It’s almost Christmas, and New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. Perhaps there’s a party coming up to which you’ve been asked to bring an appetizer to share. It’s possible you are a bit worn out from all the fa la la, so what can you make that’s quick and easy but will taste fabulous? We’re here to help. Our Bridging the Gap writers have collaborated to bring you our favorite fast and yummy appetizers that’ll have you out the door and on your way.

Raspberry Chipotle Dip Nancy Holte
This is so easy it hardly requires a recipe.


  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • Raspberry Chipotle Sauce – I usually use Bronco Bob’s Raspberry Chipotle Sauce but really any variety will work. You can also use a pepper jam of your choice.
  • Crackers – You’ll want to use crackers that don’t crumble easily. I usually use Wheat Thins, Triscuits, or some type of multi-grain, gluten-free cracker.


  1. Unwrap the cream cheese and put it on a pretty plate.
  2. Pour the chipotle sauce over the cream cheese. You judge the amount by what looks right to you.  
  3. Grab a basket and fill it with your favorite crackers.
  4. Place a small knife next to the cream cheese so people can easily add some to their plate. (Otherwise the party guests will just camp out next to the appetizer table all night dipping cracker after cracker into the dip. Quite possibly a fight will break out over who’s hogging all the yumminess.)

It’s as simple as that!

Bacon Swiss DipJolene Erlacher


  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 8 ounce softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, swiss cheese, and onion with cooked bacon.
  3. Pour into a small, shallow baking dish and bake until golden and bubbly at edges, about 15-18 minutes.
  4. Place dip on a platter and surround warm dish with crackers or veggies for dipping!  

Hot Ham and Cheese for Holiday Drop-In Guests – Julie Bergh
These yummy appetizers are extremely easy!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, rack in the middle position.


  • 1 Package Pillsbury (or your favorite store brand) crescent rolls
  • 8 thin slices of ham
  • 8 thin slices of Swiss cheese cut in half so you have 16 pieces total
  • Dipping mustard (we use spicy brown)


  1. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  2. Roll out the crescent rolls into their triangular shapes.
  3. Add a slice of ham on top of the crescent roll. (It’s not necessary to have all the ham neatly tucked inside the dough when rolled.)
  4. Add two of the thin slices of Swiss cheese on top of the ham. Try to keep this toward the center so when it melts, you have the cheese on the INSIDE of your crescent instead of oozing out onto your parchment paper.
  1. Roll your crescents as you normally do.
  2. Bake for approximately 11-14 minutes (just until golden brown).
  3. Remove crescents from the oven and let cool for 3 minutes on your baking sheet.
  4. Serve warm with dipping mustard or your favorite condiment.

Whoops! I-Forgot-the-Bible-Study-is-Meeting-at-My-House Quick Chocolate Croissants – Julie Bergh
These delicious chocolate croissants are a quick and very easy snack for friends, family, or if you happened to forget that people were meeting at your house and now you’re scrambling.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, rack in the middle position.


  • 1 package of Pillsbury GRANDS crescent rolls (I try to use the real Pillsbury Grands because of the size but in a pinch, the normal size will work fine.)
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or whatever flavor your cupboard currently has.) Set aside ½ cup for drizzling.


  1. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  2. Roll out the crescent rolls into their triangular shapes.
  3. Add your chocolate chips in the center of each of the triangular shapes.
  4. Roll your crescents as you normally do.
  5. Bake approximately 11-14 minutes (just until golden brown).
  6. Remove crescents from the oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes. Leave on the parchment paper for drizzling. (It will make your clean-up easier.)


  • Melt the remaining ½ cup of chips in the microwave.
  • Drizzle the chocolate over your crescents.
  • Let them stand for 5 minutes.

Ranch Cheese Ball Melinda Nelson
This is really easy but sometimes I do add a little flare – keep reading!


  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or cheddar jack – you pick your flavor)
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix (I use Hidden Valley Ranch)
  • 1 cup bacon bits* (OPTIONAL – but if you add them use the real bacon ones)
  • Parmesan cheese (the powdery type not the fancy grated)
  • Small pretzel sticks
  • Crackers of choice


  1. Mix the cream cheese, grated cheese, and dressing mix thoroughly.
  2. Let sit in fridge until firm (preferably overnight to let the flavors meld).

Here is where I get wild…

  • Many would roll into a large ball and roll in the parmesan (or the bacon bits!!) and plop that baby on a plate. Done!
  • I roll personal sized cheese balls. It’s a little more work but it makes them a lot more fun to eat. I scoop a spoonful of the mixture out and manually roll it into a small ball.
  • Once all of it is balled into bite size portions, I put them back into the fridge to chill for about 30 – 60 minutes.
  • Take out the mini balls and roll them in the parmesan (or bacon bits.) Put them on a serving platter or into a bowl.
  • When ready to serve, I surround the balls with crackers/pretzels and stick a pretzel in several of the top balls. This makes them easy to grab and it’s fun to eat them right off the pretzel.

This cheesy snack is thick and flavored, so popping one into your mouth whole is a bit much. However, it is fun to watch those who don’t realize what they are pop one into their mouth on their way through the food line!

Buffalo Chicken Appetizer Cupcakes – Pam Bloom (with help from Betty Crocker)


  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix (from 1-oz package)
  • ¾ cup cayenne pepper hot sauce
  • 1 container (8 ounce) whipped cream cheese spread
  • 1 container (6 ounce) Greek Fat Free plain yogurt
  • 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated thin pizza crust
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounce)


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, mix chicken, dressing mix, hot sauce, cream cheese spread, and yogurt. Set aside.
  3. Unroll dough into large rectangle. Cut dough into 12 equal squares. Place 1 dough square in each muffin cup. Press dough in bottoms and up sides of cups.
  4. Divide chicken mixture evenly into cups, using about 1 tablespoon in each. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top of filling in each cup.
  5. Bake about 15 minutes or until crusts are golden brown and filling is hot. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! Merry Christmas!