As the weather gets colder, we find ourselves plunged into a world of red and orange trees, crispy leaves, and extra pairs of socks. Suddenly, Christmas doesn’t seem quite so far away! While it may be a little too early for carols and festive decorations, there’s one thing we can get excited about: Christmas food.
Christmas this year
With COVID-19 restrictions shaping our daily lives, it's hard to picture how Christmas will look. But, whether it’s a giant family gathering or a much smaller affair, it can still feel like Christmas with the right food on the table.
Christmas dinner dominates Christmas Day meals, and the leftovers are always handy for re-heating to make Boxing Day sandwiches or bubble and squeak. What about in-between? What do you do if you don’t fancy the same food again? Christmas nibbles are the perfect solution.
Plates of mini foods are great on party platters or straight out of the fridge. But, you don’t want to spend three hours making something that gets eaten in thirty seconds. We’ve scoured the internet for some of the tastiest, quickest, and simplest Christmas nibble ideas that can be prepared beforehand or whipped up on the day.
Stress-free savoury Christmas nibbles
Nibbles, finger food, appetisers, or canapés. Whatever you call them, these little snack ideas will leave everyone wanting more, so make extra! Below, you can find three savoury ideas that you can make individually or serve together on a platter. We haven’t been able to test every recipe, so make sure you read the instructions carefully before deciding to go ahead. We’d love to hear how they turn out. Let us know in the comments below!
“What is a blini?" may be the first question that comes to mind. Blinis are essentially bite-size savoury pancakes. Top these with anything you like for a fabulous entrée or Christmas nibble. Jamie Oliver suggests using smoked salmon and adds six mouth-watering suggestions for accompaniments, including cream cheese or avocado.
The best thing about this recipe is you can make the batter the night before and keep it in the fridge. We’ve even seen recipes that say you can make blinis in advance and freeze them, then defrost on the day. Results may vary with this technique, however.
This Christmas delight takes a little more prep time, but it certainly seems like 20 minutes well spent! You start with ready-made sourdough rolls, making small cuts. You then spread a delicious mixture of brie and cranberry sauce into the gaps.
Because this recipe involves lots of bread and three different types of cheese, it’s not too demanding in terms of presentation. For bonus points, the recipe author suggests sprinkling parsley and thyme on your finished nibbles. The main factor to take into consideration when making these delicious-looking nibbles is the units of measurement. The website uses cups, so we recommend having a converter at the ready!
3. Dips and crudités
Crudités usually go down a treat without ruining main meals! The word crudité comes from the French word cru, which means raw. Crudités are usually raw vegetables that you dip in hummus, vinaigrette, or your favourite sauce.
To make things a little more festive, you can choose in-season vegetables or opt for a Christmas-inspired dip. For the more adventurous, making your own hummus is a lovely touch. It’s a good idea to trial any dip recipes before the big day and to look at any comments you find on online recipe pages. People often leave helpful suggestions about quantities and ingredients!
Sweet Christmas nibbles and easy deserts
When you think of finger food, sweet treats might not come to mind. However, little dessert bites can make perfect nibbles. After all, it is Christmas!
These dark chocolate truffles will put any leftover cooked Christmas pudding to good use. The recipe is short (but very sweet!) and only calls for dark chocolate, white chocolate, double cream, and a few edible decorations.
If your sweet tooth isn't quite this chocolatey, BBC Good Food is home to several tasty alternatives for using up your Christmas pud. Their Christmas pudding cheesecake gets particularly good reviews. But, the recipe calls for an entire Christmas pudding, so you may want to buy one in advance to save time. Once you’ve made your cheesecake, you can cut it into small slices and serve along with other sweet nibbles for festive celebrations.
2. Fancy traybakes
What’s the difference between a snack and a nibble? The presentation! While traybakes may conjure images of hundreds and thousands sprinkles and children’s parties, we’ve found a few grown-up recipes that are perfect for Christmas. Once you’ve made your traybake, you can cut it into little squares for guests, or keep it all for yourself!
First up, we have a mouth-watering gin and tonic squares recipe. This traybake is based on a traditional sponge cake, infused with alcohol, and topped with white chocolate drizzle and lemon zest. The recipe above doesn’t come with comments, so you may prefer to use it as a starting point, finding inspiration from other recipes such as this larger gin and tonic cake.
For a less alcoholic treat, bake-off champion Nadiya has shared her white chocolate Christmas traybake recipe. The mincemeat, nutmeg, and cinnamon create a festive feel, while the white chocolate ganache is sure to please adults and children alike.
What do you put on a nibbles platter?
You can create a nibbles platter with almost any type of dish. Simply make smaller portions or cut your creation into squares! At Christmas, making a fancy array of exotic foods alongside your usual festivities can create extra stress. That’s why many people opt to buy all or some of their buffet-style food. If you find yourself stuck for time, but don’t want to buy everything, making one or two nibbles will create a lovely homely feel.
At Pension Times, we would love to hear about your favourite Christmas recipes. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below. Looking for more inspiration? Have a look at this guide on making your own mulled wine!