Hopefully, we have brought new cheese and veggie recipes to your holiday party planning, but let’s get down to the real reason behind the holiday party season: bacon. Oh bacon, glorious bacon. Such a versatile ingredient and coincidentally, pairs well with many cheese and veggie appetizers! We bring to you our final edition of Holiday Party Recipes for 2016. We hope that you will enjoy these recipes as much as we have!

Hot Smoked Gouda Bacon Dip

2 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

16 ounces smoked gouda, shredded and divided

1 pound bacon, cooked and chopped, divided (see notes)

3 scallions, chopped and divided

freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and microwave for 30 seconds or until softened and easy to stir. Then, add the mayo and sour cream and whisk until smooth. The mixture should be creamy but not liquidy.
  3. Reserve 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese, ¼ cup of the chopped bacon and 2 tbsp. of the chopped scallions for later. Add the remaining cheese, bacon, scallions and black pepper to the cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Transfer the dip to an oven proof dish, sprinkle with the reserved cheese and bacon and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
  5. When out of the oven, sprinkle with the reserved scallions.

Recipe Credit: http://www.oliviascuisine.com/hot-smoked-gouda-bacon-dip/

Savory Bacon Avocado Appetizer

1 sheet puff pastry

2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 9 sections

½ avocado, diced or mashed

¼ cup salsa

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 egg, beaten in a bowl

  1. Allow puff pastry to thaw for about 20 minutes. While it is thawing, set the oven to 400 degrees and line one baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. When ready to use, unwrap puff pastry and place it on a flat, floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough a bit to make it bigger and thinner.
  3. Cut the puff pastry into 9 squares, then cut each square on the diagonal to make triangles.
  4. Add to each triangle – a section of cream cheese, a few bits of avocado, a spoonful of salsa and the bacon on top.
  5. Use the other triangle next to the piece you loaded to serve as the top and using your fingers, smoosh the edges together to the best of your ability. You want as much of it closed as possible.
  6. Once you have your 9 little pies made, dip them, one at a time into the beaten egg, then place them on the parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Recipe Credit: http://stuffparentsneed.com/puff-pasty-recipes-to-love-savory-bacon-avocado-appetizer/

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball Bites

2 – 8 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature

2 jalapeno peppers, minced

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/3 cup green onion, chopped

1 lb. cooked bacon

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

  1. Cook bacon and once cool enough to touch, chop finely with a food processor or blender.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, minced jalapeno peppers, cheddar cheese, green onion, salt and pepper; mix well.

Tip: give your hands a little touch of non-stick cooking spray before starting to roll balls.

  1. Using a heaping teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture, roll into bite size balls and then roll balls into bacon crumbs.
  2. Place on tray lined with parchment paper or foil.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Top with sliced jalapenos on toothpicks

Recipe Credit: http://laughingspatula.com/jalapeno-popper-cheese-ball-bites/

Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Red Potatoes

9 red potatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

½ cup crumbled blue cheese

½ cup sour cream

4 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 green onions, sliced thin and reserve some for garnish

  1. Wash potatoes and dry with a towel. Slice in half lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and let cool.
  2. When potatoes are easy to handle, scoop the inside out of each potato half, leaving some behind to keep the shape of the potato. Place the cooked potato into a bowl, leaving the shells on the cookie sheet.
  3. Add the sour cream, blue cheese, bacon and green onions to the potato in the bowl and mix until blended.
  4. Warm the potato shells in the oven for 5 minutes before filling if desired. Divide the filling among all the potato shells and sprinkle with additional pepper and green onions, if you like.

Recipe Credit: http://www.turningclockback.com/blue-cheese-and-bacon-stuffed-red-potato-appetizer/

Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Garlic Butter

2 lbs bacon

2 lbs scallops (cut in half if they are very large)

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp minced garlic

  1. Cut bacon strips in half. Wrap a piece of bacon around each scallop; secure with a toothpick.
  2. Arrange the wrapped scallops on a baking sheet. Broil 5 inches from heat until bacon is crisp; turn over and crisp the other side.
  3. Melt butter in saute pan, add garlic and saute one minute.
  4. Remove scallops from oven and serve with garlic butter. Enjoy!

Recipe Credit: http://www.thewickednoodle.com/bacon-wrapped-scallops-with-garlic-butter/