Vegan Penguin Holiday Appetizers

Adorable penguin appetizers--perfect for a holiday party

(I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures, but you get the idea.)

Need a head-turning appetizer to warm up the holiday season?
I made these adorable penguin appetizers for a Christmas Eve party last year, and they were a huge hit, both with the novelty/cuteness factor, and for the taste. Besides, I had fun making them, and they were vegan, so everyone could eat them.

1 carrot, preferable organic
1 can extra large pitted olives
1 can small pitted olives
Cream cheese or vegan cream cheese mixture, about 1/4-1/2 cup
Optional: about 2 TBS chopped nuts, added to cream-cheese-like mixture

I don’t recall exactly which vegan cream-cheese-like recipe I used, but there are lots online. Most call for some nuts, tofu, salt, sugar, lemon juice, and possibly other flavorings, like garlic, blended together in a blender or food processor. Anything fairly white and savory will do, but it needs to be a stiff consistency, so it will stay stuffed in the olives and hold its shape.

To Make the Penguins:
For each penguin, you’ll need
1 extra large olive
1 small olive
1 toothpick
1 slice carrot
1 tsp cream cheese mixture

What you'll need for each penguin

Cut a wedge out of the large olive. Save the larger piece to stuff; eat the smaller piece.

Cut a wedge from the larger olive to become the body.

Fill the large olive piece with filling. Fill the small olive with filling.

The smaller and larger olives, stuffed.

Cut a small triangular piece from the slice of carrot. The small piece will be the beak; the large piece will be feet.

One carrot slice becomes a beak and feet.

Very carefully, cut a slit into the small stuffed olive, going only about halfway through it.

Insert the carrot triangle “beak.” You may need to cut a larger slit, or make thinner carrot slices.

Head with beak inserted.

Insert the toothpick down through the olive “head,”

Toothpick through the head...

then the olive “body,”

...add the body...

and finally, through the carrot “feet.”

...and feet.

Stand your penguin up and smile.

Voila! Vegan Penguin Appetizer!

I stuck them into the bottom of an old foam take-out food tray, so they would remain standing and not fall apart. They looked like an entire colony, socializing.

You can use all larger sized olives, but I thought it looked better using a smaller size for the head. This would be a fun thing to make with kids.

In fact, they don’t need to be for the holidays at all, but they seem perfectly suited to winter and festivity.

Give them a try, and I guarantee your appetizers will get lots of attention and comments.

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