Very Merry Holiday Bites

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(Family Features) Holiday parties should be fun — so why not serve up some tasty appetizers with a creative seasonal twist that will be sure to spice up your gathering?

These clever bites start with versatile party favorites Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies — and then the fun begins. Start off with an impressive — and edible — wreath for the centerpiece and serve with a cranberry-barbecue dip. Next, dress up your cocktail links with some delicious fare: simmer your Smokies in a zesty sauce; wrap them up in crispy bacon; make a splash with pineapple and edible flowers; dip and fry to make your own mini corn dogs; and turn them into tasty reindogs. With these fun-tastic appetizers, not only will you give guests plenty of food to eat, you’ll give them plenty to talk about.

For more recipes to add merriment to your celebrations, visit www.hillshirefarm.com.

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Holiday Appetizer Wreath

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • 32 Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies
  • 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent dough rolls
  • Optional: Roasted bell pepper strips, cherry tomato halves and fresh rosemary for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Open package of sausages and drain off liquid.
  3. Combine cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce in a small saucepan; heat over low heat, stirring until smooth and hot.
  4. Unroll dough, separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. With knife or pizza cutter cut each rectangle lengthwise into 8 strips, making a total of 32 strips.
  5. Wrap 1 strip of dough around each sausage. Place crescent-wrapped sausages with sides touching on ungreased cookie sheet or round baking stone in a circle, forming a wreath shape.
  6. Bake for 11 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.
  7. Carefully remove wreath onto serving platter, if desired. Garnish wreath with bell pepper strips to form a bow, and cherry tomato halves and rosemary sprigs for ornaments, if desired.
  8. Serve with cranberry-barbecue sauce.

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Lit’l Party Delights

Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • 1 package Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies
  • 3/4 cup chili sauce
  • 3/4 cup grape jelly
  • 1 tablespoon red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Open package of sausages and drain off liquid; set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until jelly is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Add sausages; heat 10 minutes or until hot.

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Reindogs

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 to 3 minutes

  • 1 package Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies
  • Pretzel twists
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  1. Heat sausages according to package directions.
  2. Break a small pretzel twist in half. Stick a pretzel half into both sides of sausage to resemble antlers.
  3. Use 2 small drops of mustard for eyes and a small drop of ketchup for the nose.

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Corn Doggies

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 to 3 minutes

  • 1 package Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies
  • 1 package (8.5 ounces) corn muffin mix
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Preheat oil to 375°F. Open package of sausages and drain off any liquid. Insert wooden toothpick into tip of each sausage.
  2. Mix corn muffin mix, flour, egg and milk in a large bowl until well combined. Working quickly, dip 4 to 5 sausages in batter.
  3. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and batter is cooked in the center.
  4. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining sausages.

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Pigs in Heaven

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

  • 1 package Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies
  • 1 package thick sliced bacon
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Open package of sausages and drain off any liquid.
  3. Cut each bacon slice into 3 to 4 pieces. Wrap each sausage with a piece of bacon; secure with a toothpick.
  4. Place on a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan.
  5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until bacon is browned.

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Lit’l Luaus

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes

  • 1 package Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies
  • Canned pineapple (1 can)
  • Edible flowers
  1. Heat sausages according to package directions.
  2. Cut 1 pineapple ring in half.
  3. Wrap two halves of pineapple around each sausage.
  4. Garnish with edible flowers.

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