This week I decided to take on the somewhat nutty project of hosting a holiday party involving as many excessively adorable holiday recipes as I could get my hands on. It all sounds great until you realize you have an hour before everyone is supposed to show up at your house, and still have most of your dishes to put together. A couple friends came over before the start of the festivities to help me set up, and I was frantically sticking carrot slices onto toothpicks, declaring “If I ever decide to do something like this again, please talk me out of it.”
Despite a few moments stressing out about lop-sided snowmen, I had a lot of fun creating these little guys, and if you make them, I know they’ll be the perfect addition to your holiday festivities. Just look at them! I’m all about food that still looks good when it’s not perfect, and trust me – the more crooked your noses, or un-even your carrot hats, the more character these guys have. The inspiration for these appetizers came from Roxy’s Kitchen, which used hard-boiled eggs to make the snowmen. I love the way she put them together, but decided I wanted something a little more bite-sized for my appetizers, and thought mozzarella balls would be just the thing.
These were a huge hit (once people realized they weren’t marshmallows), and I served them with a little balsamic dressing on the side as a dipping sauce. They’re quite simple to put together once you get going, but allow yourself some time if you really like to focus on the details. And no matter how they turn out – everyone will be impressed!
These appetizers sat alongside reindeer Oreo cookie balls, a crescent roll christmas tree covered in bell peppers, cucumber bites with sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese, latkes, artichoke dip, and festive pretzel hugs. Check out my holiday board on Pinterest to see where I gathered some recipe ideas!
Mozzarella Snowmen Appetizers
Total time: 30 minutes
Adapted from: Egg Snowmen at Roxy’s Kitchen
Yield: 24 snowmen (yours may have a few more or less depending on how many your mozzarella balls are in each package)
2 8oz packages of fresh bite-sized mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
2 large carrots
Parsley, optional (for snowmen arms or decoration)
Peel carrots and slice 24 pieces (about 1/4 inch thick – you don’t want them too thick, or they’ll be hard to stick on the toothpick) from both the large and skinny end of the carrot (24 of each size). The larger pieces will be the bottom of the hats, and smaller will go on top. Cut about 24 triangle-shaped pieces out of the remaining pieces of the carrot. These do not have to be perfect – they will look great no matter what. I even used some small circles and just cut them in half to make 2 semi-circle noses.
Take 1 mozzarella ball, and flatten out the bottom by slicing off a piece of one side. Attach another mozzarella ball on top with a toothpick. You may need to adjust the angle of your toothpick to make sure your snowmen don’t fall over, but I wasn’t 100% successful with that.
Slide larger carrot slice onto toothpick first, then smaller, until it touches the snowman’s head. Place peppercorns into the snowman head as eyes. Make a small slit with a sharp knife where the nose will go. Wedge triangle shaped carrot slice into the hole for the nose.
If you have the time and want to go one step further, try taking sprigs of parsley and sticking them into the body of the snowman as arms, or use extra peppercorns as buttons down his front!
Do ahead: I pre-sliced the carrot hats and noses the day before my party and kept them in a tupperware in the fridge. I wouldn’t suggest pre-assembling the actual snowmen, as they tend to dry out if not kept in water.