Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cranberry Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites

Readers often ask us where we get the recipes for our books. The answer is "anywhere and everywhere," including, occasionally, Facebook. This one popped up in my news feed in early December, and it seemed to fit the flavors of the season. “Fun foods,” as Mr. Right and I call them.

And of course, a recipe is doubly appealing if I’ve already got all the ingredients on hand! It seems to have originated on a website called WellPlated.com Another variation is sauteed mushrooms and onions with herbs and cheese. More fun foods to come!

The original recipe called for 1-1/2" rounds, and I dutifully cut out the first few with a red plastic cookie cutter from my childhood baking set. (Isn’t that miniature rolling pin adorable? No, I did not use it!) We quickly realized that 2" rounds would work better. And you get two bites from each one! You can scrape up the dough trimmings into a ball and roll them out again, though you’ll probably only get one chance at that before the dough gets too hard to work.

The cranberry filling is very similar to cranberries you might cook for a turkey dinner, so this would be a great use for leftovers. We also think a fig or apricot jam would be super yummy!

These would be great with other fun foods for New Year’s Eve, or any festive occasion. Or tonight.

Cranberry Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites

For the Cranberry Filling

1 cup fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Puff Pastry 

2 10x10-inch sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, beaten
4 ounces Brie cheese, cubed, including rind

Prepare the cranberry sauce: Combine the cranberries, orange juice, water, honey, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until the cranberries break down and thicken. Let cool.

Unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. With a rolling pin, gently roll the pastry into an 12-inch square. Use a 2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut circles out of the pastry, leaving as little space as possible between each circle. (Each sheet will yield about 40 rounds.)

Beat the egg in a small bowl, then use a pastry brush to lightly brush egg on one side of each round. Scoop 1/4 teaspoon cranberry sauce on half the rounds, and add a small piece of Brie.

Top each cranberry-Brie round with a plain round, brushed egg side down. Carefully press to seal, then crimp the edges with a fork. Prick the top of each pastry with a fork to allow air to escape. Repeat with second pastry sheet.

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pastry on the prepared sheet and brush lightly with egg. Bake for 18 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

To freeze (optional): Assembled but unbaked puff pastry bites can be placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet and frozen; omit the exterior egg wash. Once frozen, remove the bites from the baking sheet and place in an airtight bag. When you’re ready to bake the bites, brush egg wash on the tops. To bake, thaw in the refrigerator or bake from frozen. If baking frozen, add 3 to 5 minutes to the baking time. They won't be as puffy as if baked when made---the pastry will be more like pie crust---but they're still yummy. Pastry puffs may also be fully baked, then frozen, and warmed, briefly, by microwave.

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the second  Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website or on Facebook.


  1. Oh my goodness...these sound absolutely, incredibly delicious!!!! and so easy. Thanks for sharing -- Happy New Year!

  2. I am going to have to add these to me New year's Eve list. They sound amazing!!

  3. These look delicious.
    If you roll the puff pastry out as a square or rectangle, you can cut 2" squares and not have to work with leftover scraps. I do this with biscuits.

  4. Oh yum! I adore baked brie, but have never even considered bite sized pieces! And cranberries? How festive!

  5. I received a copy of Guilty as Cinnamon for Christmas. Yay!