Last-minute New Year's Eve nibbles: Caviar cups, cheesecake bars

Hosting a party this New Year's Eve but haven't even started planning yet? No worries, these mini bites will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time. Here, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman of Southern Living Magazine shares their simple and savory recipes for caviar cups and cheesecake bars.

Dixie caviar cups
Servings:

Makes 15 appetizer servings

Ingredients

    • 1 (15.8-oz.) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
    • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
    • 1 medium-size plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1/2 medium-size green bell pepper, finely chopped
    • 1/2 small sweet onion, finely chopped
    • 2 green onions, sliced
    • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced*
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    • 30 Belgian endive leaves (about 3 bunches)
    • 1/2 cup sour cream

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal bag, and chill 24 hours; drain. 2. Spoon mixture into a bowl; stir in cilantro. Spoon about 1 rounded Tbsp. mixture into each endive leaf. Dollop with sour cream. *2 1/4 tsp. finely chopped pickled jalapeño peppers may be substituted.

Tips:

For testing purposes only, we used Bush's Blackeye Peas.

Cheesecake bars with cherries jubilee sauce
Servings:

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • Cheesecake bars

    • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Cherries jubilee sauce

    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 2 (12-oz.) packages frozen dark sweet cherries (do not thaw)
    • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
    • 1/4 cup brandy
    • Garnish: orange zest

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Cheesecake bars1.  Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter; press into bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan. 2. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool completely on a wire rack (about 20 minutes).3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Combine sugar and flour; gradually add to cream cheese, beating just until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over prepared crust, spreading to edges of pan.4. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Cover and chill 8 hours. Cut into bars. Serve with Cherries Jubilee Sauce. Cherries Jubilee sauce1. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a medium skillet; whisk in orange juice. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cherries, and, if desired, orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 2. Stir in brandy, and return to heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Cool slightly. Garnish, if desired.

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