Texas Living

Recipe: Holiday Party Canapés

By Celia Bryan-Brown 12.21.20

Try these three cute, show-stealing dishes to share at your next gathering.

Bacon & Sweet Potato Bites

Sweet and salty, these caramelized one-bite appetizers are impossible to resist. Makes 24.

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 24 1-inch cubes
24 rashers of bacon
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha
1 tablespoon lime juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine butter, spices, and salt in a bowl. Add sweet potato cubes and coat thoroughly. Wrap each potato cube with a bacon strip, securing with a toothpick if needed. Place each piece on the baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft, turning halfway through cooking to ensure the bacon crisps.

Mix mayonnaise, sriracha, and lime juice in a small bowl for dipping.

Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Palmiers

These simple-but-sophisticated pastry bites are packed with flavor and perfect for making ahead of time. Makes 30.

1 pack puff pastry
1 cup caramelized onions
1 cup soft goat cheese
1 egg

Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle, roughly 9″x14″. Spread the caramelized onions over the rectangle in two columns, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge and a 1-inch gap down the middle. Dot the goat cheese on top of the onions.

With lightly floured hands, gently roll up one of the long sides like a cylinder until you reach the middle. Repeat on the other side. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, slice the filled cylinder of dough into 1⁄4-inch slices, and place on the tray.

Beat the egg in a small bowl and, using a pastry brush, brush the egg over the palmiers to glaze. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the palmiers have puffed and begun to brown.

Meringues With Spiced Pears

Throw a sweet appetizer into the mix. Makes 24.

6 ripe Anjou or Comice pears, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped out and reserved
1 star anise seed
1 cinnamon stick
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
24 ready-made small meringue nests

Cook the pear in a saucepan with the brown sugar, vanilla bean pod, star anise, cinnamon stick, and lemon juice over a low heat until it collapses, about 20 minutes. Leave the compote to cool. Remove the spices. (You can store this in a sealed container in the fridge for a week.)

Beat heavy cream with a hand whisk until it forms soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar, reserved vanilla bean seeds, and a pinch of salt. Beat again to mix.

To assemble, layer a spoonful of cream into the meringue hollows, followed by a spoonful of pear compote.

Looking for holiday recipes? Try our holiday cookies and hot chocolate bar.

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