Want your guests to go home satisfied and full this holiday season? Don’t forget the appetizers! Whether you like sweet or savory, three Louisville restaurants have provided their favorite small bites you can make at home. Have fun!

Volare’s Italian Fig Cookies

Saving room for dessert? Or maybe just want to grab something sweet in-between savory apps? Italian Fig Cookies from Volare will hit the spot. These moist, filled confections will make your guest’s mouths water and satisfy all their cravings. It’s a three-step process to bake these babies, but so worth it!

For the dough:

1# unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
10 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for rolling)
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
2 cups whole milk

For the filling:

2 # dried figs
½ # golden raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ navel orange, whole
1 granny smith apple
1 cup honey
1 cup almonds
½ cup brandy
¾ cup pecans

For the icing:

1 # powdered sugar
½# butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven preheats, cream together butter and sugars in mixer with paddle.
  • Add the eggs and mix well.
  • Combine dry ingredients.
  • Combine the vanilla and milk, alternately add the dry mix with the milk mixture. Dough will be a little sticky.
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours.
  • Roll dough into large rectangular sections to coincide with fig filling.
  • Place the fig filling over the dough and roll into a pinwheel, refrigerate until firm and slice ¼ inch thick.
  • Place cookies on a greased tray and bake approx. 8-10 minutes until very light golden brown around edges.
  • While the cookies cool, combine all icing ingredients together in a mixer and whip till smooth. Transfer icing into a piping bag.
  • Once cookies are fully cooled, drizzle with icing

Noosh Nosh’s Country Ham Wrapped Brussels Sprouts and Apple Skewer with Bourbon Sorghum Glaze

For the past few years, Noosh Nosh Chef Mark Ford has been serving Brussels Sprout and Apple Skewers with Bourbon Sorghum Glaze for his family Christmas gatherings. The addition of the bourbon glaze and the crispy country ham bring home a “festive Kentucky-themed feeling for the holidays,” says the chef. Yields 48 skewers.


24 medium Brussels Sprouts cut in half tough leaves removed
2 ea large honey crisp apple cut into bite size chunks (about one inch by one inch)
4 oz thinly sliced country ham
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Diamond Krystal kosher salt
Glaze- yield 1 ½ cups
1 cup sorghum
1 cup bourbon of choice
1 tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. Diamond Krystal kosher salt

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven preheats, combine ingredients for the glaze in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer over medium heat. Allow the glaze to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
  • Toss the Brussels sprouts with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tsp. of kosher salt and lay in an even layer on a baking sheet. Par roast Brussels sprouts for 5 minutes in preheated 400 degree oven.
  • Allow Brussels sprouts to cool until you are able to handle them with your hands.
  • Toss the par cooked warm Brussels Sprouts with 4 oz. of the bourbon sorghum glaze.
  • Toss the apple chunks with remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil.
  • On a 4 inch wooden skewer, skewer one piece of apple. Wrap a piece of Brussels Sprout with a piece of thinly sliced country and then skewer to secure ham. Follow the Brussels Sprout with another piece of apple. Repeat process placing prepared skewers on a nonstick pan sprayed cookie sheet.
  • Once all the skewers are assembled, place in the preheated 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until the ham is crisp and the apples and Brussels sprouts are tender.
  • Move the skewers to a serving platter and use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the top.

Brasserie Province’s Oysters in Champagne Sabayon

Step outside the box and take part in a holiday tradition from France by creating a champagne-based oyster appetizer. Brasserie Province’s Oysters in Champagne Sabayon, a special appetizer in December from Brasserie Province, 150 N. Hurstbourne Parkway, isn’t difficult to make, says owner Guy Genoud. Serves 6. Bon Appetit!


3 dozens of freshly shucked Chesapeake Bay oysters
1 and 1/4 cup of Champagne
3 small leeks chopped finely
4 shallots chopped finely
6 egg yolks
3 oz of butter
Salt & Pepper

  • Cook the shallots and leeks with 1oz of butter, set aside.
  • Clarify  2oz of butter.
  • In a pan add egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the Champagne. Cook slowly with the use of a whisk.
  • When the Sabayon thickens, remove the pan from the heat, and add salt and pepper.
  • Add clarified butter and the remaining Champagne by still using a whisk, add salt and pepper.
  • Add the shallot and leek mix into the oyster shells.
  • Add the Sabayon to the oyster shells. Put them under
  • the broiler for a few minutes to
  • get coloration.
  • Serve immediately.

Posted on 2019-12-04 by By Taylor Riley