By Abby Humphreys
Holiday-themed snacks may be adorable to look at, but aren’t always as delicious as they appear. No matter their cuteness level, foods like Halloween crescent roll mummies are really just plain hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough and lack much flavor. Other holiday treats like Christmas Santa Claus cookies and Easter birds’ nest cupcakes suffer from too many mismatched ingredients for the sake of sticking to a theme, which make them more like decorations than tasty treats.
Luckily, these reader-tested recipes are great for any occasion and will be a guaranteed hit at virtually every gathering, from wild house parties to tame nights in with friends. Try these at your next party for happy guests who remember the night not just for the company, but for the food as well.
1. Fruity Pebble Treats – Travis Kent
Travis Kent, a senior English major from Aldie, Virginia, makes fruity pebble treats using this recipe to enjoy during movie nights with friends. He suggests prepping all pans and bowls of ingredients before starting because the marshmallows solidify very quickly after melting them in the microwave.
2. Buffalo Chicken Dip – Addie Bowders
Already a staple at tailgates, buffalo chicken dip was suggested by Addie as a “safe snack” for parties that everyone is sure to enjoy. This versatile recipe can be altered to taste more or less spicy depending on how much hot sauce is added. Provide celery sticks, pita chips and corn chips for guests to dip in this fan favorite.
3. Puppy Chow – Abby Humphreys
Puppy chow is fun to both make and enjoy with friends. Though you can buy pre-packaged Muddy Buddies at stores like Walmart and Target in different flavors, making the snack yourself with this recipe allows you to control over how much chocolate or peanut butter is included in the mix depending on your taste preferences. This perfect mix of crunchy, sweet and salty makes it impossible to eat just one piece.
4. Ham and Fig Jelly Sandwiches – Emily Proctor
Emily Proctor, a senior Spanish and history major from Huntington, West Virginia, serves these sandwiches at her annual New Year’s Eve parties. Though the combination of ham, cheese and fig jelly may sound strange at first, these sandwiches always disappear off the serving tray well before midnight. (Editor’s note: I can attest to this.)
“If you are looking to add something surprisingly yummy to your party menu, these gooey ham sandwiches are perfect,” she says. “Not only are they very easy and inexpensive to make—which keeps hosting duties stress-free—but they have also been very popular among my friends, who have widely different tastes.”
Emily’s recipe was discovered by accident and can’t be found anywhere else on the Internet:
You will need:
White American cheese
Assemble the sandwiches and wrap together in tinfoil. Bake in the oven at 350° until the sandwiches are warmed through, which will take about 5 minutes.
5. Sausage Dip – Travis Kent
Travis also supplied his family’s sausage dip recipe. It’s the same as this recipe from Ready Set Eat, but Travis recommends not cooking the sausage beforehand, doubling the amount of cream cheese and tomatoes and heating the mixture in the oven for 30 minutes at 350° in order to cook the meat through. Serve with tortilla chips. (Editor’s note: Three people can easily finish an entire pan of this dip on their own—it’s that delicious.)
6. Pull-Apart Garlic Bread – Kody Goff
This recipe has made its rounds across Pinterest and Facebook for a while now, but sounded too good to be true. Kody and his fiancee Drew Mossor tried this recipe over Christmas break several years ago and were pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
“It’s really fun to make with others and serve with garlic or pizza sauce dip,” he said. “It goes great with a movie night.”
7. Rainbow Sherbet Punch – Emily Proctor
“By the end of the night, the bowl was completely empty,” she said.