Recipe Image
Carol Kicinski
These thin, crispy breadsticks make for fabulous cocktail party fare.

Spread cheer with crispy cocktail party appetizers

Author Byline Image   I have heard that ‘tis the season to be of good cheer. I wonder if the abundance of cocktail parties this time of year has anything to do with contributing to that good cheer.
   Cocktail parties are my favorite type of party to throw during the holidays, I don’t have the same space and seating limitations as with a dinner party which means I can invite everyone I care about and have a house full of wonderful people wishing each other well.
   Whether you are having a big shindig or just a couple people over for a glass of holiday cheer, might I suggest you make these tasty gluten-free grissini?
   Grissini are crispy, thin breadsticks, usually no fatter than a pencil. For this recipe I upped the flavor (an ease factor) by starting with a box of gluten-free garlic-onion breadstick mix and adding even more tasty goodness with Parmesan cheese, coarse black pepper, sesame and poppy seeds. They are crispy, salty, flavor-packed bites of goodness that go perfectly with a cocktail
Gluten-Free Grissini
Makes 36-48, depending on thickness
Gluten-free nonstick cooking spray
1 (7.5-ounce) box gluten-free garlic-onion breadstick mix (such as Chebe)
¼ cup olive oil, use divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, use divided
2 large eggs
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
   Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
   In a mixing bowl, combine the breadstick mix, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, and water. Dump the mixture onto a clean work surface and knead until the dough is smooth, about 1 minute.
   In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese with the sesame and poppy seeds, pepper, and salt.
   Place a 15- by 13-inch piece of waxed or parchment paper on a work surface. Place the dough on the paper and cover with another piece of paper. Roll the dough into a 14- by 12-inch rectangle, about ¼-inch thick. Remove the top sheet of paper, brush on 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle half of the Parmesan/seed mixture on top of the dough, pressing gently to get the seasonings to adhere. Place the paper back on top, flip the dough over and repeat the process on the other side of the dough.
   Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips about ¼-inch thick. Gently lift the dough strips off the paper and place them on the prepared baking sheets.
   Bake for 10 to 15 minutes depending on thickness or until the breadsticks are browned and crispy. Rotate the pans once halfway through baking time. Let cool and serve.
   Store in an airtight container or plastic food storage bag at room temperature for up to 2 days.
or even a steamy bowl of tomato soup.
   As a little note, the thinner you can get these, the better they will be. I used a pizza cutter to cut my dough and I tried to make them all about ¼-inch thick but I didn’t quite make that goal. Regardless,
they are delicious! The thing is to get them really crispy, so if your grissini are cut thicker, just cook them a few minutes longer.
   However you choose to spend this holiday season, I hope you have much to be cheerful about!