly, while using the food processor or mixing with a spoon. You may not need the whole quantity of water, add part of the water at a time, blend until the flour and butter begins to adhere, but does not form a single mass without being pressed together. Be careful not to over blend or your pie dough will be tough instead of flaky. Chill the dough for approximately 30 minutes.

When the dough is firm and chilled, roll out on a lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Roll out the dough, then cut out small circles, which will be pressed into a mini tart or muffin pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Filling:
5 tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Melt the butter in a bowl, either in a microwave, or over a bowl of boiling water. Mix the sugar into the melted butter. Next, after lightly beating the eggs, gently beat into the butter and sugar. Next add the corn syrup and vanilla. Finish by stirring in the pecans. Pour into each of the mini crusts and bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes, until the crusts are golden brown. Allow to cool and serve either warm or cool.

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