One of my favorite things to make during the holidays (or for any sort of gathering) are baked bries. Warm, gooey cheese… what could be better?
There are a lot of recipes out there for bake bries. I think that’s one thing I like most about baked bries: there are so many opportunities to be creative with this one dish. I have 3 main recipes I use, one with mushrooms (which I’ve never tasted because I don’t eat mushrooms), one with sautéed pears and walnuts, and this holiday one I’m about to share with you. This one is pretty classic. I think my aunt found the recipe first — or possibly my mom — but it’s turned into a family favorite, and is on its way of becoming a family tradition.
Holiday Baked Brie
Brie (wedge or circle)
Pastry or crescent dough (Pilsbury actually makes a good crescent dough that’s not divided for individual rolls)
Craisins (dried cranberries)
Optional: 1 egg
1. First thing you’ll want to do is preheat the oven to the temperature needed on the dough package. All you’re really doing is melting the cheese, but you need the dough to be completely baked before eating. You can go ahead and grease a baking dish too. (I tend to use those cheap aluminum pie tins, because I serve my brie on a nice plate and it’s easy to transfer it.)
2. Unroll the dough on a clean surface. If you want, you can very, very lightly flour it, as the dough is very sticky. Keep the center of the dough thick — do not spread or thin that part out. I use it as the top of the dish, so you want this to be able to hold up to all the fillings.
3. Take the brie container, and very lightly mark out your space in the middle of the dough. If you have the wedge, then take the cheese itself (since it won’t likely have a container, but just a wrapper) and lightly press it into the dough to get your area marked out. This is your working or loading zone, where all the fillings will go.
4. How I layer: sliced almonds, craisins, and then topped with the apricot jam. I tend to use a lot of these ingredients in each. Good, solid layers. Lastly, I place the unwrapped brie gently on top. Do not squish it. If you’ve not had brie, you should know it comes with a semi-hard white rind, which I always keep on. Not everyone likes the rind, though. If you want to cut it off, go for it… but it’s not something I would do.
5. Take the edges of the dough and wrap it up over the now top (will be bottom) of the brie. Make sure you just fold all of it over.
6. Very, very, very carefully flip the brie over so that end bits you just tucked on top are now on the bottom. Place the brie in a greased dish or pan to bake. Here’s the optional bit before you put it in the oven: you can beat an egg and create an egg wash over the top. It just helps seal it all in, and makes it look all pretty and shiny. You can also use some of the almonds and craisins to decorate the top as well. If you’re making multiple types of brie, it’s good to do this so you know what’s inside.
7. Bake for the allotted time on the dough package. Check it occasionally. Often this should only take 10-15 minutes, maybe 18… You want the dough to be a light golden brown.
8. When it’s finished, transfer it to whatever serving dish you’re going to use. If you’re not going to eat it immediately, wrap it well with foil to keep that heat in. You should really be serving this dish within 20-30 minutes of baking. You want it to cool just a bit before eating, so you don’t burn yourself on melted cheese… but you want it to be gooey still. Slice it and eat it as it is, in the dough, or serve along with crackers.
This makes a great appetizer or snack, or you can include it as part of your meal! I absolutely love it and it’s so much fun to make.
If you’d like to see me make one, you can watch this very, very awkward cooking video! This is from my first Savvy Spork livestream, something which I am hoping will be a monthly tradition. (And hopefully over the holidays I’ll be able to get a better webcam system, as I do like the multi-cam aspect for cooking streams.)