These delicious Cranberry Brie Bites are a festive and easy holiday appetizer, made with buttery puff pastry, homemade cranberry sauce, creamy brie, and topped with fresh rosemary. These are always one of the first appetizers to go!
*This recipe is sponsored by Dixie Crystals*
Festive Cranberry Brie Bites
If you are looking for a fun and festive holiday appetizer, these Cranberry Brie Bites are one of my favorites that we make every year for a Christmas appetizer. They are extra festive with the bright red cranberry sauce and pop of green from the rosemary, but they taste even better than they look!
This easy Christmas appetizer starts with fresh homemade cranberry sauce, creamy brie, and a little fresh rosemary, wrapped in puff pastry and baked until golden brown. Serve them warm, when the cheese is all melted, with a little flaky sea salt on top and watch them disappear!
Looking for more brie appetizers? If you love these Cranberry Brie Bites, you will also probably love my fresh Strawberry Brie Crostini!
Ready for the best Christmas appetizer experience of your life? If so, round up the following ingredients:
- Fresh Cranberries: you can also use frozen whole cranberries.
- Dixie Crystals Granulated Sugar: my favorite brand of sugar!
- Orange Zest: or lemon zest will also work in a pinch!
- Water: or orange juice or an orange liquor, like grand mariner or cointreau, are also good.
- Seasonings: Salt and Pepper.
- Puff Pastry: thawed and ready to use.
- Brie Cheese: you could use any cheese you like, but a rich and creamy brie is perfect in this appetizer.
- Rosemary: adds flavor as well as the pop of green color!
- Flaky Sea Salt: an optional addition that adds a ton of flavor. Unlike traditional salt, flaky sea salt is a finishing salt in larger crystals. It gives food a beautiful look and a crunchy, salty finish.
How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Homemade cranberry sauce really adds a ton more flavor to your Cranberry Brie Bites! Here’s what you need to do to make your own cranberry sauce:
Simmer: Combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and water in a sauce pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until cranberries soften.
Pop: Increase the heat to medium, stirring constantly, and cook until cranberries begin to pop.
Season: Reduce the heat to low and then add the remaining cranberries along with a pinch of kosher salt, black pepper, and stir until combined.
Finish and Cool: Cook on low for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside to allow to cool down. At this point, you can refrigerate your cranberry sauce until you are ready to use it.
How To Make Cranberry Brie Bites
After you make your homemade cranberry sauce, the rest of this recipe is a breeze. You just have to fill each puff pastry square with your fillings and bake them!
Prepare Puff Pastry: Lightly flour a working surface and spread one thawed puff pasty sheet out. (Store second piece of pastry in the fridge until ready for use.) Lightly roll out puff pastry until it is an even thickness. This will help achieve a more even and thorough bake.
Cut Into Squares: Next, cut sheet of puff pasty into 12 even pieces. Press dough firmly into each mini cupcake tin. Poke a few holes into bottom of each piece of dough.
Fill: Cut brie into 24 roughly even pieces. Place a piece of brie into center of each piece of dough. Top with a small spoonful of cranberry sauce and a piece or two of fresh rosemary on top. Repeat steps with second sheet of puff pastry.
Bake: Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until flaky and golden brown. I recommend turning the pan about half way through baking to ensure even cooking and browning.
Finish: Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. If any cheese or cranberry sauce has oozed out of tin, use a small spoon to scoop it back into puff pastry. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Tips For Success
Here are some tips on making these Cranberry Brie Bites that may be helpful to you:
- No time to make the homemade cranberry sauce? You can use store bought: You can use store bought cranberry sauce if you want. It is super easy to make, but store bought is totally fine.
- Brie Substitutions: You can use any soft cheese you like, goat cheese would also go very well in this little bite.
- Rosemary: If you don’t love rosemary, you can skip it completely. If you would like another herb to give you that festive look, you can also try fresh parsley or thyme. Both parsley and thyme are milder herbs and would pair just fine with the other flavors.
- Puff Pastry: Puff pastry is perfect for these little bites, but if you can’t find it, you can also use crescent dough cut into little squares.
- Don’t Over Bake: Everything inside each little bite of puff pastry is already cooked, the cheese just needs to get warm enough to melt a little. So make sure you remove these bites from the oven as soon as the puff pastry is cooked through and golden brown.
Can I Use Store Bought Cranberry Sauce?
Yes! If you prefer to save time, you can use store bought cranberry sauce. I do recommend looking for the freshly made one in the deli, but even canned will work in a pinch!
Can I Prepare Them Ahead?
Yes, to a point! You can pre-make the cranberry sauce up to 5 days before, just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also pre slice the brie and the puff pastry into squares and then store them in the fridge the day of.
About 30 minutes before your guests arrive, preheat your oven and finish prepping the Cranberry Brie Bites by assembling them in the muffin tins. Pop them into the oven and they will be ready as guests arrive!
Cranberry Brie Bites
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a mini cupcake tin and set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, add 5 oz fresh cranberries, 1/2 cup of
sugar, orange or lemon zest, and water. Simmer over low heat. Stir occasionally until the cranberries soften, approximately 8-10 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium, stirring to prevent burning and cook until cranberries begin to burst.
- Next, reduce heat to low and add remaining cranberries along with a pinch of kosher salt, black pepper and stir until combined.
- Cook on low for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside to allow to cool down as you prepare the puff pasty.
- Lightly flour a working surface and spread one of the puff pasty sheets out – put remaining piece of pastry into the fridge until ready for use. Lightly roll out puff pastry until it is an even thickness. This will help achieve a more even and thorough bake.
- Next, cut the sheet of puff pasty into 12 even pieces. Press dough firmly into each mini cupcake tin. Then, poke a few holes into the bottom of each piece of dough.
- Cut the brie into 24 roughly even pieces. Place a piece of brie into the center of each piece of dough. Top with a small spoonful of cranberry sauce and a piece or two of fresh rosemary. Repeat the process with the second piece of puff pastry.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until flaky and golden brown. Turning pan about half way through baking.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. If any cheese or cranberry sauce has oozed out of the tin, use a small spoon to scoop it back into the puff pastry.
- Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Best served warm.
More Holiday Recipes
Looking for more great recipes for the holidays? I have you covered! Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Best Coquito (Puerto Rican Coconut Eggnog)
- Peanut Butter Pretzel Crockpot Candy
- Brown Sugar Pecan Baked Brie
- Crockpot Turkey Breast
- Buttery Spritz Cookies
- Baked Brie With Balsamic Strawberries
- Easy Homemade Eggnog
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Holiday Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad
- Crockpot Ham
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