Ideal for entertaining, this luscious recipe combines
pungent cheese with rich pastry and sweet-and-salty sugared pecans.

Serve it with crackers or crusty breadbut be sure to leave a few of these hors doeuvres strategically placed around the room, so your guests dont spend the entire party hovering at the food table.

(Makes: 12 to 16 Servings)

1 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 standard packages (17 1/4 ounces)
frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 wheel (2.2 pounds) Brie (cut rind off)
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. In a medium bowl, combine pecans and sugar,
using your fingertips to thoroughly mix; set aside.
Line a baking sheet with a Silpat (French nonstick baking mat)
or parchment paper; set aside.

2. Lightly dust work surface with flour. Place two sheets (one box)
of puff pastry on the work surface one on top of the other.
Using a rolling pin, adhere the two pieces of the puff pastry together.
Continue rolling puff pastry until it is very thin,
slightly less than 1/8 inch thick.
Using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife,
cut the puff pastry into a 13-inch round,
reserving scraps for decorating.

3. Place the Brie in the center of the puff pastry.
Top the Brie with pecan mixture, spreading
to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the cheese.
Be sure to remove any sugar or nuts from the puff pastry,
as they may cause holes to form during baking.
Fold puff pastry up and over Brie to enclose.
The center of the Brie will not be
completely covered with pastry.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet.

4. Lightly dust work surface with flour.
Repeat rolling and cutting process
with remaining two sheets of puff pastry.
Drape pastry over the Brie,
tucking the edges under to enclose.

5. In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and cream to make an egg wash.
Cut reserved scraps of puff pastry into decorative shapes.
Using a pastry brush, gently brush the decorative
shapes with the egg wash, and adhere to wrapped Brie.
Brush the wrapped Brie evenly with the egg wash.
Transfer to refrigerator and chill for
at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

6. Preheat oven to 400.
Bake Brie until golden brown and puffed,
about 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake
until dark golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes more.
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This tasty, delicious baked brie has great presentation and is perfect for parties. The mild flavor is well complemented by the tartness of the dried cherries and the crunchiness of the almonds. And the brown sugar also makes a nice syrup to tie all the flavors together. You can also make all kinds of fun designs with a small cookie cutter on the top of the brie. And for extra pizzaz drizzle raspberry puree on top after baking. Simply Delish!

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Makes: 20 Servings

1 (7 to 8-inch) wheel brie cheese
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 sheets (12 by 18-inch) puff pastry
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Using a warmed sharp knife, or unflavored dental floss (See Cook's Note 1) cut the wheel of brie in half horizontally and separate the top half of the wheel from the bottom half. Sprinkle the bottom half of the brie with the dried cherries, toasted almonds, and brown sugar.

Replace the top half of the brie and apply pressure to secure the stuffing. Working on a well-floured surface, roll out the puff pastry so that it will fully cover the brie. Place the brie in the middle of the puff pastry and fold the excess pastry around the wheel. Put the wheel aside. Roll out another piece of puff pastry and cut out a circle the same circumference as the top of the brie. Save the trimmings for decorations.

Using a pastry brush, brush the egg on top of the brie in the puff pastry and place the circle on top. Brush the top of the circle with egg. Cut out decorations using cookie cutters or a small knife on top of the brie. Brush the entire top side of the brie with the egg and place the brie on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the pastry begins to turn golden brown, then turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes.

Serve on a pretty platter.
See Cook's Note 2.

Cook's Note 1:
Instead of using a knife to cut the brie, use a piece of unflavored dental floss. Make an initial cut half way down, along the outer side of the brie with a pairing knife. Then, take a long piece of dental floss and wrap it around both hands. Starting at the front of the wheel at the initial cut, work through the wheel with the floss, separating the top half of the wheel from the bottom.

Cook's Note 2:
The brie can be made, wrapped securely and
stored in the freezer up to a month ahead of time.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 8 Servings

1 (13-16 ounce) whole Brie cheese with rind
3 tablespoons strawberry preserves
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup slice fresh strawberries
1-1/2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts or
slice toasted almonds
Toasted Bread Hearts and Crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place Brie on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until soft and warm, but not runny. While Brie bakes, heat the preserves and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until thick and bubbly; remove from heat.

Remove Brie from oven and transfer to a serving dish. Arrange strawberries on top of the Brie; drizzle with heated preserves and sprinkle with nuts.
Serve with crackers or toasted bread hearts.
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(Makes: 2 Servings)

1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon butter
1 round of Brie (8-ounce)
Salt and pepper
Sourdough or French bread loaf
Fresh strawberries and pear slices

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
Add almonds and saut until golden; remove from heat.

Place Brie in a small baking dish; season with salt and pepper. Top with toasted almonds. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until Brie is golden. Wrap bread in aluminum foil and warm in oven while Brie bakes.

Serve baked Brie with bread and fresh fruit.
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(Makes: 12 Servings)

This elegant recipe always gets rave reviews!
The flavors combine deliciously and the
impressive presentation always wows guests.

Cranberry Chutney
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup hot pepper jelly
2 tablespoons Tequila

1 wheel (about 2 pounds) Brie cheese, rind intact
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water

To make the chutney, combine the cranberry sauce,
brown sugar, ginger and jelly in a small saucepot.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly,
for 5 minutes to blend flavors.
Remove the chutney from the heat and stir in the Tequila.
Allow the mixture to cool before using.

To assemble the baked brie, roll out the
puff pastry on a lightly floured surface just
large enough to wrap the wheel of brie.
(You might not need to roll too much depending
on the size of your puff pastry sheet.)

Freeze the wheel of brie for 15 minutes before slicing.
Place the brie on a flat work surface and
slice the brie in half crosswise to form two circles.
Place the bottom half of the brie upside
down on the puff pastry sheet.
Top the cheese with 1 1/2 cups of the
cranberry chutney and spread evenly over the brie.
Place the other circle of brie, rind side up,
on top of the cranberry sauce.

Wrap the pastry up around the sides and over
the top of cheese wheel, wrapping completely
and pressing the edges of dough together
to form a tightly sealed package.
Carefully flip the dough-wrapped cheese over,
so that the gathered dough is on the bottom.
Place the package, seam side down,on a baking
sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
The brie can be prepared up to this point
and refrigerated for 2 days before
baking or frozen for up to 2 months.
Be sure to bring the brie to room temperature
before baking and thaw completely if frozen.

To bake the brie, preheat the oven to 375F.
Combine the egg and water and brush the mixture
over the top and sides of the pastry.
Bake the brie for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with crackers or crusty French bread slices.

Garnishing is almost as important as the flavor of the food!
Create elegant yet simple garnishes by using fresh herbs, whole raw vegetables or fruits, cucumbers or carrot curls, twisted citrus slices
(oranges & lemons) and non-toxic flowers.
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