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~ Crock of Baked Cranberry, Walnut and Herbed Brie ~

IMG_7250Small but mighty, and, falling into the category of somewhere-in-between-a-dip-and-a-spread, this easy-to-make appetizer is appropriate to serve at, or make-and-take to, any holiday gathering -- it's sublime.  It's also a great recipe to keep in your back pocket in case you find yourself in need of a last-minute appetizer.  There's more.  If you're not a fan of cranberry sauce, it's great made with chunky-style applesauce instead.  While it can be prepared in a small shallow bowl, it's particularly pretty baked and served in a small crock -- presentation is, after all, everything. There's even more.  It can be assembled, refrigerated overnight, and baked the next day.

Three ingredients + twenty minutes = One sublime appetizer:

IMG_71531  8-ounce wheel herbed-triple creme brie

1  cup whole berry cranberry sauce

1/2  cup coarse-chopped walnuts

IMG_7154 IMG_7154 IMG_7154 IMG_7166~Step 1.  Place 6 tablespoons cranberry sauce in bottom of a 3-4 cup crock.  While the Brie is cold, slice it in half horizontally, to form two discs.  Place bottom disc in crock atop the sauce.  

IMG_7168 IMG_7168 IMG_7168 IMG_7186 IMG_7186~Step 2. Spoon and spread 6 more tablespoons cranberry sauce atop the disc of brie in the crock, then scatter 6 tablespoons walnuts evenly over all.  Place the second disc (the top of the Brie) on top.  Don't press down. Spoon 6 more tablespoons of cranberry sauce on top, leaving a nice edge around the perimeter of the cheese, followed by a scattering of 1-2 tablespoons walnuts atop the sauce, again, leaving a nice edge around the perimeter of cheese.

IMG_7187 IMG_7215Step 3.  Once assembled, Brie can be covered and refrigerated several hours to overnight.  In either case, when the Brie has been out of the refrigerator for a total of about 30 minutes, bake, uncovered on center rack of preheated 350° oven until cheese is softened, 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to rest 8-10 minutes prior to serving somewhat hot, warm or at room temperature with your favorite (Club or Ritz) crackers. 

Going into the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes:

IMG_7192Coming out of the oven to cool for 8-10 minutes:

IMG_7221Crock of Baked Cranberry, Walnut and Herbed Brie:  Recipe yields 4-6 servings.

Special Equipment List:  3-4 cup-sized oven-safe crock; chef's knife; cutting board

IMG_7117Cook's Note: While these are perfect for any Turkey-Day feast, they're great almost any time of the year.  I've been know to serve them on occasion as a warm-up to one of my winner-winner roasted chicken Sunday dinners.  As for the recipe, there really isn't one so-to-speak -- I came home with it "in my head" (as it was told to me) after enjoying a few at a mid-morning Christmas cookie-exchange brunch-party a few year ago.  Try my ~ Gobble Gobble -- Turkey-Day Cranberry & Brie Bites ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)


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