Go Back
Print this page
Blackberry Walnut Cookies
It’s a holiday party—you must have cookies. We double your pleasure by offering not one but two buttery, nutty shortbread rounds in each cookie. They sandwich tart berry jam under a drift of confectioners sugar.
Perfect Bourbon Manhattans
Greet your guests with this classic cocktail. Invented in the late 1800s, it originally called for rye; here, bourbon gets to be the star, and the combination of sweet and dry vermouth makes our version “perfect.”
Zucchini Latkes
Add a little color to the Festival of Lights with zucchini pancakes that shine green. Lighter than potato latkes, they’re the Mediterranean cousins who’ve traveled north to visit family in eastern Europe. These pair well with a smoky Mediterranean eggplant relish. And a hearty porcini and vegetable soup turns a spread of chic small bites into a complete and satisfying meal.
Scallion Cilantro Pancakes
These scallion cilantro pancakes are supple and crêpelike rather than crisp—more Korean pa jon than Chinese scallion pancake.
Potato Latkes
Every family has its own (ahem, best) version of these savory potato pancakes. We’re offering you a classic formula, though not everyone drains the potato mixture before frying—we find this prevents the latkes from absorbing too much oil and allows them to crisp into golden disks. Top them with apple chutney, a spicy, crunchy twist to traditional applesauce.

Mix and match: smoked salmon with horseradish cream and lemony egg salad are delicious on both latke options.
Onion, Tomato, and Olive Pizzas
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making these pissaladière-style pizzas all year round—the bold flavors of tomatoes, olives, and anchovies are too good to save for just cocktail parties.
Gin Rickeys
Usually considered a summer drink, this refreshing lime concoction is a tart surprise when the chill of winter weather settles in. Followed by a spoonful of vodka-infused spicy shrimp cocktail, it’s sure to keep the party in full swing.
These sexy little bites have a flavor as sharp as Dorothy Parker’s wit. And because they’re toasted with butter in the oven, they taste deliciously fried (only without the regret). These croutons are especially indulgent when paired with a wonderfully warming poblano soup, which we serve hot in a shot glass; the spicy heat from the chiles will wake up your taste buds and kick-start some festive conversation.
Vanilla-Poached Pineapple
“I’ve never been keen on pineapple,” food editor Paul Grimes admits, “so I challenged myself to make a pineapple dessert that I would actually like.” Charring the wine-poached fruit caramelizes it and softens its acidity while highlighting its floral notes. With vanilla and a cidery syrup, this dessert feels at once wintery and light. Just as refreshing is a beautiful salad of oranges and slightly bitter endive and escarole, which rounds out a buffet of rich party bites.
Garnet Punch (Cranberry Rosemary Cocktail)
Topped with a rosemary sprig, this garnet punch of cranberry-infused syrup is a festive, holiday-hued affair. Plus, this cocktail pairs well with shrimp toasts; our version of this classic Asian appetizer is baked instead of fried, so your guests won’t have to worry about messy, oily fingers. Just as portable are parmesan custard squares embedded with a mosaic of butternut squash.
Manchego Quince Paste “Napoleons”
Here, a classic Spanish pairing gets reinvented as a bite-size cheese course. We’re particularly enamored of the added textural contrast provided by the sliced almonds. Impress guests with other intricate—yet portable and easy—hors d’oeuvres, like green-bean and prosciutto “negimaki” and carrot-beef “sushi.”
Cranberry Gin and Tonics
Packed with real cranberry flavor and a splash of lime, this fruity creation pairs well with satisfying Spanish chorizo and potato bites.
Moroccan-Style Chicken Phyllo Rolls
These rolls are based loosely on b’stilla—a phyllo-crusted “pie” of shredded chicken that’s been simmered with Moroccan spices and then mixed with egg and nuts. The egg lends the filling an almost custardlike richness. For guests who still want a bite of dessert before departing, serve luscious dulce-de-leche cheesecake squares.
Pork Cornets with Sour-Cherry Sauce
With hearty, stick-to-your ribs foods recasted as elegant winter hors d’oeuvres, you’ll want to try a little of everything before it’s gone. A balance of savory and sweet, the pork tastes just as good when presented more casually; simply slice and serve on a platter with the sauce on the side. Also pictured is mini mushroom grilled cheese and vegetarian lentil-pepper pâté—satisfyingly rich with a silky texture, it will entice even the most die-hard carnivores. For dessert, we’ve given Rice Krispies treats a tiny jolt of coffee flavor and dark chocolate ganache for a sophisticated and whimsical ending.
Subscribe to Gourmet