It's a semi-word thrown around quite easily these days, usually referring to smart phone applications ("apps") like Instagram, Words with Friends, or Angry Birds (which apparently is at the top of the app popularity totem pole).

But when the holidays roll around, "app" means only one thing to me: appetizer, quite possibly my favorite food group.

Chips and dip, cheese and crackers, crostini and baked artichoke spread... Anything crunchy/salty/savory paired with anything rich/creamy/spreadable is a welcome break from the holiday cookies, candy, and other sweets so ubiquitous right about now.

So, without further ado, enjoy this tasty baker's dozen of our favorite holiday appetizers. Bet you can't make just one!

Flaky Cheese Twists

Flaky Cheese Twists  – These tender, assertively cheesy pastries are absolutely fantastic. And even better, they're made from puff pastry dough that's ridiculously simple to make.

Herb Cheese Puffs

Herb and Garlic Puffs – Have you ever made cream puff shells? These are the same thing, only accented with  herbs and garlic, then deep fried. Enjoy these delightful little treats with plain mayonnaise – or its garlicky cousin, aioli.

Cheesy Pepperoni Bites

Cheesy Pepperoni Bites – Cheese, onions, and pepperoni, all wrapped up in a tiny, tender biscuit: bite-sized pizza!

Vermont Cheese Crackers

Vermont Cheese Crackers – Sure, you can buy cheese crackers at the supermarket. But there's something about making your own crisp, fresh-baked crackers that's just SO satisfying... See step-by-step directions.

Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip

Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip – Here's a guilt-free way to enjoy the crunchy outside (and juicy inside) of a restaurant-style zucchini stick. This is our top-ranked appetizer recipe – don't miss it! See step-by-step instructions.

Crunchy Crackers

Crunchy Crackers – You know those absolutely delicious Doctor Kracker crackers you see at the store? Here's our wonderfully tasty clone. See step-by-step instructions.

Hot Popper Dip

Hot Popper Dip – This dip has all the great spicy flavors of hot poppers, but without stuffing or frying. It comes together in a snap, and can be made ahead, then reheated in the oven or microwave. See step-by-step instructions.

Spicy Jalapeño-Cheddar Mini Muffins

Spicy Jalapeño-Cheddar Mini Muffins – These savory mini muffins make a quick and easy appetizer. Or serve them with a pot of chili at your post-sledding supper party – the possibilities are endless.

Self-Rising Garlic Sticks

Self-Rising Garlic Sticks – Easy biscuit dough is shaped into sticks, bathed in garlic butter, then baked up into soft, pull-apart biscuit sticks. If you're a fan of garlic bread, you'll love this appetizer version.

And there you have it – everything you need for nibbling, snacking, grazing, and noshing. Happy holidays from the app elves here at King Arthur Flour!

Which appetizers are you making this holiday season? Let us know in the comments, below. 

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The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was an award-winning Maine journalist (favorite topics: sports and food) before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. Hired to write the newly launched Baker’s Catalogue, PJ became the small but growing company’s sixth employee.&nbsp...
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