7 Finger Foods to Feast on at Your Holiday Party

There’s no need to have a sit-down feast at your holiday party. Instead, serve finger foods such as Goat-Cheese Crostini with Fig Compote, Smoked Salmon on Corn Blinis, and Mac and Cheese Bites, which allow your guests to graze away while catching up with family and friends. No holiday party should be without these seven finger foods.

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1. Goat-Cheese Crostini with Fig Compote

Partygoers will love nibbling on Martha Stewart’s Goat-Cheese Crostini with Fig Compote, an elegant appetizer that’s filled with rich, creamy, and crunchy flavors. It yields 24 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small baguette (8 ounces), cut on the diagonal into 24 slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped dried Mission figs
  • ¼ cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • Coarse salt
  • 5 ounces goat cheese (1 small log)

Directions: Heat broiler. Brush both sides of baguette slices with oil; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side; set toasts aside. In a small saucepan, combine figs, sugar, wine, thyme, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened, 7 to 9 minutes. Let compote cool to room temperature. Dividing evenly, spread each toast with goat cheese, and top with compote. Garnish with thyme, if desired.

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2. Marinated Olives and Almonds

Make sure your guests have a memorable night by serving them plenty of palatable finger foods, including Southern Living’s Marinated Olives and Almonds. Feel free to make this dish ahead of time — the antipasti will last in the refrigerator for up to a week. The recipe yields 10 to 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups pitted and drained green and black olives
  • 1½ cups roasted salted almonds

Directions: Stir together first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Add olives; toss with marinade to coat. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours. Remove and discard crushed garlic cloves, and stir in roasted almonds just before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

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3. Bacon Water Chestnut Wraps

Nothing says happy holidays quite like Taste of Home’s Bacon Water Chestnut Wraps. Filled with sweet and salty flavors, your guests won’t be able to resist this amazing appetizer. The recipe yields 10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bacon strips
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) whole water chestnuts, drained
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup chili sauce

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut bacon strips in half. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until almost crisp; drain. Wrap each bacon piece around a water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Place in an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mayonnaise, and chili sauce; pour over water chestnuts. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

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4. Smoked Salmon on Corn Blinis

Redbook’s Scandinavian-inspired appetizer consists of a bite-size blini — a thin, flat cake — sour cream, and smoked salmon. The recipe yields 24 servings. If you’d like sour cream that’s richer and creamier than any store-bought brand, we suggest making AllRecipes.com’s Homemade Sour Cream.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ⅔ cup canned corn kernels, drained
  • Canola oil, for griddle
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 24 (2-inch) pieces thinly sliced smoked salmon (about 4 ounces)
  • Fresh dill sprigs, for garnish
  • Grated lemon zest, for garnish

Directions: Place a baking sheet in oven and heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk, egg, and butter. Whisk until smooth; stir in corn. Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-low heat until hot; lightly wipe griddle with a paper towel dipped in canola oil.

Working in batches, drop a scant 1 tablespoon batter onto griddle for each blini. Cook until undersides are golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn and cook the second side until golden brown, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to the baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Oil griddle between batches, if necessary. Spoon ½-teaspoon dollops of sour cream onto blinis. Top with salmon. Garnish with dill and lemon zest.

Source: iStock

5. Brie Bites with Sugared Cranberries

Daisy’s World’s Brie Bites with Sugared Cranberries are a stunning edition to any holiday soirée. The sugared cranberries are the star of this dish — guests will delight in the sweet, sour, and candy-like flavors that radiate from the bite-size beauties. The recipe, which was adapted from Annie’s Eats, yields 24 appetizers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 (2-by-1-inch) strips of orange zest
  • 8 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar,
  • 24 thin slices of Brie cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 24 crackers of your choice
  • 4 tablespoons cranberry sauce
  • Mint leaves, for garnish

Directions: Make simple syrup by bringing 1 cup granulated sugar, water, and orange zest to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Pour syrup over the cranberries and weigh down with a plate, if needed, to keep cranberries submerged in the syrup. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours, or preferably, overnight. Once cranberries are chilled, drain the cranberries in a colander, reserving the simple syrup for another use.

Place remaining cup of sugar in a medium bowl. Use a spoon to gently roll the cranberries in the sugar until well-coated. Work in small batches to prevent sugar from getting too moist. Add more sugar, if necessary. Place sugared cranberries on a baking sheet to dry for at least 1 hour. To assemble appetizers, place crackers on a serving platter. Add a slice of Brie cheese on each cracker. Spread a ½ teaspoon of cranberry relish on top. Garnish with sugared cranberries and a sprig of mint.

Source: iStock

6. Deviled Eggs with Old Bay Shrimp

Creamy deviled eggs are topped with zesty shrimp in this Country Living recipe, which yields 24 servings. This dish calls for Old Bay seasoning, but if you’d prefer to skip the store, you can make your own by following Food.com’s copycat recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 24 rock or bay shrimp, cooked and peeled
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise, whites reserved
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, plus one pinch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 24 sprigs fresh dill

Directions: In a large bowl, combine 24 cooked and peeled rock or bay shrimp and 1 cup of white wine vinegar; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the yolks from 12 hard-boiled eggs, ½ cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of dill pickle juice, 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, and ½ teaspoon of salt until smooth.

Drain the shrimp and set them aside. Distribute the filling among the reserved egg-white halves and sprinkle each with a pinch of Old Bay seasoning. Top each deviled egg with a pickled shrimp and a sprig of fresh dill. Serve immediately.

Source: iStock

7. Mac and Cheese Bites

Partygoers won’t be able to resist these Mac and Cheese Bites, which are creamy balls of mac and cheese wrapped in a crisp and crunchy breading. In fact, after preparing Clinton Kelly’s recipe via ABC, you might not be able to eat your cheesy noodles any other way.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 pound white cheddar
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Directions: Cook the macaroni according to package directions in salted water. In a large sauce pan, sauté the onions and garlic in the butter over medium heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the paprika and the mustard and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons flour and the milk and stir until starts to thicken slightly, about 4 minutes. Fold in the cheese and add the macaroni. Place in a baking dish and into the fridge to cool and firm up.

Place the remaining flour in a high-sided dish. In another dish, add the eggs, and in a third dish place the breadcrumbs. Heat a pot of vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Scoop the cooled mac and cheese with a spoon or ice cream scoop into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture and into the oil. Do not crowd the pot. Cook in batches. When golden brown and warm through, remove the mac and cheese bites from the oil to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

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