Expected to bring an appetizer for a New Years party? Or maybe you're having a pot luck at work soon and you're really not up to cooking any kind of fancy shmancy thing.
These easy recipes are definitely an upgrade from your local Costco appetizers because they're fresh AND you'll look super cool to all the girls at the party coz you "made 'em myself." ;)
Traditionally considered a sweet cookie base, shortbread takes a new turn in this recipe. Seasoned with savory herbs, flakes of sea salt, and crunchy, coarse sugar, this is one twisted cookie you can't ignore.
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 stalk fresh rosemary
1 stalk fresh thyme
1 stick unsalted butter (room temp, but not too soft)
1 cup flour
1/2 tbps sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp coarse sugar (like raw, or Demerara)
+Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, 1/4 tbsp salt, and 1 tbsp sugar.
+Tear the herbs into smaller pieces over the bowl, pressing them with your fingers (this helps release the oils)
+Chop butter into the bowl, and incorporate it into the flour mixture with your hands, using a crumbling gesture with your fingers. You can also use a pastry cutter if you have one.
You're done when there are no unincorporated bits of butter, and the batter looks a bit like wet sand.
Scatter the batter evenly into a square baking pan, and press it flat and even. Top with remaining sugar and salt.
Bake for 10-20 minutes, just until the edges begin to brown.
Remove from oven and slice while it's still hot (it will get crumbly if you wait).
Let cool & Enjoy.
Sweet & Salty Roasted Almonds
You love salted nuts. You love sweetened nuts. You got tired of choosing.
Total Time: 25 minutes
4 cups raw almonds
1 tbsp olive/vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp cinammon
1/2 tbsp fine salt
+Pour in remaining ingredients, starting with the honey and toss/stir with a wooden spoon.
+Spread almonds evenly onto a baking pan.
+Pop 'em in the oven for 15-20 minutes (rotate and redistribute halfway through), until they're dark and fragrant.
Goat Cheese Balls
Nothing says retro like a cheese ball on a toothpick. Like a savory truffle, you can roll them in anything from crushed pretzels to fresh basil to straight-up cayenne pepper.
Total time: 10 minutes (seriously)
1 4 oz package goat cheese (makes 7 balls)
A splash of olive oil
Topping recommendations: fresh herbs, pistaschios, raisins, bacon (!), or our pick, toasted sesame seeds.
+Crumble cheese into a small bowl and toss with olive oil.
+Pull about a tablespoon's worth of cheese out, and roll into a ball between your hands.
+Pour a small pile of your topping onto a surface, and gently roll the ball in, being careful not to press too hard.
Note: if the cheese is too soft to hold it's shape, pop the balls into the freezer for a few minutes.
Plate 'em up! These beauties can be made the night before and kept in the fridge until you're ready to serve.