Baked brie is the ultimate party appetizer in my opinion… it’s beautiful, delicious, and has just a hint of sophistication. Brie in and of itself is a special treat to me – it’s certainly not something I get to eat often at least. (I wish) But when it’s topped with sugary nuts and craisins, wrapped in a flaky crust and baked until it’s soft and warm… mmmmm, it is to die for! This version of Brie en Croute has a festive twist that makes it perfect for Christmas parties. It may look (and taste) gourmet but it’s quite simple to make… so give it a try. Your friends and family will definitely thank you! I didn’t get a great picture of the design on top, or the soft, melting Brie inside once you cut into it… you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was awesome! :)
Holiday Brie en Croute
submitted by Brittany
One wheel of Brie cheese *see note
one sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed to room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2-3 Tb Craisins
one egg + 1 Tb water, beaten
1. Take a sharp knife and gently shave most of the white rind off of the cheese. This is completely personal preference, however. The rind is edible so if it doesn’t bother you, leave it on. I do it to minimize the rind (which I don’t particularly like the taste of and less rind makes it easier to cut into) but I don’t worry about cutting off too much because I don’t want to cut into the cheese. Here is an example of how I like it:
2. Remove one sheet of puff pastry from freezer 1 hour prior to allow it to slowly thaw to room temperature. Roll this out on a lightly floured surface. Place Brie in the middle to gauge how big you need to roll it out – depending on the size of the Brie. (You will need to wrap the entire cheese with puff pastry, overlapping and sealing all seams well.)
3. Pour brown sugar in center of rolled out pastry. Top with chopped pecans and craisins. Gently place Brie on top.
4. Fold puff pastry over and around entire wheel of cheese. Pinch together the seams. Cut off any excess pastry and set aside. (You will use these to cut our pretty designs to decorate top.) Brush beaten egg over wrapped Brie. Be thorough with all the seams – the egg will help to seal them so that the cheese doesn’t escape while baking!
5. Turn over wrapped Brie so the seams are underneath and the smooth side on top. Using cookie cutters or a sharp knife, cut out shapes of leaves, berries, etc to adorn the top. (I liked the holly leaf cookie cutter I had and little circles for holly berries) Brush egg wash over puff pastry then gently arrange your dough cutouts on top – brush again with egg wash.
6. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, decrease oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake another 20 minutes. Pastry should be golden brown. Serve with an assortment of fruit and crackers. Enjoy!
*I used a 19oz. wheel of Brie I bought at Costco (definitely the cheapest place to get it). However, you can use a much smaller wheel or even a wedge of Brie if that is all you can find. I would probably cut down on the sugar and nuts but otherwise it’s the same. It will not need as much time to bake if you use a smaller amount of cheese too!