Brie & Cranberry Bites
This is an absolute favorite recipe of mine. It's an impressive appetizer with vibrant colors and the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. The ingredients are easy to keep on hand during the holiday season so you can prepare this in a snap. All you need is a package of puff pastry sheets, a can of whole berry cranberry sauce, a shallot, fresh basil and a wedge of brie and you are on your way to a stunning treat to start any party.
Brie & Cranberry Bites
By Melinda Keckler, Crinkled Cookbook
Preheat oven to 400°
1 17.3 oz package frozen puff pastry sheets
1 7 oz wedge of brie cheese
1 14 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 whole shallot, peeled and diced fine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small package fresh basil
1 sprig of fresh thyme (garnish)
Remove one puff pastry from the box (save the other one for the next time you make this) and defrost the pastry, it takes about 40 minutes. While pastry is warming up, toss diced shallots in olive oil in a small saucepan and cook until softened. Add the can of whole berry cranberry sauce and one whole leaf of basil to the shallots and stir until thickened. Salt and pepper as desired. Continue simmering on medium heat and stir occasionally until the cranberry sauce thickens and the basil leaf has softened. (If the basil doesn't melt into the sauce while simmering then just remove whatever remains of the leaf before the next step.) Slice the remaining basil from the package and set aside.
Once pastry is thawed, cut dough into 2 inch squares and press one square into each mini muffin cup - you'll have just enough dough for a standard 24 cup baking pan.
Dice small wedges of brie and place cheese into each pastry-lined muffin cup.
Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and dollop a teaspoon of the cranberry sauce on each puffed pastry and top with a slice of fresh basil.
Serve with a sprig of thyme on the side and enjoy the accolades!
My interpretation on this recipe is to cook the cranberry sauce separately and to let it thicken on the stove with the shallots and basil. The end result is an appetizer with serious wow factor. I think you are going to love it! Let me know what you think in the comments below.