05 November 2012

 Today is reveal day for The Secret Recipe Club. The Secret Recipe Club is a group of food bloggers who secretly make one of someone else's dishes and post them all on the same day at the same time.  It's really fun, choosing a recipe to make, making the recipe, then reading about everyone else's recipes.  It's a great way to "meet" other bloggers and check out some great blogs that you never knew about before.

Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned a fabulous blog, Barbara Bakes.  This is a blog that was already on my blog reader!  Barbara is a mother of four who, as her blog's name implies, loves to bake.  She has tons of beautiful baked goods on her blog, but also lots of other non-baked savory dishes too.  As I was perusing her recipe index, I found lots of recipes that I wanted to try, like her Chicken Taco Cornbread Wedges and her Braised Beef Short Ribs, but as soon as I stumbled up on her Holiday Appetizers post, I knew that I wanted to make her Brie en Croute. I had this all figured out within half an hour of receiving my assignment via email!  I changed her recipe just slightly.  Here's my adaptation.

Holiday Brie en Croute

2 sheets puff pastry (1 {17.3 oz.} pkg. Pepperidge Farm)
¼ cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup whole berry jellied cranberry sauce
1 tsp cinnamon
1 (8 oz.) Brie cheese round 


Thaw pastry sheets at room temperature for about 40 minutes.

Combine the pecans and sugar in a small skillet. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the sugar starts to liquefy. Continue stirring constantly until the liquid reaches a golden color and coats the nuts. Remove from heat and spread candied nuts onto a greased cookie sheet or plate and allow to cool completely. Stir occasionally as it cools to break up large pieces.

Preheat oven to 400┬║. Beat egg and water in a small bowl. Mix cooled pecans, cranberry jelly, and cinnamon together in a small bowl.  Cut the rind off the brie.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut a leaf or other shape out of one of the sheets with a cookie cutter.  Set aside.  Spread cranberry pecan mixture in the center of the other sheet. Top with cheese. Brush edges of pastry with egg mixture. Fold all edges up over brie and press to seal.  Place seam-side down onto baking sheet. Place leaf cut-out on top. Brush entire thing with egg mixture.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until pastry is deep golden brown. Let stand for 20 minutes.  Serve with crackers.

Makes 12 servings.

I wasn't sure if I should trim off the rind or not.  Barbara's recipe didn't say anything about doing that, but in her picture, it looked like she had.  I know the rind is edible, but I didn't think it would melt like this recipe called for, so I trimmed it. Also, I couldn't find the same puff pasty sheets that Barbara used, so mine are a different size.  But it worked out just fine.  I used pecans instead of walnuts just because I like them better.  And I couldn't find the cranberry pepper jelly that she used, so I tried with the whole berry jellied cranberry sauce and that worked perfectly.  I call it "holiday" because the cranberry and pecans seem holiday-ish to me.  I added a little cinnamon to "holiday" it up even more.  I had to guess on the number of servings.

Oddly enough, this wasn't the first time I made some "en croute" for Secret Recipe Club. Last November (it must be a November thing!) I made Salmon En Croute.

Here are a few pics of the brie en croute process:

Cranberry pecan mixture on the puff pastry.

Topped with the trimmed brie round.

Isn't it pretty?  This would make a fabulous appetizer for your Thanksgiving dinner.

You can't beat the combination of smooth, creamy cheese and tart crunchy cranberry pecan filling.

Spreads beautifully on crackers.

Thanks for a great recipe, Barbara!  The Secret Recipe Club is taking a holiday break in December but we'll be back the first Monday in January.

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  1. I'm pretty much a-OK with ANYTHING Brie, but this sounds especially fantastic!

  2. This looks wonderful. I was looking for a special fall-ish appetizer for this weekend, and I think I just found it!

  3. Lesa, this looks delicious! I might just have to make this during the holidays. Thanks for sharing with the SRC.

  4. Love how you adapted the recipe and the beautiful leaf decoration on top. It's a perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. Thanks for the sweet comments about Barbara Bakes. So glad you enjoyed this recipe.

  5. So pretty! I love the leaf cutout on top - perfect for a celebration.

  6. This is one of my favorite holiday appetizers! YUM!

  7. That is so festive. I have been crazy about puff pastry lately, so great to work with. Love Cheese! And yes Harvati is awesome

  8. Brie en croute is one of my faves and it looks even more wonderful with the cranberries...delish! Just beautiful too with the decorative leaf, very fancy!

  9. Lesa, this looks gorgeous and I'm sure tasted wonderful.

  10. That looks so good and pretty. I almost feel like I shouldn't say this, but I don't think I've ever had brie and definitely not in puff pastry, but I've seen many and always wanted to try it. I just need to do it. I think Thanksgiving sounds like a perfect time.