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Christmas appetizer tips and how-tos

Get your Christmas dinner menu off to a great start! We’ve pulled together some of our best Kraft Kitchens Experts' tips for planning, making and presenting Christmas appetizers—plus appetizer recipes galore. Make things easy with make-ahead dips, cheese platters and festive cheese balls and wow the crowd with a few choice hot appetizers. (Include a bacon-wrapped appetizer for extra credit!) And don’t forget to check out the appetizer math chart to see how many nibbles you’ll need to make.

Christmas dips and spreads

Celebrate the Christmas holiday with a themed appetizer. Try Pinecone Cheese Spread, PHILADELPHIA Pesto Christmas Tree or Holiday Fiesta Spread to wow your guests and set the tone for a festive party.

Christmas hostess gifts

Need a hostess gift for a holiday party? Spiced Nuts are perfect – easy, delicious and beautiful, especially when wrapped in a cute little package for your hostess.

Christmas appetizer planning tips

Plan ahead and start early. Classic Cocktail Meatballs are ideal since they can be prepared in advance and frozen for up to 3 months. Then, thaw them in the refrigerator several hours or overnight, and cook with the sauce right before your guests arrive.

When deciding how many appetizers to serve your guests, plan on about 6 per person for a dinner party. Keep in mind that during a get-together, guests will generally consume about 2 drinks during the first hour, and about 1 drink per hour after that.
Cheese balls are a must-have for any holiday party. There are so many different flavor combinations! Most of them can be made in advance, then simply plated with crackers just before serving. From the classic Party Cheese Ball to the more trendy Holiday Cheese Truffles, you will find something to please any palate. Watch our helpful Cheese Ball Basics video for more tips and tricks to liven up your party.

When planning your menu, think “variety” – serve foods with an assortment of colors, flavors and textures. Also consider hot versus cold items, so you don’t run out of oven space either before or during the party. Not sure how many appetizers to make? Appetizer Math guides you in selecting the correct amount and variety of appetizers for your event.

If serving cold dips, make them 1 or 2 days ahead of time. Not only will this reduce your kitchen prep duties on the day of the party, but the flavors of the dips will actually improve with the overnight refrigeration.

Don't forget food safety. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold when serving them at the party.

A common catering trick is to place a used napkin or plate on a tray so guests know where to place their dirty dishes. Keep a few trays or other receptacles spaced around the room to make cleanup easier.

Clearly label all dishes so guests with allergies or other dietary concerns will know what’s safe for them to eat.

Cheese platters, such as Honey-Drizzled Cheddar Cheese, make a simple, yet chic, presentation. To enjoy cheese at its best, let it stand at room temperature about 30 min. before serving.

Make sure you cut or slice appetizers into small pieces. Bite-size portions are best for easy eating.

christmas appetizer tips
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