Foolproof Christmas Appetizer

Everyone needs just one of two foolproof crowd-pleasing appetizers for the holidays. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing am empty dish bowl at the end of the night. In the spirit of giving, I've included below a reliable appetizer to bring or serve to any holiday party. Who doesn't love hot cheese smothered over a homemade cracker? 

Homemade "Raincoast Crisp" Crackers

If you can avoid spending $6 or more on a box of crackers, why not? Those delicious and expensive crackers are actually very easy to make. The real raincoast crisp crackers contain dairy and I used almond milk. So, not only will you save money but you'll be able to reserve some calories for extra cookies! This recipe makes about 80 crackers. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of almond milk 
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of agave
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of pecans (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of hulled pumpkin seeds (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax
  • 1/4 cup of sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary
  • 1.5 tablespoons of ground cinnamon 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. To make the mock buttermilk, mix the vinegar and almond milk in a separate bowl and let sit for 10 minutes
  3. While the "buttermilk" is sitting, chop the nuts and cranberries 
  4. Measure the whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and whisk together
  5. Add the brown sugar, agave to the bowl with the flour. Slowly add the "buttermilk" mixture to the flour mixture. Don't overmix, just combine all ingredients 
  6. Add the nuts, cranberries, flax, rosemary, nutritional yeast, sesame seeds and give it a stir
  7. Divide the batter into two loaf pans (if you only have one, save the 2nd set of mixture for when the 1st batch is done)
  8. Pop the loaf pan into the oven for 35 minutes
  9. Wait until the pan is completely cool (I popped the loaf out of the pan and placed on a plate in the fridge overnight). Cut the loaf in thin slices
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  11. Place the slices on a baking pan with parchment paper
  12. Bake the slices in the oven for 15-25 minutes. I took the very thin slices out after 15 minutes and then kept baking the thicker slices

Fig, Pistachio and Walnut Baked Brie

Ingredients:

  • Brie
  • Fig Jam (Enough to smear all over the brie)
  • 1/3 cup dried figs (chopped)
  • 1/3 walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/3 pistachios (chopped)
  • 2.5 tablespoons of honey 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F
  2. Smear the fig jam all over the brie
  3. Toss the figs, walnuts and pistachios over the brie
  4. Drizzle the honey over the brie 
  5. Bake for 15-25 minutes