Having friends over for the holidays? Consider adding one of these fabulous appetizers to your cocktail party menu. They're easy, elegant and perfect with a glass of champagne or a festive holiday punch.
- Smoked paprika parmesan "cookies." The dough contains just five ingredients and stirs together in less than five minutes. They're salty, savory, crumbly and completely addictive. Cut into squares or diamonds, or use festive cookie cutters for unique holiday shapes.
- Truffled twice-baked baby potatoes. Bake small fingerling potatoes, scoop out the flesh, and mix it with cream and butter. Then add a few drops of truffle oil and a sprinkle of truffle salt to make these little bites party-worthy. Truffle oil and truffle salt are pricey, but a little goes a long way.
- Sweet and spicy almonds. Flavored with cumin and cayenne, these crisp sugar-coated almonds disappear quickly from any buffet.
- Baked goat cheese with figs. Warm, gooey, sweet and tangy, this dip has layers of goat cheese, dried California figs and caramelized onions, all flavored with fresh rosemary and baked piping-hot in the oven. Serve with thin rounds of sliced baguette. When that's gone, your guests will lick the serving dish.
- Jarlsberg bacon puffs. These tiny muffins, rich with cheese, bacon and green onions, bake up warm and delicious. Rumor has it that one nine-year-old in Santa Monica ate two dozen all by himself at a recent holiday party. Make a double batch.