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Jumpstart Your Holiday Parties with these Festive Bite-Sized Starters

Cheddar-Crab Puffs

(Courtesy of Good Housekeeping)

Ingredients:                   

  • ¾ c. water
  • 4 tbsp. margarine or butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 6 oz. crabmeat

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In 3-quart saucepan, combine water, margarine, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat to boiling on medium. Remove from heat. Add flour and stir until ball forms. Stir in eggs, 1 at a time, until dough is smooth and shiny. Stir in Cheddar and crab.
  3. With tablespoon-size cookie scoop, scoop mixture into balls onto parchment, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown, switching sheets on racks halfway through. Serve warm. To make ahead, place in resealable plastic bag; freeze up to 1 month. Reheat frozen puffs in 400 degree F oven 8 to 10 minutes.

Wonton Cups with Cream Cheese and Chutney

(Courtesy of delish.com)

Ingredients:

  • 12 rectangular wonton wrappers
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 bag cream cheese
  • ¼ c. jarred mango chutney
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 walnut halves
  • sliced chives

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stack wonton wrappers and, using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut into rounds. Working with 3 rounds at a time (and keeping the remaining covered with a damp towel), spread them out on a work surface; brush one side of each wrapper with oil.
  2. Tuck rounds into nonstick mini-muffin cups, oiled side up; press down to fit into bottom and sides. Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly before removing.
  3. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, chutney, and mustard. Spoon about 2 teaspoons cream-cheese mixture into each cup; garnish with chives, if desired, and walnut pieces. Serve.

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms

(Courtesy of delish.com)

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 3 slice white sandwich bread
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 log soft goat cheese
  • ½ c. fresh parsley leaves
  • ¼ tsp. red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 package white button mushrooms       

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a food processor, pulse bread and garlic until fine crumbs form; set 1/2 cup aside. To food processor, add goat cheese, parsley, and red-pepper flakes. Season with salt, and pulse filling until combined.
  3. Spoon filling into each mushroom, and roll filled side in reserved breadcrumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet; bake until mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
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