Light and crisp, these cranberry brie puff pastry bites are a terrific holiday appetizer filled with sweet and savory flavors. Super easy to prepare, this cranberry brie puff pastry recipe is made with buttery, store bought puff pastry filled with chunks of creamy brie cheese, then baked until golden and topped with homemade cranberry sauce, candied pecans, honey and thyme!
A Brie Recipe with Holiday Colors and Flavors
Dainty, two-bite appetizers with lots of holiday color and flavor bring an abundance of merriment and sparkle to our holiday gatherings.
Cheese is a fantastic and much beloved offering as part of an hors d' oeuvres spread, and if you can jazz it up with a few tasty, holiday-inspired bells and whistles, then that's even more enticing.
Since we just love brie in our family, and often make my baked brie with caramelized onions for our gatherings, I thought this year I'd create a tasty new way for us to enjoy this cheese, which would be just perfect for the holiday season.
Enter my cranberry brie puff pastry bites—delicate, two-bite morsels made with little cups of crisp, light puff pastry filled with melted brie cheese, then topped with sweet-tangy homemade cranberry sauce, a sprinkle of candied pecans, a drizzle of honey, and a flourish of thyme leaves.
It's the perfect festive offering to pass around with a bit of extra coziness and warmth, each little puff just melting in your mouth!
My Recipe for Cranberry Brie Puff Pastry Bites
Friends, the beauty of this appetizer is that it is not only an elegant and colorful one to pass around, but it's super easy to prepare with just a small handful of ingredients—it only looks and tastes fancy!
I like to use good quality, all-butter puff pastry sheets that I purchase at the market. They have fantastic flavor and texture, and bake up very puffed and golden to create the little “cups” for these puff pastry bites.
I use a total of 4 ounces of creamy brie cheese, and cut that into scant (roughly) ½ inch size squares, about the size of a generous teaspoon. (I don't like to make the brie chunks too big so that they don't create too much overflow as they melt while baking.)
The only component of this recipe that I really prefer to make from scratch is the fresh cranberry sauce to dollop over top of each finished puff pastry bite. It offers a touch of sweet-tanginess, which make these cranberry brie puff pastry bites so irresistible.
The cranberry sauce is so easy, taking mere minutes to prepare, but you can always use good quality store-bought cranberry sauce (or relish), if you're pressed for time.
All that's left is to sprinkle on a touch of candied pecans, drizzle on some honey, and finish with green and delicate thyme leaves for color and flavor!
Here's a sneak peek at my cranberry brie puff pastry bites recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prepare my cranberry sauce and set that aside to cool to room temp.
- Next, I give my cold puff pastry sheets a very gently roll to even and flatten them out a bit, then cut each sheet into 12 squares (for a total of 24 squares), and press each square into a mini muffin tin cup.
- Then, I add my small squares of brie cheese to the cups, and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- When ready to bake, I bake the puff pastry bites for about 22 minutes, until the brie is melted and the puff pastry golden-brown, puffed and crisp.
- To finish the cranberry brie puff pastry bites, I place them onto a serving platter and dollop with a spoonful of the cranberry sauce, sprinkle over a touch of chopped, candied pecans, drizzle over some honey, sprinkle over some thyme leaves, and serve warm or room temp.
Cranberry Brie Puff Pastry Bites
by Ingrid Beer
These cranberry brie puff pastry bites are a colorful and cozy holiday appetizer, with the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavor!
Yield: 24 puff pastry bites
Nutrition Info: 253 calories (per 2 puff pastry bites)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
- 6 ounces fresh, organic cranberries (roughly 1 ½ cups)
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup sugar
- Pinch cinnamon, about ⅛ teaspoon
- Pinch orange zest, about ⅛ teaspoon (optional)
- 2 sheets all-butter puff pastry (a 17 or 18 ounce package), thawed and kept cold in fridge
- 4 ounces brie cheese, cut into 24 small pieces (a little smaller than ½ inch size square)
- ¼ cup chopped, candied pecans, for garnish
- Honey, to drizzle
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, for garnish
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients (except for the puff pastry, keep that cold) according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Add the cranberries, water, sugar and pinch of cinnamon to a small pot or sauce pan, and bring to a vigorous simmer. Then, reduce the heat and gently simmer the cranberries for 6 to 8 minutes, until they begin to pop and break down, and the sauce thickens.
- Spoon the cranberry sauce into a dish and allow the sauce to cool slightly to room temp.
- Have two mini muffin tins (24 wells total) on hand and ready.
- Next, place one sheet of thawed, cold puff pastry on a work surface in front of you, and very gently and slightly give it a roll to even it out (you don't want to enlarge it, just smooth and even it out a bit).
- Cut the sheet into 12 squares by cutting the sheet into thirds vertically, then into fourths horizontally. Gently press each puff pastry square into the well of one of your mini muffins tins, to create a cup-like shape. Prick the bottom with a fork a couple times, to help prevent too much puffing during baking.
- Then, add one piece of brie cheese to the center of each, and place the filled muffin tins into the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes. Repeat this process with the other puff pastry sheet and brie cheese, and place into the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes as well.
- Preheat your oven to 400°.
- Once the puff pastry and brie has chilled, bake for 22 minutes, or until golden-brown and puffed.
- Remove from oven and allow the puff pastry bites to sit for 5 minutes in the mini muffin tin.
- Place the puff pastry bites onto a serving platter and dollop with some of the cranberry sauce. Sprinkle over some chopped candied pecans, drizzle over a small amount of honey, then sprinkle over a small pinch of fresh thyme leaves.
- Serve fresh out of the oven, or room temp.
Tips & Tidbits for my Cranberry Brie Puff Pastry Bites recipe:
- All-butter puff pastry for best flavor: If you can find all-butter puff pastry sheets, the texture and flavor are the best. But if you can't find them at your preferred market, then feel free to use traditional puff pastry sheets.
- Homemade cranberry sauce, or store-bought: Making fresh, homemade, organic cranberry sauce is so quick and easy, that I truly recommend it for this recipe for flavor and texture. However, you can use good quality, store-bought cranberry sauce or relish if you prefer—you will need roughly 1 cup for this recipe.
- Cut the brie cheese into small bites: Take care to cut the brie into 24 small bite-size pieces, a little smaller than a ½ inch square in size, or a little bigger than a teaspoon amount. If your pieces are too large, the melting cheese will ooze out of the puff pastry “cup”, and make things a little bit messy.
- Prep cranberry brie puff pastry bites ahead: These can easily be prepped a day or two ahead of time, then baked off when ready to serve. Simply have your cranberry sauce made and on hand (keep that cold in the fridge), and cut your puff pastry into squares, and press them into the mini muffin tins. Add your brie cheese pieces, then wrap everything in plastic wrap, and keep cold in the fridge until ready to bake, top and serve.
Craving more holiday inspired appetizers? Check out my recipe for Asparagus Prosciutto Puff Pastry, French Onion Mushroom Tart, Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions, or my Cheese Ball, or even my recipe for Spinach Puff Pastry!