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Host an Appetizer Swap Party

Host an Appetizer Swap Party

It's like a cookie swap, but more grown-up. Uncork the Champagne, nibble, and trade.

Appetizer Swap Tips

Simple, festive idea that will make everyone smile: Guests bring homemade appetizers for eating at the party, with enough so that everyone can take home some for their own holiday soirées. Some tips for swapping:

  • Give guests plenty of notice. Send out invites a month in advance. As part of the RSVP, have everyone tell you what they'll bring to avoid duplications.
  • Also, it's a BYOC party—as in bring your own airtight plastic container so everyone can pack up favorites.
  • That said, have extra foil, plastic wrap, and parchment paper on hand, if needed.
  • Make sharing favorite recipes part of the fun. Find fun recipe card templates at Or share recipes online at If you're e-mailing invitations, include the links.
  • Specify quantities. If 12 people are attending, guests should make two dozen apps to eat during the party, plus another four dozen for swapping (everyone gets to take home 48 that way).
  • Stick with recipes that can be served—and stand—at room temperature.

Apricot-Blue Cheese Angels

Bake and freeze these bites up to a week in advance. Try a trio of flavors like a fig jam and goat cheese filling, or finely chopped apples tossed with honey and cinnamon.

Creamy Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Cups

The filling can be made and refrigerated up to a day in advance, then brought to room temperature before filling the cups. Phyllo shells come conveniently prebaked, so they're ready to fill once thawed.

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix

A favorite flavor combination makes this appetizer perfectly munchable. Set a timer to remind you of the nuts toasting in the oven.

Mini Tomato-Parmesan Tarts

If you don't have a pastry cutter, use the rim of a drinking glass to cut rounds from the puff pastry. The light, fresh flavor of these tarts will be a hit with swappers.

Polenta Squares with Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts

Our polenta squares are an impressive and tasty item to bring to the swap. These are also tasty with chopped, dried figs or cranberries in place of the currants.

Potato-Gruyère Tartlets

Love the flavor of potato gratin? How about a handheld mini version brought to you by delicious, flaky puff pastry? Either baby Dutch or fingerling potatoes work well here.

Phyllo Cups with Ricotta, Chèvre, and Thyme

Start making the phyllo stacks about 30 minutes after you put the cheese mixture in the refrigerator. Or make the cheese mixture a day ahead, and assemble prior to the party.

Sun-Dried Tomato Palmiers

You can either thaw the puff pastry in the fridge overnight or leave it out at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours until it's pliable. These palmiers look a bit more complicated, but don't be alarmed. Just roll each side in a jelly-roll fashion until they meet in the middle. Be sure to chill dough for 20 minutes before cutting.

Pear Chutney Bruschetta with Pecans and Blue Cheese

Sweet-tangy chutney pairs beautifully with pungent blue cheese and toasty pecans. You can make the chutney up to three days in advance; assemble bruschetta shortly before serving.

Watch the video: Epic Party Dishes