Cheers to the pending New Year! Ring in 2016 with these seven festive recipes—infused with a bit of bubbly. Champagne (or sparkling wine) adds a fruity, yeasty, and often nutty flavor to this sparkling array of appetizers and desserts…


1. Champagne Cake Balls

Have your cake and your champagne too—when you combine the flavors of velvety vanilla frosting, white cake mix, champagne, and white chocolate chips. These cake balls make the perfect portable, sweet treat for partying—dessert in one hand; champagne flute in the other.




2. Champagne Sorbet with Red Currant Syrup

Pop a few bottles of your favorite bubbly to create a true palette cleanser between New Year’s eve dinner courses…or for dessert. This frozen treat is made with 2-cups of champagne, sugar, water, lemon juice, and honey. Drizzle with a generous portion of tangy red currant syrup right before serving.



3. Champagne Poached Pears

Who says champagne is off limits for breakfast? This juicy poached pear recipe will have you scooping this bubbly treat atop pancakes, oats, salads, and seafood…and having a second for dessert. The fall fruit gets a wintery makeover with the flavors of orange, cinnamon, and sparkling wine. Leave them submerged in their poaching liquid for 3-days to get the full and tasty results



4. Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Champagne Truffle Cream

This recipe can serve as a sumptuous first course to a NYE feast or a mouth-watering appetizer at an elegant holiday soiree. Juicy scallops are lightly pan-seared in oil and served atop wilted butter lettuce leaves. Drizzle with a creamy champagne truffle cream sauce made with shallots, champagne or sparking wine, white truffles, and whipping cream.



5. Brownie Parfait With Strawberry Champagne Sauce

If you’re going to put it all on one final sweet treat before you ring in 2016—put it all on this brownie parfait with strawberry champagne sauce. Cheating on your diet is permitted with a bowl of homemade brownies covered in rich strawberry-Champagne sauce and fluffy vanilla-bean-mascarpone fluff.




6. Half Shell Oysters with Rosé Mignonette

Shellfish lovers will revel at oysters served as nature intended—naked and on the half shell. However, you can dress them up for the party and serve them to guests with a stylish drizzle of dresses them up with a mignonette (aka: vinegar sauce) infused with a boisterous sparkling rosé.



7. Three-Cheese Fondue with Champagne

A twist on the traditional New Year’s Eve fondue, this recipe calls for 3 kinds of grated cheese—Gruyère, Emmenthal, and Brie (or Camembert). Melt in a saucepan or fondue pot with fresh lemon juice, dry (brut) Champagne, minced shallot, and a gracious pinch of ground nutmeg. Serve with warm French baguette cut into cubes.




Anna adores cooking, drinking wine, and listening to records, but she does a lot of yoga to balance things out ;) This explains the black bean brownie disaster of 2007 (don't bring that up). She's noshed in countries like Greece, Turkey, France, Ireland, Costa Rica, and numerous other weird, yummy places that will get her waxing all poetic about her favorite recipes.

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