A cheesy little song for you:
“Sweet dreams are made of cheese
Who am I to diss a Brie.
I Cheddar the world
And the Feta cheese
Everybody’s looking for Stilton.”
Nothing says Christmas like the combination of brie and cranberry. Okay, maybe turkey, brussel sprouts, mulled wine and mince pies all also say Christmas. But you get what I mean.
These are a great little canape to have up your sleeve. Not literally, as that would be messy and more than a little smelly. But the melted whiffiness of the brie with the sweetness of the cranberry, all wrapped together in a buttery puff pastry blanket is heaven.
You can whip these up in a matter of minutes, and serve them hot from the oven to hungry guests. Although, make sure you wait just a couple of minutes before divvying them up to your friends, or else your friends will all get burnt lips. And then they may not want to be your friend anymore.
These are also great to make in advance, cook them off and then keep them in the fridge for up to a couple of days. Then, when you are ready to serve them pop them back in the oven for few minutes and enjoy.
For your ease, I have used shop bought puff pastry, although of course if you are a more industrious beaver than I, you can certainly make your own. I used homemade cranberry sauce, but I promise I wont tell anyone if you use the jar variety….
You can easily increase the recipe, but here is a vague outline.
To make about 15 bites:
- 500g block puff pastry
- 200g brie, cut into 1 inch cubes ( in reality, the brie is squished with fingers rather than cut)
- 120g cranberry sauce
- 1 egg
- flour for dusting
- You will need a lined baking sheet, a 2½ inch round cutter (or glass with mouth of the same size (ish), a pastry brush.
- First, preheat your oven to 200 C.
- Now, sprinkle a little flour onto on a clean work surface and roll out your puff pastry to about 1 cm thickness (..thinness)
- Then cut out as many circles as you can using the cutter/glass.
- Then on half the circles, place a piece of brie, rind and all - it's far too good to waste any on the pastry. Then pop a 1 teaspoon dollop of cranberry sauce on top of that.
- Now take a mug of water and stick your finger in the water and draw a circle around the edge of each of the brie and cranberry piles. Plonk one of the naked circles on top and press down to seal.
- Use a fork to make a pretty pattern & seal the little pastry puffs by pressing the prongs all the way egde. Do this by pressing the prongs of the fork down onto the pastry but with the fork facing upwards. Now, poke the top of the puff with your fork to make some air holes to let some of the steam out.
- When doing anything like this, it is much easier and quicker to get everything to the same stage and then move onto the next stage rather than making one up fully, and then moving onto the next one. I hope I've explained that well?! For example, what I mean is, with these, I would stamp all the circles out, and then top them all with brie...etc etc.
- Right, now pop as many as you can on the baking sheet, allowing a bit of space in between as they will puff up a little in the oven.
- Crack an egg and give it a little whisk, and then brush the tops of the puffs with the egg. The egg will give the puff pastry a gorgeous golden colour in the oven. If you don't have a pastry brush, a clean paint brush can be used, or if you are really desperate, some kitchen roll dunked generously in the egg wash is just about okay!
- Bake in the oven for12-15 minutes until golden and puffed up.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes to avoid scolded tonsils.
- Enjoy your moment as hostess with the mostess.