Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Easy Entertaining Part II: Baked Brie

In my [short] experience in hosting parties and family holiday get-togethers, I've learned that appetizers are normally the last thing on my mind. I somehow always overlook them until the last minute. It's not always necessary, but it seems like every time I'm cooking a big meal, I'm running a few minutes late, and it would work perfectly to have one or two small appetizers to have my guests enjoy while I'm finishing the main course. Last year, I tried baked brie for the first time. This summer, I was hosting a dinner party for our small-group with church. Appetizers were not at the back of my mind for once, I decided to try making brie as one. It was such a huge hit and everyone devoured it in minutes. Now, this has become my go-to appetizer and I serve it at most of the parties and get-togethers I host. It's super easy and can be your go-to appetizer too. It is the perfect food to take to a party or to serve at your own home.

For Baked Brie you will need:
1 sheet of thawed puff pastry (found in the freezer section)
8 oz. package of brie cheese
drizzle of honey
fruit slices, crackers, and/or bread for serving along side the brie

Brie is found with the speciality cheeses at regular grocery stores. It normally comes in a little box and is wrapped inside.

For the easy part, take your puff pastry sheet and wrapped the brie as neatly and tightly as you can. There is no need to tear off the extra dough. Place in a greased baking pan with sides (just in case some cheese oozes out, it would end up in the bottom of your oven). Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Remove the baked brie from the oven and immediately drizzle 1-2 tbsp. of honey over the top. I've raved about Savannah Bee Company honey before, and this is another one of my favorite ways to use it. I chose the winter white honey since this was for a Christmas party!

 Place the cheese on a large serving board with lots of sides to enjoy the brie on. The best choices that I've found are pears, apples, blueberries, water crackers, and pita chips. Of course, you can enjoy this on whatever you like. Also serve with a small butter knife to cut into the pastry. It is warm, gooey, slightly sweet deliciousness inside!

 This Christmas and New Year's, if you're hosting a party or need to take something to a party, this is a simple and wonderful appetizer that everyone is sure to love.

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