These Cheese and Cracker Holiday Appetizers Are Anything but Basic

Warning: This post is about to get very cheesy.

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Photo by: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Heather Ramsdell, Food Network 2016

When it comes to food, there are just some combinations that stand the test of time, no matter the season. From burgers and fries to peanut butter and jelly, dynamic duos like these just work better when they’re paired, and eaten, together.

Cheese and crackers are one of my personal favorite combos; if I wasn’t eating a dunkaroo when I was a toddler, it was a guaranteed certainty that I was munching on a cheese and cracker handi-snack. So many handi-snacks.

With different varieties of cheese and crackers just a grocery run or recipe-read away, there are endless ways to turn this beloved childhood snack into an elevated appetizer this Christmas. Whether you follow Ree Drummond's lead and bake your own herby crackers or pair store-bought saltines with Trisha Yearwood's ultra creamy pistachio dip, Food Network has everything you need to make your holiday starters shine bright this season. Lay them out at the center of your table for a quick grab-and-go treat or pass them around the room on a decorative tray for some fancy flair. Either way, you're bound to have a holly jolly time.

Wow your guests with this larger-than-life cheese and cracker creation. Not only is it deliciously tasty, it doubles as both an appetizer and a centerpiece, marking your house as the place to be this Christmas.

One hour and a mixer are all you'll need to make this nutty dip from Trisha Yearwood. Trisha mixes cream cheese and white Cheddar together to form her dip's velvety base. For additional texture, add in fresh parsley, garlic salt, onion powder, white pepper, dill weed, and of course, pistachios!

Giant Cheese Stuffed Cracker

Giant Cheese Stuffed Cracker

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

You're sure to be the big cheese at your Christmas gathering with this enormous cheese-and-cracker sandwich. Gently press a fluted tart pan into your dough to add those signature ridges on your colossal cracker top and bottom.

Close-up of Cheese Dip and Chipotle Crackers

Close-up of Cheese Dip and Chipotle Crackers

You won't need to do any additional food shopping to make these super easy handmade bites from the Pioneer Woman. Ree uses leftover pie crust scraps to make these habit-forming crackers. Check your fridge for small wedges of Cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan or Fontina and pulse with white wine, butter and minced cloves to make a cheesy dip; it's the perfect pairing for these tangy squares.

FNK Development;
Holiday Cheeseball Wreath,FNK Development;
Holiday Cheeseball Wreath

FNK Development; Holiday Cheeseball Wreath,FNK Development; Holiday Cheeseball Wreath

Photo by: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Armando Rafael Moutela, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Bring your wreath indoors this holiday season with this festive and flavorful cheese ball. To get the rounded shape, layer your cream cheese and Cheddar in a plastic wrap-lined bundt pan. For some cheerful "greenery," cover your wreath with finely chopped parsley and chives. Sprinkle some vibrant piquante peppers on top and place in the center of your tablescape with an array of herby crackers for additional holiday sparkle.

Photo by: yia thao

yia thao

Get the most out of grated Parmesan by baking it directly into these airy crackers like Valerie Bertinelli. Valerie uses polenta and tarragon to give her crackers a crispy crunch. When rolling your dough, try to roll out from the center to avoid cracking. Pair with a bowl of roasted wild mushrooms for a dippable treat great for nights when Jack Frost is snipping at your nose.

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