While scouring the internet for recipe inspiration, I came across a dozen or so websites with these adorable olive penguin appetizers. The all used 3 simple ingredients- Olives, cream cheese and carrots. Well cute as they may look, I like my appetizers to be tasty as well…so I put my own little twist by stuffing my olives with a cream cheese recipe from my sister-in-law. And to take things a little further, I used cherries and green onion to dress my penguins in some holiday attire.
Now, to be perfectly honetst, they weren’t the easiest appetizers to put together and took quite a bit of time, but they were sooo cute, it made the effort worth it. Also, I was out of Carrots, so I used sharp cheddar for the feet, which wasn’t hard enough to keep the toothpick standing…so feel free to use carrots instead. Ok, here’s how you make them…
Olive & Cream Cheese Penguin Appetizers Recipe
Colossal/Giant Black Olives
Regular Medium Black Olives
Cream Cheese (at room temperature) or whipped cream cheese
1 tsp Minced garlic
Maraschino cherries (optional)
Green onion/ scallions (optional)
…and you’ll need toothpicks.
– Start by slicing the cheese with approximately 1/4 inch thickness. (I did 1/8in and it wasn’t enough)
– Then using something around the size of a coin (I used the top of my salt shaker), cut circles in the cheese.
– Next, cut out a small triangle shaped wedge out of each cheese circle. Keep the triangles as, you’ll need them for the penguins beaks.
– For the filling, start by adding some cream cheese to a mixing bowl. I used whipped cream cheese, but regular cream cheese if left out at room temperature works just as well.
– Add a teaspoon (or more if you like garlic) of store bought minced garlic. Get some of the garlic water in there too!
– Sprinkle with Onion salt accprding to your taste. Mix well.
– Then grab your colossal black olives, drain and rinse them. Cut a small triangular wedge out of each black olive length-wise.
– Using a piping bag filled with the cream cheese mixture, fill the olive through the hole in the bottom, till you see a white stripe through the middle. Repeat with all the colossal olives and set aside.
– Then take a small olive and pierce it with a toothpick, so that the hole and cross face the sides.
– Take one of the cheese triangles we cut out earlier and put it through the cross to look like a beak. You might have to make on side of the slit bigger using a knife.
– To assemble the penguin…hold the stuffed colossal olive over the round cheese bottom and pierce the toothpick with the head through the olive and into the cheese at the bottom. Adorable isn’t he!?
– If you want to go a step further and give some of the penguins santa hats. Cut the bottom of a Maraschino cherry and put some cream cheese filling on it.
– Then place it on the penguin’s head, pressing down so the cream cheese is visible around it. Top it off with a dot of cream cheese on the top.
– For an even fancier yet penguin. You can wrap a small piece of green onion leaf/scallion around the penguin’s neck as a scarf!
– Make an assortment of little penguins, some with scarves, so with hats, some without for an utterly cute plate of party appetizers!!