• 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash of ground cloves (optional)
  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries (I like Trader Joe's Organic
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 6-8 sheets Phyllo dough or 1 sheet Trader Joe's Puff Pastry
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Round of Brie
  • 1 cup homemade cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Baked brie is my absolute favorite appetizer. I love pairing this decadent French cheese with sweet preserves or jams, nuts, and fresh or dried fruits. I normally use raspberry preserves in this recipe, but ever since Trader Joe’s fresh cranberries have been in stock, cranberry sauce has been on my mind. It is so unbelievably easy to make and so incredibly delicious. Plus, it is the perfect addition to so many fall and winter dishes.

This is the perfect appetizer for any holiday party, sophisticated and elegant yet so simple to make. I baked the brie in phyllo dough this time around, but it’s also heavenly in puff pastry or you can just bake it in a pie or casserole dish and spread the melted cheese on fresh bread or crackers. No matter what personal touches you want to add, I promise that this is a really hard recipe to screw up.


For the cranberry sauce, combine the cranberries, sugar, spices and orange juice in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for about 12 minutes until all of the cranberries have popped. Remove from heat and stir in the grated orange rind and Grand Marnier. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store in refrigerator.

For the baked brie, unroll the phyllo dough and place one sheet on a greased pie plate. Brush the sheet with butter. Layer the 8 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter in between. Scoop a liberal amount of cranberry sauce onto the middle of the buttered phyllo. Place the brie round on top of the sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the brie and sprinkle with toasted nuts.

If you prefer to use puff pastry, place the brie, cranberry sauce and nuts onto the dough and fold it over the top. Brush the puff pastry with an egg wash.

Bake the brie for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let it cool for a couple of minutes before cutting. Serve with crackers or bread or simply on its own.

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