You can go out on the town for New Year’s Eve, but many of us prefer to celebrate at home, where we have a say over the invited guests—and the food. If you, too, prefer to stay in, here are some spectacular finger foods, dips, and small bites from the Cook’s Country test kitchen that are sure to satisfy this New Year’s Eve. Cheers!
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Golden brown and crispy on the outside while warm and custardy on the inside, our Chickpea Fries are easy to make and perfect for sharing. And we offer three different dipping sauces—lemon and herb, honey and spice, and Calabrian chile—to go with them so you can make everyone happy. (As a bonus, they’re also gluten-free.)
Chickpea FriesThese custardy, golden fries have a nutty, peppery flavor we think you’ll love.
Sausage-and-Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed mushrooms are the ultimate little appetizer package, and they’re incredibly versatile too. We like this sausage and cheddar filling for its richness and spicy notes, but you could also try our pizza filling or come up with your own. The keys to deep mushroom flavor no matter how you stuff them are to season the mushroom caps with a little salt and vinegar and to roast them in a skillet, which will concentrate and catch their juice and allow them to reabsorb it.
Sausage-and-Cheddar Stuffed MushroomsThe goal: a tasty, easy-to-eat snack with serious mushroom flavor.
Baked Goat Cheese
There are many ways to serve up warm cheese for New Year’s, from baked Brie to fondue. We’re partial to this Baked Goat Cheese. The tangy cheese can pretty much stand on its own, but a warm, spiced tomato sauce makes a great companion. Just bake the cheese and sauce together until the cheese is well browned and the sauce is bubbly. Keep it simple and serve it with your favorite plain crackers.
Baked Goat CheeseBaked Brie has its familiar charms, but we wanted something surprising.
Gambas al Ajillo (Spanish-Style Sizzling Garlic Shrimp)
When you make our Gambas al Ajillo, you’ll immediately be hit with fragrant garlic and red pepper flakes as they sizzle in extra-virgin olive oil. Adding the shrimp to the warm skillet once the garlic is golden brown ensures that it doesn’t overcook. Set out the skillet with plenty of crusty bread so that your guests can dip and swipe up all that flavorful oil as they enjoy the succulent shrimp.
Gambas al Ajillo (Spanish-Style Sizzling Garlic Shrimp)Bring the tapas bar to your kitchen table.
Hot Cheddar Crab Dip
Our Hot Cheddar Crab Dip is both comforting and refined. It starts with a cream sauce that gets loads of flavor from potent ingredients such as cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Handfuls of cheddar get added to the sauce to make it rich and thicken it, and then a half-pound of fresh crab goes in to lighten the dish. When ready to serve, sprinkle more cheddar and paprika on top and pop it under the broiler to get the cheese all spotty brown and melted.
Hot Cheddar Crab DipThis creamy, Cajun-inspired dip is a crowd-pleaser.
Devils on Horseback
Devils on Horseback is a fun name for this retro appetizer that features stuffed dates wrapped in bacon and baked until warm and crispy. We stuff the dates with blue cheese to give the little devils some tanginess that complements the sweetness of the dates and the smokiness of the bacon. For an app that’s made with only three ingredients, these small bites are incredibly flavorful.
Devils on HorsebackThis retro appetizer is easy to love. We wanted it to be easy to make, too.
Smoked Trout Paté
This elegant party dip is so quick and easy to make. The bulk of the work is just shredding the smoked trout by hand. Then, you’ll add cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo to build the base of the dip, along with scallion, jalapeño, lemon juice, horseradish, and Tabsaco for bold flavor. Just mash everything together with a fork and the dip is good to go after it sits for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Set it out with some crisp crackers and watch this rich, smoky, pungent dip disappear.
Smoked Trout PâtéAn exceptionally easy, delightfully delicious appetizer or party snack.
Everything Bagel Pigs in Blankets
For an upscale take on this favorite finger food, we replace the crescent rolls with flaky, buttery puff pastry. After wrapping the little hot dogs in their puff pastry blankets, we brush them with an egg wash for shine and sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese and everything bagel seasoning for loads of savory flavor. Your guests will love the nostalgia and the upgrade.
Everything Bagel Pigs in BlanketsPuff pastry brings these from the kids' table to cocktail hour.
Beet Dip with Yogurt and Tahini
With its stunning color and bold flavor, our Beet Dip with Yogurt and Tahini is not to be missed. It’s earthy, sweet, and lusciously creamy. Roasting and shredding the beets takes a little time, but otherwise this is a stir-together affair. And it can be made ahead and chilled until party time, so you have plenty of time to prep the beets. A drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of fresh dill on top are the finishing touches on this vibrant dish.