One of our favorite parts of the holidays centers around Christmas Eve. Typically, Karen’s family approaches Christmas Eve as a casual celebration complete with special cocktails (does anyone else enjoy Brandy Slushes, or is that just a Midwest thing?) and lots of tasty appetizers and snack foods. It is the perfect set up for catching up and playing card games. Sometimes we even gamble during a “friendly” family game of Texas Hold ‘Em or Thirty One.
It is always fun to make a few tried-and-true family favorites and also bring in some new holiday appetizer recipes as well. One appetizer concept that we love are crostinis. Once you crisp up your baguette base, there are so many fun and festive crostini toppings options to choose from. Plus, you can make a few varieties for your holiday gathering in order to appease even the pickiest of eaters.
We partnered with Whole Foods Market to create five irresistible crostinis ranging from “easy” to “moderately advanced” skill level. All of the ingredients and spreads came from their market because during the holidays, only the best will do! Their expansive cheese selection was really helpful in the selection of ingredients for these recipes: each crostini features a different cheese. During their 12 days of cheese they even feature a different cheese that is half off each day, through 12/19. We have to give mad props to their cheese department for finding the perfect, spreadable goat cheese for the couple who isn’t always a fan of goat cheese. If you’re looking for an even simpler route to a delicious holiday spread, be sure to check out their preorder holiday options: there are a number of delish side dishes, appetizers, and party platters to choose from as well as other holiday inspiration!
Check out our cooking segment with Fox 7 Austin where we prepared two of these crostinis live on air!
Without further ado, bring on the crostinis!
How to make a crostini
Let’s start with the basics. Start by slicing a baguette on a bias so they are about ½ inch thick. Spread them out on a baking sheet and lightly brush or spray with olive oil. Broil them on high until lightly toasted and golden brown. If making them ahead of time, store the homemade crostinis in an air-tight container or ziplock bag.
Pimento cheese and bacon crostini
Whole Foods Pimento Cheese Spread
2 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
This simple recipe is so easy that even a bachelor with zero cooking experience could make this dish. PLUS, the flavors are so tasty that they would likely keep making this for a snack on the regular. Top your crostinis with a scoop of pimento cheese spread and top with pieces of chopped up bacon.
Goat cheese, fig, and honey walnut crostini
Soft, spreadable goat cheese
Organic Adriatic fig spread
Round Rock honey
After toasting up your crostinis in the oven, let them cool briefly. Top the bread with a soft goat cheese, fig preserves, and chopped walnuts. Finally, drizzle your creation with some sweet honey.
Smoked salmon, dill, radish and cream cheese crostini
Whole Catch sockeye smoked salmon
Radishes, thinly sliced
This is a pretty traditional flavor combination, but it is so classic and looks beautiful so you can’t go wrong. Simply spread the crostini with regular cream cheese and top it with radish slices, smoked salmon and dill. Additional toppings that are terrific with this flavor combination are capers, red onion, and sliced/shaved hard-boiled egg.
Baked brie, pear and pomegranate crostini
Wheel of brie
2 bartlett pears
What is it about baked brie that always reminds us of the holidays?! This crostini brings in soft, melty brie and a nod to holiday colors with green pears and red pomegranate seeds. After crisping your baguette, add a slice of brie and return it to the oven to broil until slightly melty. Top with thin slices of pear and pomegranate seeds.
French onion and gruyere crostini
2-3 Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon Better than Bouillon beef bouillon paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Gruyere cheese, shredded
This crostini was actually our favorite of alllll of them. It is warm, gooey, and tastes like a comforting bowl of French onion soup! This requires a bit of preparation time to caramelize the onions beforehand. Start by thinly slicing 2-3 onions (a mandolin works wonders here). Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a pan and add the onions. Cover and let cook for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat. Remove the lid and add ½ teaspoon of beef bouillon paste, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cook on medium heat for 20-30 minutes until the onions soften and caramelize. Top the crostini with the onions and then add shredded gruyere cheese. Broil them until the cheese melts and garnish with additional fresh thyme.
There you have it! We would love to hear which of these 5 flavor combinations sound most irresistible to you.
We partnered with Whole Foods Market in the creation of these recipes and were compensated for our work, but all words and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting brands who support our blog!