Raspberry Brie Bites

Raspberry Brie Bites I wish I could take credit for these Raspberry Brie Bites, but they were the brain child of my sweet friend Christie. She made them for a Fall party in 2011, which ended up to be the day before Tim and I got engaged! (That’s her on my right (below), holding the apple…). She makes some of the most delicious little appetizers and these are no exception. After having them at that party two years ago, Tim and I have made these jammy, cheesy puffs a dozen times, especially during the holidays.

The recipe is really straightforward, but this simple combination of flavors is addicting. Plus, they’re just cute. They remind me of mini brie en croutes with a sweet touch from the jam. Three ingredients and ten minutes later Raspberry Brie Bites are in the oven. By the time you tidy up the kitchen, the bites are golden and bubbling.

Raspberry Brie Bites 4

Once you start making them, you’ll think of endless variations. I LOVE Brie, but you could sub any soft cheese. Cream cheese would be great, as would gorgonzola for a more savory bite. Same goes with the jam. Try fig preserves, blackberry jam, or a chutney of some sort. If time had allowed yesterday, I would have fried up some bacon to crumble inside this batch.

Make sure you plan ahead a bit – the puff pastry needs to thaw. A final warning: You will be tempted to pop one of these bites in your mouth the minute they come out of the oven. Resist or be scarred by the molten hot jam lava…

Raspberry Brie Bites

  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, I use Pepperidge Farm
  • Brie cheese, approx 3 oz depending on how big your chunks are
  • Raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin or two.

Let the puff pastry thaw in the refrigerator (great) or countertop (good) until the sheets are workable but still cold.  One sheet at a time, unfold the pastry and lay flat on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet out until the folds are smooth and the sheet has stretched a bit. You don’t have to be exact. Cut the sheet into 12 pieces. Line muffin cups with the pastry pieces. Repeat with the second sheet so you have 24 all together.

Raspberry Brie Bites

Trim the rind off of the Brie and cut into small chunks. Mine end up being 1/2″ cubes. Place one chunk of brie in each pastry cup. Drop a teaspoon of jam into each cup. Now comes the fun part! Squeeze the tops of the pastry together to create little packages.

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Bake the bites for 20-25 minutes or until just golden. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then take the bites out. Eat warm or at room temperature. We’ve never had any leftover so I can’t vouch for how they weather an overnighter.

Yield: 24 bites

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A New Holiday Tradition {of the culinary sort}

I am a stickler for traditions – especially around the holidays and especially in regards to food.

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without brown sugar, pecan crusted, butter laden sweet potato casserole or stuffing made with Mrs. Cubbison’s (who I always imagined was good friends with Aunt Jemima…) classic dressing mix.

Every once in a while, however, a new culinary tradition is born, a recipe so good it breaks right in to the standards with fresh flavors and an addictive quality that demands repeating.

This happened last year with Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip.

A friend brought it to a Thanksgiving celebration and I couldn’t walk away from the plate. We ate the dip with tortilla chips and Wheat Thins. Basically, anything crispy or salty was an excellent foil for the smooth tang of cream cheese piled high with a sweet-tart cranberry relish.

My fiance, now husband, and I proceeded to take this dip to every function left in the holiday season.  It went from the desert to the chilly Ozarks and back home again.

My mom flew to Idaho for Thanksgiving this year.  When we planned the menu, you better bet the Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip made the list for pre-meal munching.

If you’re like me and forget to pick up a lemon while you’re at the grocery store, sit your little hiney back in the car and go get one. (Or have your ever so kind husband grab one on the way home from youth group even though he is dead tired – thanks, babe! When he heard what I needed it for, he agreed that the extra stop was worth it).

The lemon juice, combined with the sugar, helps break down the cranberries and totally brightens up the relish.  Our go to vehicle for this insanely addictive dip is Wheat Thins, but any beloved crackerish item will work.

I do hope this dip finds its way into your holiday recipe repertoire! Your family and friends will love this new tradition.

 

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Original recipe by Jamie Cooks It Up!

Time: 15 minutes prep + 4 hours refrigeration

1  12 oz package fresh cranberries

1/4 C green onion, chopped

1/4 C cilantro, chopped

1 small jalapeno pepper

1 1/4 C sugar

1/4 t cumin

2 T lemon juice

dash salt

2  8 oz packages cream cheese (I used reduced fat)

The night before (or at least 4 hours in advance):

Rinse cranberries under cool water and pick out any shriveled or bad cranberries. Place berries in the bowl of a food processor. I’ve chopped by hand and the results are much quicker and more cohesive when done in a food processor.

I’m not one for extreme heat so I use half of the jalapeño.  Take the rib and seeds out. Chop green onion, cilantro, and jalapeño into smaller pieces.  Add to processor with sugar, cumin, lemon juice, and salt.

Pulse mixture until the cranberries look like gravel and the other ingredients are well incorporated.  Put in a bowl and chill (I vote overnight!).

Let the cream cheese come to room temperature a couple hours before you’d like to serve the dip.  Place the foil wrapped bricks in room temperature water for awhile to speed up the process.

Use a knife or spatula (an off-set spatula, like you would use to frost a cake, works wonders here) to spread both blocks of cream cheese over a plate.  Pour cranberry mixture over the cream cheese.

Serve with crackers or chips of choice.

Three of us devoured half of it in one sitting and the remaining half the next day. Just put saran wrap over the plate and all is well for eating leftovers.

Pure & Simple