Families and friends gather year after year for the holidays, and every good host knows to provide snacks while the main course is in the oven.
But you can only make grandma’s special pudding so many times in one life.
Here are our favorite unique holiday snacks and apps, perfect for any party.
Smoked Trout Croquettes
If you’re interested in the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes but don’t want to cook up a seven-course feast, treat guests to these trout-stuffed croquettes. Mozzarella, Parmesan and chives join the fish for a cheesey, gooey, fried bite of joy.
See the recipe on Epicurious
Tahini Rice Krispie Treats
Rice krispies rarely make an appearance outside the kids table, but this halva-like deserves a place at any grown-up party. Infused with tahini, coconut oil and crispy brown rice in place of the usual cereal and marshmallow, they taste like a combination of halva and sweet childhood memories.
Get the full recipe from Healthyish
Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
No guest can resist the nefarious temptation of bacon-wrapped dates, aka devils on horseback, but this upgraded version takes the decadent snack to the next level with the simple addition of goat cheese. The treats are gooey, savory, bacony and everything a hard-working host deserves.
Find the recipe at Half Baked Harvest
If you’ve never taken Angostura bitters from the bar to the kitchen, you’re missing out on a key wintertime ingredient. Infused with a number of spices and herbs, the bitters add cozy winter feels to any dish, even better (and easier to incorporate) than nutmeg or clove. These glazed nuts utilize the bitters to extremely good effect, making the perfect snack for pre-Christmas dinner drinks.
Find the full recipe on Taste
Red Chile Pork Tamales
Tamales are a must-have on many Mexican holiday tables. While every Christmas reveler has their own favorite meat for their tamale, this version uses pork shoulder braised with three kinds of chiles, so it’s an easy winner among lots of holiday diners.
Pick up the recipe from Food Network
Pickled Pepper Cheese Ball
Celebrate like your grandma with a throwback party snack. A cheese ball may seem odd to some, but the throwback centerpiece can still wow a party of curious cheese lovers. This version is pockmarked with pickled peppers and cayenne, and then rolled in almonds and chives, making for a substantial, kitchy yet glamorous appetizer with some crackers.
Get the recipe on Food and Wine