A Delicious and Beautiful Christmas Buffet

These savory and visually stunning treats for a holiday party will dazzle guests.

Cocktail and Appetizers for Holiday Entertaining

Cocktail and Appetizers for Holiday Entertaining

Here's a spread that will have you celebrating the holidays in good taste.

Ham-and-Cheese Scrolls

Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 Tbsp. commercial pesto
6 thin slices honey ham
6 thin slices Swiss cheese

Preparation:

Spread the pesto over the sheet of puff pastry dough, and top with ham slices and cheese.

Start rolling the long side of the dough and continue until you reach the middle of the pastry sheet. Roll the opposite end in to meet the first roll.

Cut the roll into half-inch thick slices with a bread knife. Place the slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake at 425 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Beggar's Purses

These golden purses aren't filled with coins, but rather with creamy Gouda cheese.

Ingredients:

1 roll crescent dough
1 round Gouda cheese, wax removed
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. chopped pecans, toasted

Preparation:

Unroll the dough and pinch together the perforations. Place the wheel of cheese in the center of the dough. Spread the top of the cheese with the mustard and sprinkle on the pecans.

Draw the sides of the dough up to form a sack around the cheese, and pinch the dough in place. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Hint: Cut the dough into smaller portions, and use smaller amounts of cheese to make miniature purses.

Truffle Tree

Ingredients:

1 cup chocolate chips, melted
1 plastic foam cone
assorted truffles

Preparation:

Melt the chocolate chips, spread some of the mixture on the cone and place the cone on a piece of wax paper. Dip the truffles in the remaining chocolate and start placing them around the base of the cone.

Place the next row of truffles in the spaces between the lower level, and continue until the cone is coated with truffles. Top the cone with a decorative flower or bow.

Hint: Wrap some of the truffles in colored foil for a more festive look.

Glittering Meringue Stars

Ingredients:

2 egg whites, at room temperature
pinch cream of tartar or salt
1/2 cup sugar
edible glitter

Preparation:

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until frothy with an electric mixer on low speed. Add the tartar or salt and increase the speed when peaks start to form. Start adding sugar slowly. When the mixture is firm and glossy, stop mixing and place it in a large pastry bag.

Pipe the meringue into Star of David or other patterns on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 200-degree oven for two hours, then turn off the heat and leave the stars in the oven for at least one more hour or overnight.

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