Christmas is all about food food food and it’s not just about the main feast on the day. Over the Christmas break, there is a constant flow of nibbles and spreads you won’t even have the chance to get hungry. Enticing festive flavour and miniatures to make us well and truly stuffed like a turkey.
There are canapes, finger food, appetizers and sharers galore that are fun to make and extremely tasty too. There are lots of different things you can make that will suit everyone your spending this Christmas with, fussy eaters or all-they-can-eat gorgers.
Here are some of our favourite just have festive nibbles that we are soo looking forward to tucking in to, but make sure you save room for the big meal.
12 sheets filo pastry
100g butter, melted
250g brie, cut into 18 chunky fingers
18 tsp cranberry sauce
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
sprinkling of poppy seeds
STEP 1: Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Stack two of the filo sheets. With the widest edge facing you, brush with some melted butter. Put three brie fingers at even intervals across the bottom of the filo. Top each finger with 1 tsp cranberry sauce, then sprinkle over a few chopped walnuts.
STEP 2: Roll up the filo from the bottom. Cut into three parcels, and twist the ends to seal. Brush with more butter and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Bake for 10 mins.
16 cocktail blinis
120g garlic & herb cream cheese
120g smoked salmon trimmings
20g tub cress
STEP 1: Warm the blinis following the pack instructions.
STEP 2: Spread the blinis with the cream cheese, lay the salmon trimmings on top and scatter over the cress. Season with black pepper and serve immediately.
18-24 thin rashers smoked pancetta
150g Bavarian smoked cheese, trimmed and cut into 24 pieces
a few rosemary sprigs
STEP 1:Heat oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6. Carefully wrap the pancetta around the cheese pieces (you may not need a full slice of pancetta for each piece of cheese, depending on the size). Can be done two days ahead and kept covered in the fridge.
STEP 2: Put the rosemary sprigs on a baking tray and place the cheese in blankets on top. Roast in the oven for 15 mins until golden and crispy. Serve immediately but be careful, as they will be molten hot inside.
150g/5½oz plain flour
75g/2¾oz Parmesan (or similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened
1 free-range egg yolk
STEP 1: Mix all the ingredients together – using bowl and spoon, electric mixer or food processor as wished – until a golden dough begins to form a clump.
STEP 2: Turn it out onto a surface and knead for about 30 seconds until smooth, then divide into two.
STEP 3: Take the first half and, using your hands, roll it into a cylinder, as uniform as possible without stressing over it, about 3cm/1¼in diameter. Make sure the ends are flat, too, so that the cylinder resembles a roll of coins. Now wrap this up in a piece of cling film, twisting the cling film at the ends, like a Christmas cracker, and put the roll in the fridge, then proceed in the same way with the remaining half of the dough.
STEP 4: Preheat the oven to 180C/375F/Gas 4 while the dough rests in the fridge for about 45 minutes, by which time you should be able to cut them into thick slices easily; aim for about 1cm, think fat pound coins or similar.
STEP 5: Arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes, when they should be just beginning to turn a pale gold at the edges. Remove from the oven, then leave to cool (if you can) before eating.
For the mincemeat
140g ready-washed luxury mixed fruit (cut any cherries into quarters)
50g seedless red grapes, chopped small
25g chopped almonds
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp ground mixed spice
3 tbsp brandy
For the pastry
85g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
finely grated zest of 1 small orange
For the crumble topping
knob of cold butter
25g plain flour
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp almonds, finely chopped
STEP 1: Make the mincemeat by mixing all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes so the fruit absorbs some of the liquid. Make the pastry in a large bowl or food processor by blending the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and orange zest and then 2 tbsp water. Bring the mixture together with your hands, adding a few more drops of water if it feels a little dry. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/ conventional 180C/gas 4.
STEP 2: Roll out half the pastry (keep the other half wrapped in the fridge) on a lightly floured surface. You want the pastry to be very thin, so it is crisp when cooked. Cut out 12 circles of pastry with a plain 6cm cutter (you will need to re-roll the pastry a couple of times) and use to line a 12-hole, non-stick mini muffin tin. It is quite a soft pastry, so any little gaps that form as you are lining the holes can easily be patched up. Chill while you make the topping.
STEP 3: In a small bowl, make the crumble topping by rubbing the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and almonds. With a teaspoon, fill each pastry case with mincemeat, gently pressing it down to leave room for the topping. Sprinkle the topping over each pie, place the tin on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.
STEP 4: Leave the pies to cool in the tin before taking them out carefully. They are fragile when hot, so use a small knife to help lift them out. Unless you have two mini muffin tins, repeat the process with the second batch of pastry, filling and topping. Eat the mini mince pies warm or cold, lightly dusted with icing sugar.
¼ cup cream cheese(55 g)
¼ cup sour cream(60 g)
1 oz club house ranch seasoning(30 g)
12 oz frozen spinach(340 g), thawed and drained
11 oz thin crust pizza dough(310 g)
½ cup pesto(115 g)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 oz garlic, minced
1 tablespoon club house Italian herbs
½ cup parmesan cheese(55 g)
marinara sauce, for dipping
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Flip a baking sheet upside down and place a piece of parchment paper on top. Set aside.
STEP 2: In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and Club House ranch dip seasoning. Stir until well mixed. Fold in the spinach. Set aside.
STEP 3: Roll out the tube of pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper set on a flat surface. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut from a bottom corner to the centre of the top. Repeat on the other side so you have 1 full triangle and 2 halves of a triangle on either side.
STEP 4: Transfer both side-triangle pieces to the prepared baking sheet. Pinch the middle seam to seal and stretch the dough to form a single triangle. Spread the spinach dip over a side of the triangle and spread the pesto over the other side of the triangle.
STEP 5: Flip the remaining dough triangle on top of the filling and remove the parchment from the top. Stretch the dough to cover completely.
STEP 6: Using a pizza cutter or knife, make horizontal slices about 1 inch apart from the top to bottom, leaving the middle “trunk” of the tree intact. Pull the strips outwards and twist.
STEP 7: In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and garlic and brush over the tree. Sprinkle with the Club House Italian herbs and shredded Parmesan cheese.
STEP 8: Bake the tree for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and the cheese has melted. Serve with marinara sauce.
350 g prosciutto
450 g asparagus
1 tbsp. olive oil
STEP 1: Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus spears.
STEP 2: Wrap a slice of prosciutto tightly around an asparagus spear from bottom to tip. Repeat with all spears.
STEP 3: Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with olive oil.
STEP 4: Cook spears on all sides until prosciutto is slightly browned and crisp, 2-3 minutes
60 g finely grated sharp cheddar
1 tsp. plain flour
2 tbsp. finely chopped spring onions
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 pack puff pastry dough, divided into 2 sheets
1 large egg, whisked until frothy
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 220ºC (200°C Fan). Mix cheddar, flour, spring onion, and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
STEP 2: Roll your puff pastry to 0.5cm thick on a piece of parchment, making sure it is 25cm wide. STEP 3: Brush with whisked egg and sprinkle evenly with cheese mixture.
STEP 4: Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice puff pastry widthwise into 2cm thick strips. Slide parchment with strips onto a baking tray and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
STEP 5: Prepare another baking tray by lining with parchment paper. Transfer half the strips to this tray and twist them to create spirals. Repeat with remaining straws. Place both trays back into the fridge for another 30 minutes before baking.
STEP 6: Bake cheese straws until deeply golden and puffed, rotating and switching halfway through, 10 to 12 minutes.
For The Tomatoes
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 large tomatoes, diced
5 g thinly sliced basil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
Pinch of crushed chilli flakes
For the Bread
1 large baguette, sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
2 cloves garlic, halved
STEP 1: Make marinated tomatoes: Preheat oven to 200°C (180ºC fan). In a medium pan over medium-low heat, heat oil. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden, 2 to 4 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.
STEP 2: In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, basil, vinegar, salt, and chilli flakes. Add garlic and oil and toss to combine. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
STEP 3: Meanwhile, toast bread: Brush bread on both sides lightly with oil and place on large baking tray. Toast bread until golden, 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through. Let bread cool for 5 minutes, then rub tops of bread with halved garlic cloves.
STEP 4: Spoon tomatoes on top of bread just before serving.
plain flour for dusting
puff pastry block 400g
caramelised red onion chutney 4 tbsp
nutmeg a good grating
thyme leaves a handful, plus extra to decorate
camembert 1 (approximately 300g)
egg 1, beaten
cranberry sauce 1 tbsp
STEP 1: On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry out to a 20cm x 30cm rectangle. Cut in half, to make two 10cm x 30cm rectangles.
STEP 2: In a bowl, mix together the sausagemeat with the chutney, nutmeg, thyme leaves and lots of seasoning. Halve the mixture, then shape each half into a long sausage and put along the long edges of the rectangles. Roll the pastry over onto itself, completely enclosing the sausagemeat, then crimp to seal the edges.
STEP 3: Put the camembert onto the middle of a baking-paper-lined baking sheet and use one of the sausage rolls to wrap halfway around the cheese. Take the other roll, join it to the end of the first and wrap this around too, creating a circle. Crimp together the ends of the sausage meat and pastry to create one piece. If the second sausage is a little too long, just trim it and bake the excess as an individual sausage roll. Use a sharp knife to slit the sausage roll halfway in and all the way through, every 4cm, to create a fan effect. Brush the sausage roll really well with egg then chill for 20 minutes (or until you are ready to cook it).
STEP 4: Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Brush the sausage roll with egg again, then sprinkle over some thyme leaves. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Once out of the oven, carefully transfer to a serving board and spoon the cranberry sauce into the cheese, swirling to create a ripple.