Joyful Christmas Nibbles to Brighten Your Table

One of my all time favorite things to do is create themed tables for holidays or special events. I can spend hours upon hours reading through recipes, visualizing the beautiful table in my mind. Holidays such as Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving are some of the easiest to bring together. Just check the internet – there are entire sites dedicated to holiday entertaining. And not just the big holidays. Do a little digging and you can find recipes and decorating tips for just about anything. I love them all. It’s the attention to detail that pulls me in. I am such a stickler for detail.

For your holiday consideration, I’ve put together a few of my favorite nibbles. Hope you find a recipe or two to add to your Holiday collection.

Joyful Christmas Nibbles
Baked Christmas Brie with Raspberry Jam
Crescent Christmas Ornament
Pastrami and Roast Beef Red Pepper Roll-Ups
Rosemary Wreath Smokies in a Blanket
Spicy Shrimp and Apricot Crescent Bites
Spinach Dip Breadstick Christmas Tree

Baked Christmas Brie with Raspberry Jam
Flour, for work surface
2 Sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 (7 oz.) round brie
1 Tablespoon raspberry jam
Egg wash, for brushing puff pastry
Crackers, for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll 1 puff pastry on a floured work surface.

Smear raspberry jam in center of puff pastry. Place brie on top of jam.

Fold corners of pastry around brie like you would a present. Seal with egg wash.

Cut second sheet of puff pastry into strips. Wrap two long strips around brie to create base of bow.

Cut long strip into smaller pieces to create ribbon for bow. Seal onto brie with egg wash in a bow shape.

Place brie on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover all over with more egg wash.

Bake until deeply golden, about 15 minutes.

Serve with crackers.

Crescent Christmas Ornament
2 (8 oz) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
4 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup garlic & herb spreadable cheese
2 gold or sliver baking cups
Sprigs fresh rosemary as needed
1 Red bell pepper
1 Yellow bell pepper
Handful of Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh thyme

Heat oven to 375-degrees. Spray 12-inch pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. Remove dough from 1 can, keeping dough in one piece – DO NOT UNROLL. With palms of hands, gently roll dough in one direction into 12-inch long log. With serrated knife, cut log into 20 slices. Repeat with 2nd can of dough.

At center of spray-coated pizza pan, arrange 2 slices side by side, pressing together to flatten inside edges and to form a circle. Place 7 slices in ring around center slices; press together lightly. Arrange 12 slices in next ring; press together lightly. Arrange 9 slices in last ring, overlapping edges slightly in ring. Press together gently. Bake for 13-18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Gently loosen ornament form pan. Cool 5 minutes.

Gently remove ornament from pan, slide on wire rack to cool completely.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed until soft and fluffy. Slowly beat in whipping cream, beat until fluffy. Beat in spreadable cheese until well blended. Cover; refrigerate until serving time.

Place cooled ornament on large round serving tray, rearrange as necessary if crescent slices have separated. Spread entire ornament with cream cheese mixture. Shape one foil baking cup to resemble metal ornament top, folding in half at base. Cut small slit in top. Fold second baking cup inward from outside edges to make metal strip. Twist together at base to make loop for ornament top. Insert base into slit. Slide sprigs of rosemary through loop to resemble branches of pine tree.

Decorate ornament with vegetables as desired.

Suggestion: For New Year’s Eve arrange slices of vegetables to form numbers of coming year. Place in center of ornament, decorate as desired above and below numbers.

Pastrami and Roast Beef Red Pepper Roll-Ups
¼ lb thinly sliced pastrami (from deli counter)
½ lb thinly sliced roast beef (from deli counter)
2/3 cup Chive & Onion cream cheese spread
1 cup roasted red bell peppers (from jar) cut into ¾-inch wide strips.
Fresh rosemary sprigs

Carefully spread each slice of pastrami with cream cheese spread. Top each with roasted pepper piece at one edge. Starting at roasted pepper edge, roll up each slice tightly. Cover and refrigerate. Repeat with roast beef slices. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To serve, trim ends. Cut each roll into 1-inch thick pieces. Secure each with fresh rosemary. Makes about 80 bites

Rosemary Wreath Smokies in a Blanket
1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
24 Little Smokie Cocktail Sausages
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
Egg wash
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
rosemary sprigs (for decoration)
Ketchup, for serving

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.

Slice crescent rolls lengthwise into thirds. Brush all over with Dijon mustard. Place a mini cocktail sausage on the thick end of each triangle and roll up.

Arrange the smokies in a blanket, sided by side, in a circle on the baking sheet. They should be touching to form the wreath! Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crescents are golden. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

Lay rosemary sprigs around the inside of the wreath and place a small bowl filled with ketchup in the center.

Spicy Shrimp and Apricot Crescent Bites
1 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
Apricot preserves
24 medium cooked shrimp, tails removed
24 sprigs fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 375-degrees. Unroll dough into 1 long rectangle; gently pressing perforations to seal. Place cayenne pepper in strainer and lightly dust dough with powder. Sprinkle with chopped peppers.

Starting with one long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion. With serrated knife, cut roll into 24 slices; place cut-side-down on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; place on wire rack. Cool completely.

To assemble: top each bite with about ½ teaspoon apricot preserves and 1 shrimp. Garnish each with a cilantro sprig. Serve immediately.

Spinach Dip Breadstick Christmas Tree
12 oz Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese
1 tube refrigerated thick crust pizza crust
2 tablespoons gutter
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, beat together the spinach and cream cheese. Add minced garlic, salt, onion powder, pepper, chili powder and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Beat to combine.

Add Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar or Mozzarella cheese to the spinach mixture. Set aside.

Unroll the pizza crust on a piece of parchment paper. Using a pizza slicer, cut the crust into three triangles. This gives you one large triangle and two smaller ones. Transfer the smaller triangles to a second piece of parchment paper, placing the long side edges together, to make another large triangle. The dough will stretch out a little as you move it around – no biggie, just gently tug it into the shape you want, pressing the two halves together in the middle. This will be the base of the breadsticks. If desired, also gave the base a short little trunk. Pinch the seams of the base together to seal and create one large triangle about the same size at the remaining center cut piece.

Spread the spinach dip over the base.

Sprinkle on the remaining cheese, and then top with the first triangle of dough. You’ll likely have to tug at the dough a little bit to make sure it completely covers the base triangle.

Using a pizza cutter, cut slices from the middle to each edge about every inch down the triangle as shown below. Don’t slice all the way across; leave about an inch down the middle of the tree intact.

Grab each “slice” and twist it to form a tree shape. For the top slice that’s very short you’ll just give it a half twist; as you go further down the tree and hit longer slices you’ll give them two or three full twists.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 22 minutes until the bottom is completely cooked through.

The top is going to get nice and browned, but make sure to check that the bottom is cooked through. If you are cooking on a heavy cookie sheet, you may want to cook this on the lower rack in your oven.

Once out of the oven you can brush the breadsticks with melted butter, garlic salt, and seasonings. Serve while still warm and enjoy.

This awesome Christmas Tree recipe comes to us from It’s Always Autumn. Be sure to check out her original posting with great step-by-step photos.

Hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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