From an easy deviled-egg spread to caramelized onion dip, here are terrific make-ahead snack ideas.
Food & Wine
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Sesame-Chile Kettle Corn
Besides the huge boxes of candy, movie theaters often turn popcorn—a fiber-rich food—into a sponge for fat. Grace Parisi adds a fiery kick to her healthier sweet-and-salty version of kettle corn by tossing it with whole red chiles.
These gingery, nutrient-packed bars use only natural sweeteners like brown rice syrup and natural cane sugar. “Brown rice syrup has a nice, round flavor that doesn’t give you the jolt of sweetness that processed sugars do,” Heidi Swanson says. The recipe itself is very versatile: “Once you get the hang of the technique, you can swap in all kinds of other nuts, spices and dried fruit.”
After rolling out this buttery dough, stamp out all different kinds of shapes (Ginna Haravon likes making animal crackers). It’s important to chill the dough before and after rolling it out so the crackers are tender.
Chef Michael White’s version of the classic cheesy, warm dip makes great use of frozen artichokes. They’re simmered with garlic and wine, then mixed with cream cheese, Gruyère and Tabasco and baked with a panko bread-crumb topping.
“I’ve always been a fan of any food high in salt and starch,” Grant Achatz says, “and soft pretzels right out of the oven are awesome.” You can eat these slightly sweet, chewy, dark pretzel sticks plain or with mustard; Achatz goes for ranch dressing.
This healthy take on the traditional chips-and-salsa combo is nearly fat-free and super-refreshing. The antioxidant-rich salsa is delicious served right after it’s made, but the flavors meld nicely after a day or two in the refrigerator.
Elizabeth Falkner loves eating these energy-boosting, cardamom-spiced date bites made with almonds, walnuts and pistachios. “Eat two of these as a snack or with some juice for breakfast, and you're satisfied,” she says.
Katie Lee deconstructs the retro deviled-egg by blending hard-boiled eggs with mustard and mayonnaise so it’s more like an egg salad that she can spread on toasts. “Simplicity is key,” she says. “To me, it’s more about tasting the egg than anything else.”
Lauren Chattman makes this pound cake especially rich by swirling in the chocolate-hazelnut spread Nutella. She recommends serving the cake with coffee ice cream. (Recipe adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes.)