Popular Christmas Appetizers and Snacks Recipes

The entire month of December is open season for parties, and whether you're hosting a lavish sit-down meal or just a festive cocktail party, you'll likely be serving your guests appetizers. Tiny, flavorful hors d'oeuvres are the ideal partner for festive holiday cocktails, and small bites keep the crowd socializing while you're getting dinner on the table. The possibilities for Christmas appetizer recipes are endless: We love sweet and spicy mixed nuts, stuffed mushrooms, tiny golden onion tarts, and creamy white bean dip, but the key is to pack a lot of flavor into small portions. (And if they're quick to make, all the better!) You want your apps to be easy to eat and pretty to look at, like tiny edible ornaments.

Spiced Apple Butter Bran Muffins

These muffins are dense, grainy, fruity and delicious. A double dose of apple--diced fresh apple and dark, spiced apple butter (Smucker's brand is good)--makes them extra moist and flavorful.

From EatingWell

Spiced Apple Butter Bran Muffins

Figs Stuffed with Gorgonzola

Gorgonzola cheese meets dried figs poached in port. The result: a thoroughly elegant holiday appetizer.

From EatingWell

Figs Stuffed with Gorgonzola

Sesame Mayonnaise

Use this tangy mayonnaise to enliven a burger (such as Asian Turkey Burgers or Turkey-Mushroom Burgers) or a chicken sandwich, as a dip for a platter of grilled summer vegetables, or to dress a simple coleslaw of napa cabbage and scallions.

From EatingWell

Sesame Mayonnaise

Toasted Pita Crisps

A super scooper for your favorite dips.

From EatingWell

Toasted Pita Crisps

Chocolate Bark with Pistachios & Dried Cherries

With the news that dark chocolate contains some healthful properties, there is a better excuse than ever to indulge during the holiday season. Specks of green pistachios and red dried cherries in this chocolate confection make for a festive holiday gift.

From EatingWell

Chocolate Bark with Pistachios & Dried Cherries

Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flaxseeds

This tender, flavorful version of a holiday staple is made more wholesome with whole-wheat flour and flaxseeds. You can easily double the recipe if you are making these baby loaves as gifts.

From EatingWell

Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flaxseeds

Goat Cheese Kisses

Each of these bite-size savory treats has a bit of dried fruit tucked inside for a slightly sweet surprise. They make wonderful holiday gifts as well as elegant little hors d'oeuvres.

From EatingWell

Goat Cheese Kisses

Date-Oat Muffins

Toasting the oats for this hearty muffin enhances their nutty flavor; orange zest contributes a citrus fragrance that plays well with the sweet dates.

From EatingWell

Date-Oat Muffins

Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins

Glistening like sticky buns, these unusual muffins are packed with wholesome ingredients--vegetables, fruit and whole grains--so you can feel good about serving them to your family. If you prefer to make simple carrot muffins for lunchboxes or breakfasts-on-the-go, omit the topping; sprinkle 2 tablespoons chopped nuts over the muffins before baking, if desired.

From EatingWell

Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins

Blueberry-Maple Muffins

Whole-wheat flour and flaxseeds give these maple syrup-sweetened blueberry muffins a delicious, nutty flavor. Compared to a traditional version of the recipe, they have four times the dietary fiber and substitute healthful monounsaturated fat (canola oil) for saturated fat (butter).

From EatingWell

Blueberry-Maple Muffins

Chili Pecans

A medley of warm spices tempered with a touch of brown sugar is a great match for rich, nutritious pecans. They make a perfect nibble with a drink before dinner or afterward with a cup of espresso.

From EatingWell

Chili Pecans

Cranberry-Almond Granola

If you've never made your own granola, you'll be amazed at the difference in freshness and flavor--and at how easy it is. Use this recipe as a starting point for your own creativity: substitute dried blueberries or chopped dried apricots for the cranberries, or walnuts or hazelnuts for the almonds.

From EatingWell

Cranberry-Almond Granola

Tea-Scented Mandarins

An unusual combination of ingredients make a delicious dessert or a healthful afternoon break.

From EatingWell

Tea-Scented Mandarins

"Cocoa-Nut" Bananas

Cocoa- and coconut-crusted bananas are a treat for the whole family.

From EatingWell

"Cocoa-Nut" Bananas

Savory Breakfast Muffins

If you're tired of sweet breakfast muffins or just looking for a savory breakfast, try these--you'll love the smoky flavor from the Canadian bacon and the fresh-tasting combination of red bell pepper and scallions.

From EatingWell

Savory Breakfast Muffins

Apricot-Walnut Cereal Bars

Crisp and chewy, this bar is a good-for-you alternative to store-bought cereal bars. The secret ingredient, silken tofu, will give your day a protein-packed start. The recipe also works with other fruit-and-nut combinations.

From EatingWell

Apricot-Walnut Cereal Bars

Chocolate & Nut Butter Bites

Sweet satisfaction in seconds.

From EatingWell

Chocolate & Nut Butter Bites

No-Bake Cookies

Your kids will love helping you make these peanut butter-graham treats.

From EatingWell

No-Bake Cookies

Quick Kebabs

Kids and adults alike will appreciate this skewered snack.

From EatingWell

Quick Kebabs

Mini Rice-Cake Stack

Try other nut butters in this crunchy snack.

From EatingWell

Mini Rice-Cake Stack

Cranberry-Walnut Quick Bread

The perennial bakery favorite gets a healthy makeover.

From EatingWell

Cranberry-Walnut Quick Bread

Cranberry-Honey Spice Pinwheel Cookies

These cookies boast a bright, zesty filling and spicy aroma. They make a large batch and are extremely convenient, since you can make the logs of cookie dough ahead, then pull them out of the freezer and slice and bake as many cookies as you need.

From EatingWell

Cranberry-Honey Spice Pinwheel Cookies

Tomato-Basil Skewers

Skewering mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes makes them easy to nosh at a party.

From EatingWell

Tomato-Basil Skewers

Leslie Malcoun's Pecan Tartlets

Catherine Schumacher used to make hundreds of Christmas cookies for her family and friends. She even defrosted frozen leftovers for Fourth of July picnics at her Michigan farm. Her granddaughter, Leslie Malcoun, took over the baking when she got married more than 30 years ago, and to this day spends hours on old family favorites and experimenting with new recipes. Assistant Editor Carolyn Malcoun can't imagine Christmas without her mom's delightful mini pecan tarts.

From EatingWell

Leslie Malcoun's Pecan Tartlets

Ida's Mandelbrot

A tender-crisp, walnut-studded cookie (traditionally made with almonds, or mandel in Yiddish) adapted from a 1950s family recipe.

From EatingWell

Ida's Mandelbrot

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