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The Best Appetizer Recipes to Make for Your Holiday Party

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Drew Swantak/Thrillist

The greatest joy of the holiday season is seeing close friends and family. But the worst part of the holiday season is when said friends and family open their mouths and ask you why you aren't a doctor/lawyer/philanthropist/married/finalist on America's Got Talent like cousin Jerry is. 

The solution? Make appetizers so delicious your guests have no choice but to have their mouths full and quiet from the second they walk in the door. Keeping things copacetic is what the holidays are all about, guys.

Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Buzz's Girlfriend's Woof-Tastic Corn Dog Mini-Muffins

These bite-sized corn muffins are the perfect way to say "merry Christmas" to all the filthy animals in your life. They are what the French would call compétent, unlike Kevin. Get the recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • Buttermilk
  • Beef franks
  • Egg
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

¡Feliz Navidad! Fried Guacamole ¡Balls!

A blast of guac and chips in every bite! Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Cold guac
  • Bag of tortilla chips
  • Eggs
  • Kosher salt
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Fried Festivus Mashed Potato Gravy Bombs

The treasured Frank Costanza devised Festivus -- the festival for the rest of us -- out of scorn for the commercialization and religious implications of the holiday season. But we are sure he'd feel fine associating his holiday with these gravy bombs, which would look downright perfect served next to a stark, aluminum pole. Bring on the feats of strength. Here's the recipe.

Key ingredients:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Cream cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
Thrillist/Drew Swantak

Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey's Garlic Knot Bread Bowl

Named after the sorely underrated Christmas carol classic, this is such a deliciously self-contained snack, you'll almost be able to ignore Cousin Sal's egregious double-dipping... almost. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Pillsbury Grands! biscuits
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pizza sauce
  • Italian seasoning
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Extremely Holy Bacon Cannoli

There's been rumblings around the country in the past 10 years or so over the perceived removal of religion from the holiday season. These bacon cannoli with ricotta cream holes will not aid, nor detract, from this debate. But they sure are delicious! Here's the recipe.

Key ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Chocolate chips
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Powdered sugar
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Red Ryder®'s Buffalo BB Balls

If you and your holiday guests don't really dig these Buffalo chicken meatballs, I'll personally shoot my eye out. Recipe!

Key ingredients

  • Hot sauce
  • Ground chicken
  • Blue cheese dip
  • Bread crumbs
Thrillist/Cole Saladino

Festival of Lights Latke Burgers

Say l'chaim to these burgers -- a perfect Jewish-leaning app when cut in half or served slider-sized. The sour cream sauce makes them decidedly un-kosher, though. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Beef brisket
  • Yellow onions
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Billy Bob Thornton™ Hamburger Jerky Tots

They're named after BBT because he was Bad Santa, as well as the potato-lovin' dude in Sling Blade, and also because I just feel like he would smell like jerky. Anyway, these are damn tasty, any time of year. Get that recipe

Key ingredients:

  • Russet potatoes
  • Hamburger jerky 
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Hot Tamale Heat Miser Popcorn

In many ways the Heat Miser was kind of a dick. That being said, I'd probably put up with him if he came packing this Tamale-tossed popcorn, even if it meant Christmas was cancelled. Recipe here.

Key ingredients:

  • Popcorn
  • Hot Tamales
  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup 
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Mrs. Claus' Hot Tomato Soup Grilled Cheese Dumplings

I feel like Mrs. Claus' first name would be Deborah. Here's the recipe!

Key ingredients: 

  • Condensed tomato soup
  • Kraft Singles American cheese
  • Milk
  • Loaves of bread

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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. Follow him: @wilfulton.