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By Courtney Shea of Toronto Life

The latest apps: the holiday season’s best appetizers

This December, caterers are culling from the classics to create familiar hors d’oeuvre with a twist. Here, the most stylish and sumptuous small bites.

Mac-and-cheese[1]
Chef Evan Wright’s haute iteration combines pasta, house-cured bacon and sharp old cheddar. It was a hit with the ladies who lunch at a recent Forest Hill fundraiser. To Go, 416-921-1717.

Pumpkin soup shooters [2]
Drinking these exquisite creations feels a little like defacing art (the garnish is made from radish seedlings, candied beets and edible gold leaf), until you realize they taste even better than they look. Lindsey Shaw, 416-926-9133.

Spinach salad[3]
The greens are dressed in a tart raspberry vinaigrette and topped off with a two-bite brie crostino that puts lowly croutons to shame. Plus, everything tastes better in a Chinese takeaway box. Bite, 416-222-2483.

Annatto pan-seared scallops [4]
The peppery annatto seasoning plays well against the smooth guac (gussied up with apple and cucumber). The Chinese soup spoons make tricky hand-to-mouth issues a moot point. Sabrosito, 416-624-9157.

Buckwheat blini[5]
These treats are 100-Mile Diet approved: the buckwheat flower, duck and goat’s milk cheese are all Ontario born and bred. They may account for the Leafs’ early winning streak; Dish became the official caterer to the boys in blue this year. Dish, 416-920-5559.

Oysters Rockefeller smores [6]
The Mad Men–era classic gets a lusciously campy make-over: the rich, gooey middle is a savoury, spinach-flavoured marshmallow. Daniel et Daniel, 416-968-9275.

BLT éclairs [7]
Who wants whipped cream when you can have double-smoked bacon? The buttery choux makes an ideal shell for one of the world’s most beloved sandwich combos. Salt and Pepper, 416-924-0715.

Chèvre truffles [8]
Crunchy endive makes a perfect vessel for its rich contents (which also includes chili pralines and fig jelly). These snacks have pedigree; they’ve been served at a private dinner for Bill Clinton, a National Ballet gala and several TIFF soirées. Eatertainment, 416-964-1162.

Bud Light Lime coconut shrimp [9]
Chef Jason Smidt got the idea one afternoon while enjoying his citrusy beer of choice. The dijon-horseradish marma­lade is good enough to gulp. Jay Caterers, 647-345-3386.

I’m very humble to be mentioned amount some of the best caterers in the city.

Yours from the hot press,

Carlos

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*Spanish for: "Mmm. Wow. That's good!"