The easiest snack you can make for entertaining holiday guests – Cranberry Baked Brie served on a festive cheese board with crackers and fruit. Ooey gooey cheese ready in 10 minutes!
The countdown to Christmas is on! How many of you enjoy hosting family and friends? Or maybe you’re looking for a simple holiday snack. It’s always thoughtful to serve your guests a homemade dessert, but sometimes you don’t have the time. You still work a full time job on top of the usual Christmas tasks – decorating the tree, shopping for gifts, wrapping said gifts, watching your favorite Christmas movies, taking in the lights downtown while it’s still December. There are times where even I don’t have time to make a dessert for guests. When that happens, I put out snacks in pretty bowls and dishes. There’s nothing as disappointing as having a guest over only to find out there’s nothing to eat.
One way to make the snacks more presentable is with a cheese board. It’s no secret I love dessert, but I also equally love cheese boards. I’ve always said I have discipline not eating too many sweets, but when it comes to snacks, all bets are off. I may only eat 1-2 cookies, but I can eat a whole sleeve of butter crackers. One popular cheese for sharing is Brie. You can serve it cold, but I took it one step further with Cranberry Baked Brie. Brie melts so easily that in 10 minutes, you can have ooey gooey melted cheese. On top I added some sweetness with cranberry sauce and texture with chopped pecans. Even if you don’t have time to make dessert. Even if you are stopping at the store after work and only have 15 minutes to prepare something,baked Brie is your answer to quick entertaining.
Most cheese boards are often savory paired with meats and fruit, but I decided to go sweet and top my baked Brie with homemade cranberry sauce. To balance the saltiness of the crackers and almonds, I used chocolate covered pomegranates and chocolate bars. You can use any variety of snacks – pistachios, chocolate covered peanuts, cashews, chocolate covered raisins. Seriously. There’s no right or wrong answer (except fresh cranberries. Please don’t use those as they are very tart when eaten raw. Go for the sweeter fruit like strawberries or grapes).
One thing I hate about grocery shopping is not being able to buy all of my items at one store. Nothing is as exhausting as stopping at 2-3 separate stores in order to complete your list. That’s why I love shopping at ALDI because they have everything I need for holiday entertaining without breaking my budget or sacrificing quality. Take my cheese board, for example. First is the star of the board – the Brie. Of course for every cheese you serve, you need crackers. Luckily ALDI sells one box with six different shapes and sizes, adding variety to your board without having to buy six separate boxes of crackers. Then you want to fill your board with a variety of fruit and small snackables, such as grapes, nuts, and chocolate covered treats. Of course no cheese board is complete without a wine pairing. Pour a glass of your favorite ALDI wine or turn it into Cranberry Orange Sangria. The best part? ALDI also sells slate cheese boards. I’m not kidding when I say you can buy everything you need for entertaining here.
I chose cranberry sauce (which is really more like a jam) because it’s synonymous with holiday. However, if it’s not cranberry season and you don’t have any stored in your freezer, you can use other flavors of jam, including strawberry jam and raspberry rhubarb jalapeno jam. Or if you don’t have time to make any, store bought jam is fine.
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Yields 8-10 servings
10 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 8 ounces Happy Farms Preferred brie cheese round
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup Baker's Corner granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice* (see Note)
- 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon Stonemill iodized table salt
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Place the cheese on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until inside of cheese is softened but outside remains intact.
- Meanwhile, make the cranberry sauce: In a large saucepan, whisk together the cranberries, sugar, zest, juice, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 10-15 minutes or until cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened. Cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the baked brie to a serving dish. Top with cranberry sauce and pecans. Serve immediately.
*I highly recommend buying oranges then squeezing fresh juice from them. However, if you use bottled orange juice, make sure it’s either unsweetened or adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ALDI. Thank you for supporting me and the companies I work with as sponsored posts help pay for the costs of running Chocolate Moosey, including website hosting and groceries for recipe development.