New favorite party game: eat all of the Cranberry Brie Bites before the other guests notice. Buttery, flaky, and filled with tangy cranberry + creamy brie cheese, each one of these addictive little nuggets tastes like a mini baked brie. They’re perfectly sized for popping right into your pie (er, puff pastry) hole and have a dangerous way of disappearing at holiday parties.
Also, between friends, I won’t tell anyone if you start munching on the Cranberry Brie Bites before the guests arrive.
These mini brie puff pastry appetizers are the ultimate make-ahead appetizer recipe.
- They can be assembled and frozen, either baked or unbaked, weeks before a party.
- They reheat beautifully from frozen or thawed.
- They even taste fabulous served both warm and at room temperature.
Holiday appetizer MVP!
Cranberry Brie Bites—A Classic Flavor Combo!
Cranberries and brie cheese are a classic combo and taste positively cheery wrapped in flaky puff pastry. In the oven, the puff pastry becomes a golden cloud and the brie warm and creamy, and the sweet cranberry sauce adds a festive pop to every bite.
I used a mini biscuit cutter to stamp out the puff pastry rounds, but if you prefer not to have any pastry scraps, you can cut them into squares instead.
A dollop of cranberry, a cube of brie. Each of these bite-sized brie appetizers is a puff pastry present, and I say we have been very, very good this year.
To seal the Cranberry Brie Bites, you’ll need a bit of eggwash, a fork, and patience.
At this point in the process, they remind me of adorable baby pies.
Once the puff pastry is sealed, these brie and cranberry parcels can be frozen for weeks. Stow away a batch this weekend. You’ll have one less worry when you’re stressing over the Thanksgiving turkey, and you’ll be fully prepared to feed any hungry relatives who descend upon your house unannounced.
I’ve made these Cranberry Brie Bites numerous times for parties. They originally appeared at Ben and my housewarming/first Milwaukee Christmas party two years ago and have remained a favorite in my recipe archive since. I’ve tried a variety of different twists (these Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites being another frontrunner), but this brie and cranberry combo is the one I come back to the most.
Tips for Cranberry Brie Bites Recipe Success
- Yield. Read the directions very carefully. When I use a very small (1 1/2-inch) biscuit cutter, roll each of the two sheets of pastry to a full 11-inch square, and pack the circles so closely together that almost no scraps remain, I can squeak out 48 bites.
- If your biscuit cutter is even a speck larger (or if you use a smaller sheet of puff pastry or don’t pack the circles as tightly), you could end up with a much smaller amount.
- If you aren’t sure about the yield and want to ensure you have enough of these popular bites for a crowd, I suggest purchasing an extra sheet or two of puff pastry, just in case.
- Taste That Sauce. The preferred sweetness or tartness of cranberry sauce is unique to each person. Before adding the sauce to the bites, give it a taste to make sure you are happy with it. Don’t be afraid to use salt (the Cranberry Brie Bites need it for flavor, since puff pastry is mild on its own), squeeze in extra orange juice, or give the cranberries an extra squirt of honey to suit your personal preferences.
- Stretch It. To more easily seal the bites, stretch the top rounds of puff pastry with your fingers every so slightly so that they are a bit larger than the bottom round. This will help them fit more easily over the brie.
- Adjust as Needed. If the cranberry sauce keeps squirting out the sides (a little is OK; a lot will make the bites not look as pretty once they are baked), either stretch the top round of puff pastry a bit more (see point above), or use a lesser amount of cranberry or a slightly smaller cube of brie.
Recommended Tools to Make Cranberry Brie Bites
- Two-sided biscuit/cookie cutters
- Parchment paper
- Best-ever all-purpose baking sheets (half sheet size)
More Easy, Make-Ahead Puff Pastry Recipes
- Brie Bites
- Pesto Pinwheels
- Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls
- Cheesy Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites
- Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
Cranberry Brie 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 Bites:
- 2 sheets puff pastry 10x10 inch, thawed in the refrigerator overnight (I like Pepperidge Farm)
- 1 large egg beaten
- 4 ounces Brie cheese cold and cut into small pieces (about 1/4-inch cubes)
- Prepare the cranberry sauce: Combine the cranberries, orange juice, water, honey, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, until the cranberries break down and thicken. Let cool. Taste and add additional salt, honey, or orange as desired. Make sure you are happy with the flavor of the sauce, as it will have a big impact on the final taste of the bites.
- Unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. With a rolling pin, gently roll the pastry so that it is an even 11-inch square. With a 1 1/2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut circles out of the pastry, leaving as little space as possible between each circle, about 48 rounds total from one sheet. (If you use a larger biscuit cutter, leave space between the circles, or have a smaller size sheet of puff pastry, please note that the recipe yield will be smaller.)
- Beat the egg in a small bowl, then lightly brush each pastry round. Top half of the pastry rounds with ¼ teaspoon cranberry sauce and 1 small piece brie cheese, rind included.
- Carefully place the remaining pastry rounds on top of the brie and cranberry, brushed-egg-side down. Pinch the ends closed, then gently crimp the edges with a fork to secure. Prick each pastry with a fork to allow the air to escape. (If making ahead, see notes section below.) Repeat with second pastry sheet.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the 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 12 to 16 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.
- IMPORTANT NOTE ON YIELD: If you are planning to make these Cranberry Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites for a crowd, please carefully read the directions about the yield. I got 48 bites when I used a very small biscuit cutter, rolled the pastry quite thin, and packed the circles tightly on the puff pastry so that almost no scraps remained. If your biscuit cutter is even a teeny bit larger (or if you use a smaller sheet of puff pastry or don't pack the circles as tightly), you could end up with a much smaller amount. If you aren't sure, I suggest purchasing a little extra puff pastry and making extra cranberry sauce, just in case. No one will complain about too much baked brie!
- Assembled but unbaked puff pastry bites can be placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet and frozen. If freezing for later, still poke holes in the top but omit the exterior egg wash. Once frozen, remove the bites from the baking sheet and transfer to an airtight bag. When ready to bake, apply the exterior egg wash. Puff pastry bites may be baked from frozen or thawed in the refrigerator, then baked chilled. If baking from frozen, keep the oven temperature the same, adding 3 to 5 minutes to the baking time. Pastry puffs may also be fully baked, then frozen, and will reheat well in the oven.
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