Party Basics: The Best Baked Brie

 

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So, let me just show you something before we get into this brie thing:

Does this scare you?

What if I told you that this is a pie chart of brie?  The blue is fat the gold is protein…

Does it scare you now?

How about if I tell you this is a circle of brie and the blue represents the brie and the gold is the piece I just took out and scarfed back?

Feel better?  I thought so.

Me too.

 

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Brie is a pretty incredible food.

Not because it’s good for you (sorry), but rather, because it’s so versatile.  You can add it to sandwiches, pasta, pizza, eggs…you name it and I bet it’s good on it!  But, today we’re gonna talk about serving it as an appetizer.

Even as a starter, there are a million ways to serve it:

a) leave it whole and serve it with you choice of coverings (examples below)

b) keep it whole and just serve it on it’s own with some really awesome bread/crackers (especially good with a triple cream brie…’cause if you’re gonna be bad, make it worthwhile)

c) slice up some cold brie and mix it with a topping of your choice; spread the mixture on a rolled out piece of phyllo and bake as directed.

d)  slice in half (horizontally) and fill middle with some fruit/jam; bake or bbq until bubbly

e)  cut it in wedges, dredge in flour/egg/breadcrumbs then pan fry or bake; serve with topping on the side.

 

Then, there are a million ways to enclose it:

a) Top brie with your choice of toppings (below) and wrap it with puff pastry; bake

b)  Top brie with your choice of toppings (below) and wrap it in phyllo pastry; bake

c)Top brie with your choice of toppings (below) and wrap it with crescent roll dough; bake

 

Then, let’s talk about toppings:

a)  pears, apricot jam, walnuts and honey

b)  raspberries, raspberry jam and chipotle peppers (canned with adobe)

c) roasted garlic with caramelized onions and mushrooms

d) red pepper jelly and horseradish

 

Years ago, I wrote a cookbook for my kids’ school.  I asked for recipes.  Then I begged for recipes.  Who knew this was gonna be this hard!

But, then my friends pulled through and sent me their favorites.  My friend Wendy sent me this.

I will be indebted to her for the rest of my life.

It’s really that good.

And totally not healthy.

A girl’s gotta live, right?

 

Ingredients:

1 large round of brie

1 package puff pastry

1/2 c butter

1 c brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c toasted pecans

1/2 c dried cranberries

1-2 tbsp cranberry sauce or strawberry preserves/jam (optional but exceptional!)

1 egg

 

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1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Open up your brie.  Roll out your pastry (if you are using both sheets [sometimes they come with 2],  place one sheet in your baking dish and place the brie on top).  If you are using one sheet, just place the brie in your dish (this way is a bit messy, but you’ll save some calories…who’s kidding who…it doesn’t really matter)

2.  In a saucepan, melt butter brown sugar and cinnamon; stir until it all comes together and becomes a caramel.  Add pecans, cranberries and additional sauce/jam; stir to combine.

 

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3.  Pour mixture over brie.

 

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4.  Place the top sheet of pastry over the brie and tuck the edges under (careful because the brown sugar mixture is really hot).  Some will seep out but that’s okay because the mixture will bubble out while it bakes.

 

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5.  Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 45 minutes.

 

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6.  Take it out of the oven and rip into this beauty!  Serve with crackers or additional crusty bread,

 

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I thought I would show you how easy it is to do this with Pillsbury crescent rolls.  Follow the same directions as above ( I was in a hurry so I just used strawberry preserves) but use half the crescent rolls on the bottom …

 

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Fold up the corners…

 

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and top with the second piece.

 

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Bake away (no need to do the egg wash here…it gets brown on its own!!)

 

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Look at all those nasty little calories escaping.

Good little brie…

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