It's the one time of year when you can buy fresh cranberries. And cranberries can be delicious, and sweet, but not so much when they come from a can. Here is a yummy appetizer with the Berry of the Season taking center stage. Twice. Sugared cranberries on a bed of brie topped with a 'homemade' cranberry fig sauce all snuggled up in phyllo dough. Sounds fancy but it's super easy. I promise. Come and see!
I pinned this recipe but made a few changes knowing I would be making these for an appetizer for a Christmas party. Meaning ease and travel were important too.
Ingredients are simple and tasty. Pre-baked phyllo shells make this dish a no-bake. Awesome. Fresh cranberries...check. Creamy Brie cheese...check. Balsamic vinegar infused with fig...check. Cranberry Sauce that doesn't have a tin-y taste...double check!
Swapping the usual dented cranberry sauce can for this Pacific's Organic Cranberry Sauce in a carton totally eliminates that tin flavor. Plus this unique packaging preserves the quality and taste of the cranberries without using preservatives! More on that later...
To make the sugared cranberries warm up maple syrup (or try an agave maple syrup) just until warm and add to your fresh cranberries.
Don't heat up the sauce too hot or you'll hear the cranberries popping aka exploding. Nice plump sugared cranberries look better then exploded ones. You can hide any exploded cranberries in your mouth.
Let the maple-berries sit in the fridge overnight then drain in the colander for a good 15 minutes so as much of the syrup is off as possible. Too much syrup can mean too much of the sugar sticks. You can hide any over sugared cranberries in your mouth.
Mix the berries in a bowl to coat with sugar then spread them out on a pan to dry. Seriously, the sugaring of the cranberries is the hardest part of this recipe. Only because you have to plan the maple soak the day before. And not eat them all before you put your Brie Bites together.
To make your very own homemade Cranberry Fig Sauce simply take 1/2 cup of Pacific's Organic Cranberry Sauce plus 2 teaspoons of fig-infused balsamic vinegar. Can't find fig? I'd say any fruit flavored balsamic would work! Mix the two together for the savory sauce.
Let me tell ya, trying out a few different ways to make the fig sauce I was enjoying the resealable package of the cranberry sauce! Is it bad that I'm sending all my canned cranberry sauce with my boy for his school's canned food drive? (hanging head in shame) I digress...
Putting it all together is easy!
1. Top phyllo shell with slice of Brie
2. Add a dollop of homemade Cranberry Fig Sauce
3. Sprinkle on a few sugared cranberries
4. Accent with a sprig of fresh mint for a festive Christmas appetizer
Double Cranberry Brie Bites
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus overnight soak & draining)
Cooking Time: None!
Servings: 30 appetizers
1 cup maple syrup
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Pacific Organic Cranberry Sauce
2 teaspoons fig or fruit-infused balsamic vinegar
30 pre-baked mini phyllo dough shells
4 oz Brie cheese
fresh mint leaves (optional)
Heat syrup in a pot just until warm.
Pour slowly over fresh cranberries.
Cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Drain cranberries in a colander for 15 minutes or until most of the syrup has drained.
Mix in a bowl with sugar. Put onto a parchment-covered pan until dry (approx 1 hr.)
Cranberry Fig Sauce:
Mix cranberry sauce with balsamic vinegar in a mixing bowl on low, or by hand, until incorporated.
Add a small slice of cheese into phyllo shell.
Drop a dollop of cranberry sauce on top of Brie.
Add 1-3 sugared cranberries depending on size.
Accent with a fresh mint leaf.
*You will have extra sugared cranberries. Keep in an air-tight container on your counter to enjoy anytime!
I made these for our annual Christmas Extravaganza at my church. We are to bring finger foods to feed 30 people and these little beauties screamed "Merry Christmas! Eat me!"
People will think you must have a team of elves in your kitchen but seriously, these are E.A.S.Y. to make.
The soft crunch of the phyllo dough mixed with the creamy Brie, savory sauce and sweet berry is like a extravaganza of flavors and textures in your mouth.
Oh yeah, and Santa told me any SuperMom can get on his Nice List if you Become Carton Smart this Christmas Season. Switching my tin-can flavored cranberry sauce for the carton smart sauce I have secured my name! You can too just by swapping some of your usual holiday meal ingredients like:
I wonder if I can get on some kinda Super Nice List because I am donating my canned cranberries and living smarter? Santa...I want a Silhouette =)
I'm on Day 10 already! See the other SuperMom Days of Christmas here: