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12 Holiday Party Food Contest Winners

We asked home cooks to send in their special holiday dinner party recipes and boy, did they deliver! These are the contest-winning party foods that are begging to be served this year.

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Grand Prize: Cherry Fudge Truffle Coconut Cheesecake

Cherries and chocolate come together in this dazzling coconut cheesecake. It's a holiday showstopper! —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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1st Place: Frozen Brandy Old-Fashioneds

Both sides of my family are Midwestern, so our strong brandy tradition is evident in the slush we make for the holidays and in the Wisconsin old-fashioned cocktails we enjoy year-round. I decided to combine those recipes into something completely new. This goes very quickly at gatherings! —Stephanie Vaughan, Madison, Wisconsin
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2nd Place: Sticky Maple Pepper Glazed Chicken Wings

This is one of my favorite appetizers to make over the holidays! The coarse ground pepper cuts the sweetness of the maple syrup by adding just the right amount of heat. These chicken wings are best fresh out of the oven (they are nice and crispy), but they are also delicious if made ahead and kept warm in a slow cooker. —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta
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Chicken Piccata Meatballs Exps Tohdj20 236310 B08 01 6b 4

3rd Place: Chicken Piccata Meatballs

The classic chicken piccata entree is my favorite dish, but I wanted another way to have all the same flavors. These chicken piccata meatballs are the perfect solution, whether served alone or with a sauce like marinara or buffalo! Serve over buttered noodles if you'd like, or stick toothpicks in them for appetizers. —Dawn Collins, Rowley, Massachusetts
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Runner-Up: Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake

After making some delicious dessert bars, I was determined to turn the recipe into a chocolate peppermint cheesecake. This festive dessert is the result and one of my favorites to serve for the holidays. Whether I share it with family or give it as a gift, it always receives rave reviews. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Mushroom And Olive Bruschetta Exps Tohdj20 237216 B08 02 3b 5

Runner-Up: Mushroom and Olive Bruschetta

I tried this delicious bruschetta toast at a party and knew I had to make it myself. Since I couldn't find the person who brought the dish, I began trying to duplicate it on my own. The original was made on an English muffin, but party rye or baguette slices work as well. —Lynne German, Woodland Hills, California
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Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts Salad Exps Tohdj20 237274 B08 02 6b 7

Runner-Up: Honey-Mustard Brussels Sprouts Salad

Even if you dislike Brussels sprouts salad, you will love this dish. The dressing is truly tasty, and it pairs so nicely with the apples, grapes and walnuts. You can also add whatever cheese, nuts or fruit you prefer. —Sheila Sturrock, Coldwater, Ontario
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Runner-Up: Florentine Ciabatta

Runner-Up: Florentine Ciabatta

I came up with this appetizer because of my love for white pizza. I've served my ciabatta pizza at many holiday parties, and it's always a big hit among both children and adults. —Noreen McCormick Danek, Cromwell, Connecticut
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Runner-Up: Nacho Triangles with Salsa-Ranch Dipping Sauce

Runner-Up: Nacho Triangles with Salsa-Ranch Dipping Sauce

These nacho bites are a fun fusion of Greek appetizers and flavors of the American Southwest. The simple dipping sauce is a perfect match—the ranch balances out the heat of the jalapeno and chipotle peppers—and takes the recipe to the next level. —Angela Spengler, Niceville, Florida
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Pesto Shrimp And Artichoke Linguine Exps Tohdj20 241028 B08 02 4b 3

Runner-Up: Pesto Shrimp and Artichoke Linguine

In our home, holiday indulgence is all about pesto shrimp! This is our go-to dish for both Christmas Eve and Easter brunch. It also makes a wonderful appetizer before a prime rib dinner. For a pop of color, I sometimes add lightly sauteed diced red pepper. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Fig And Goat Cheese Meatballs Exps Tohdj20 241176 B08 01 4b 1

Runner-Up: Fig and Goat Cheese Meatballs

Around the holidays, saucy cocktail meatballs are always the first appetizer to go. In this dish, the sweet flavor of the fig glaze goes perfectly with the pork and tangy goat cheese. Serve hot from the skillet or gently reheat them for a make-ahead appetizer. —Kim Banick, Turner, Oregon
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Runner-Up: Cajun Crab Poppers

My brother moved to New Orleans and I love visiting him and his family whenever I can. These easy jalapeno poppers are stuffed with crab, cajun seasonings and bacon. They're a little hot and spicy, just like a visit to New Orleans! —Elizabeth Lubin, Huntington Beach, California

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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