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5 Bite-Size Cheesy Appetizers for the New Year


New Year’s Eve in the United States is a rich and diverse tradition. On one end of the spectrum, you got tuxes and ball gowns, chocolate fountains and bubbling Champagne (basically the final scene in When Harry Met Sally). On the other end, you’re sitting at home, eating Doritos, and watching Anderson Cooper squirm next to Kathy Griffin for four hours.

For those of you occupying the happy medium, however, you’re probably going to or hosting a New Year’s Eve house party: that beautiful, intimate celebration of the end of things and the beginning of things with good family and friends. And, this being a magazine about cheese, we say there’s no better way to ring in the New Year and jumpstart that boozy mingling than with some awesome bite-size cheesy appetizers. No cutting, slicing, or delicate spooning here—just pick it up, pop it in, and savor.

Here are five balls, pockets, and squares of plain ol’ cheese goodness to impress any guest or host:

1. Sweet Potato, Chard, and Alpine Cheese Croquettes

Sweet Potato, Chard, and Alpine Cheese Croquettes

This recipe marvelously pairs the hint of sweetness from the sweet potatoes with the bring-it-on umami of whichever alpine cheese you settle on (Comté, Gruyère, raclette, you name it), all rolled up and fried to perfection. And as an extra bonus, it’ll go great with red or white wine.

2. Mini Wild Mushroom Mac & Cheese Bites

Mini Wild Mushroom Mac & Cheese Bites

KQED’s Bay Area Bites throws together wild mushrooms sautéed with thyme and Béchamel macaroni to create this incredible combo. Baked in a mini-muffin pan, these cute little guys will make a great amuse-bouche.

3. Ricotta Beignets

Ricotta Beignets

Wow everyone you know with these heavenly golden pillows. Ricotta is already amazing, but mixed with a little parsley and encased in the most perfect shell imaginable, they become divine.

4. Mac & Cheese Dumplings

Mac & Cheese Dumpling

We’re pretty big fans of fusion foods—creating new and exciting flavors from old ones out of thin air—so we were pretty ecstatic when the geniuses over at Foodbeast thought of putting mac and cheese inside a dumpling wrapper. The future is now.

5. Blue Cheese Gougères

Blue Cheese Gougères

These neat little blue cheese puffs will add some much needed zazz to your New Year’s Eve spread. Plus, they’re baked and not fried, so you can start on those New Year’s resolutions a couple hours early! (Because that makes a difference, right?)

Feature Photo Credit: Wendy Goodfriend, KQED

Grant Bradley

Grant Bradley is culture's former web editor and never ceases to thank his nameless human ancestor who figured that leaving some milk around for a while and then eating it was probably a great idea. Raised on California’s Central Coast, educated in the Pacific Northwest, and transplanted to New England, Grant likes to write, edit, and code things.