Happy Holiday Canapes

Posted by in The Kitchen

Nothing says “retro fun” like canapes – cute, open-faced mini sandwiches made of a variety of simple, tasty ingredients. What better way to celebrate the old-school hospitality of the past than with these fun, tasty morsels, all done with a whimsical Holiday twist!

In the past few years, our holiday parties have drawn inspiration from a variety of sources. Since it seemed like everyone else had done “retro” by this point, I thought it would be safe for *me* to do it without any conflict!

Inspired by Michael’s grandmother’s Betty Crocker Cookbook from 1956, I wanted to do canapes. The photos in the book showed lovely platters, all adorned with cleverly shaped, tastefully layered, and deliciously hued pieces of bread, meats, cheeses, and garnishes. Visions of the perfect hostess, her hair exquisitely coiffed, starched apron falling into perfect scallops from her teeny waist, Stepford-like makeup framing her never-faltering “Delighted!” smile, serving these beautiful canapes from an heirloom silver tray.

Hmmm. Not quite me.

Preparing a number of these ahead for a party of 80 seemed neither practical nor fun, so I decided to offer “Make Your Own Holiday Canapes.” Armed with a box of assorted holiday-shaped cookie cutters, Michael and I tackled loaves of bread, pounds of deli meat and sliced cheeses.


The results were cute as hell! Small dishes of condiments, such as olives, pickles, and mustards rounded out the offerings. Many simply treated the platters as fun, festive deli platters and grabbed a turkey Elf and a cheddar ornament to munch on. Other got really creative: “The Teddy Bear loves the Elf and is eating a Snowflake while building a Snowman.” Chomp!


The possibilities are truly endless; you can create a fun variety of shapes to offer and display, and even take the time to create your own combinations.


Happy Holidays!