Easy Baked Brie

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I happen to love baked brie. I’ve discovered since joining the blogging world, however, that there are those who look down on it. Personally, I feel like these people are missing out. But, like with all food, taste is subjective, and no one need be forced to eat baked brie or anything else he or she doesn’t love, ever. Thankfully.

Personally, I don’t like celeriac. There might be a few other foods that I don’t love, but I can’t think of any right now. Not that I claim to love every food I’ve ever tried, it’s just that there unfortunately aren’t many I don’t like. And my ever-struggling waistline proves it.

But hopefully at some point in your life you’ve tried a baked brie – perhaps at a party. It might have been a fancy kind of baked brie, topped with a chutney, and then artistically wrapped in phyllo dough or puff pastry. When I catered, this is the sort of presentation I used because it’s impressive, and the brie is delicious as well.

My baked bries, of course, didn’t compare to something a pastry chef could whip up. The most artistic thing I could ever do with puff pastry, after wrapping and sealing the brie, was rolling the leftover dough strips to make assorted “rosettes.” I then “glommed” these together on top of the brie to make a bouquet of sorts. But even with the simplest presentation, a baked brie in pastry is a pretty thing.

And then, the pièce de resistance – you get to pierce the cheese rind, and the wonderfully warm, oozy brie pours out, along with the chutney, and you get to spread this mixture on bread. A baked brie is heavenly.

When I cook for my own family during the holidays, I sometimes don’t have the time to follow through on such preparations like a puff pastry-wrapped brie. But let’s face it. Sometimes it’s not about time at all, but their appreciation for the hours spent in the kitchen.

None of my family members read my blog, and so I can safely say, without recourse, that there’s not much appreciation for anything I do in the kitchen in my sole desire to feed and nourish them whilst they’re visiting. And make them all happy. Because, of course, that’s why we all cook, right?

They all tell me not to work so hard, but nobody has actually stopped me yet. Or tried helping me out. No one has ever suggested that we go get a bucket of fried chicken at a local drive-in.

But for my own sanity, and for the fact that I want my “kids” to keep coming home for the holidays, I do try to take the easy route occasionally. And thus, I give you a simple baked brie. Simple, yet just as delicious.

There are many options for baked brie, without the puff pastry. The bries are first warmed in the oven, and a topping is poured oven the top. You can use a cranberry-apple chutney with some toasted walnuts thrown in for good measure, or a cranberry orange compote, a sweet and nutty Foriana sauce, or just about anything that pairs with warm brie.

So here’s a simple baked brie recipe that I made over the holidays. I actually made it for my Christmas party; I just used my family as an excuse so I could complain about all the hard work I do for them.

This baked brie would be wonderful for Thanksgiving as well, or for any special presentation in the fall. The main flavors are maple and pecan, so you can just save this recipe until next October, and send me your thank yous then. Enjoy!

Maple-Pecan Baked Brie

1 – 2 pound wheel of brie, at room temperature
1/2 cup maple syrup (real maple syrup)
1 stick, or 4 ounces unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Sprinkle of ground cayenne (optional)
Toasted pecans*

Unwrap the brie, and place it on a greased cookie sheet. The greasing helps insure that the brie can simply be slid on to the serving dish. If you use a spatula, you run the risk of prematurely piercing the brie, and you’ll have to start over.

This brie is made from pasteurized cows’ milk. It’s all I can get locally, and I try and support the woman who buys cheese for the grocery store in town. Without her, we’d have no good cheese at all. I probably wouldn’t serve this brie as is, but it was wonderful as a baked brie.

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Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium pot, combine the maple syrup and butter. Heat over medium heat until the butter dissolves. Cook the mixture for about 15 minutes to reduce slightly and thicken. Then add the cinnamon, and cayenne, if using. Set aside to cool slightly.

Break up the toasted pecans and set aside.

Bake the brie as is for about 20 minutes. Carefully slide it onto a heat-proof serving dish. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, and then pour the warm maple mixture over the top, and sprinkle the top with the broken pecan pieces. Serve immediately.
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Here’s to a wonderful 2014 everybody! Happy New Year!

* The easiest way to toast a small amount of pecans is in a skillet on the stove. Place the desired amount, like 1 cup, of pecan halves in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet heats up, you will smell the pecans toasting. Shake the skillet around, moving the pecans around, until you can see that they’re toasted on all sides. Then remove the skillet from the heat. Let cool completely, then break them up with your hands.

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note: This is a pretty sweet brie topping. I was thinking that replacing the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar with molasses, or omitting it altogether would cut the sweetness slightly. I’ve personally never loved brie served with straight-up honey, but that’s just a personal peeve. Real maple syrup, of course, doesn’t compare to the sweetness of honey, but still, if you think it might be too sweet for your party table, think about these two options.

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57 thoughts on “Easy Baked Brie

  1. It’s funny how some things in the ‘food world’ go in & out of fashion… A baked Brie – and a well-made quiche – are still delicious, even if the food world seems to have moved past them. This looks great Mimi !!! Pinning it for sure!

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  2. HI Mimi happy new year to you, love baked brie, the way it’s made here often is covered in egg wash – sprinkled with breadcrumbs baked for 30 minutes and then served with cranberry relish and salad – actually I lie that’s not brie but tommes, or small Camemberts but works for any type of cheese that comes small and round. Serving with wine caramelized onions might be nice too. You can see you inspired me and made me feel hungry!

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  3. Mimi…this is beautiful. I love baked brie…and I’m wondering why people look down on it? Their loss for sure.
    You could have been describing my family! Haha… there is no appreciation in the meals that we prepare for our families..but I think if we stopped cooking, they’d truly miss it. I do it more for the therapy, the pleasure that it brings me, as I’m sure you do too. I said to my husband this morning, it’s the perfect day today… I can hang out in my kitchen and play! He just rolled his eyes, and changed the channel on the tv.. lol.. :-)
    Happy New Year my friend… I cannot wait to see what you have in store for 2014.

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    • Thank you. What a sweet comment. I actually have a son in law now, for four years, and he’s always excited about everything I cook. The rest of them? Nah. But, if I did, they would certainly miss the food!!! Hope you have a lovely 2014 !

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  4. Love baked brie and yours looks beautiful! We had a baked brie in croute stuffed with cranberry port wine chutney for Christmas dinner. It was fabulous. I cannot understand people not liking baked brie, especially someone with a food blog. It makes a pretty presentation and tastes soooo good. What’s there not to like about a baked brie.

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    • Very similar to what I used to do when I catered. Such a pretty and delicious presentation. Maybe because it’s not a traditional thing? I’ll have to ask my mother…. Although there was always raclette, but then, that cheese melts differently. I have no idea. But all I know is that I’m going to keep making baked bries!

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  5. This is a stunning version ! I love baked brie – normally just pierced with slivers of garlic and infused with a little white wine – but this sounds fantastic! And keep cooking – I appreciate your recipes!

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  6. I think the reason people aren’t too impressed is because they have become so spoiled to the cooking they forget and take it for granted. I am lucky that I come from a family very serious about food and I always try to be enthusiastically appreciative of the cook. I know how much work it is. BTW I don’t know who these brie-haters are but they are just wrong. I can’t think of anything better!

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  7. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard of baked brie before. I have heard of deep-fried camembert though :-) That is breaded and then deep-fried. A brie would be a bit too large for that I suppose. I’d definitely prefer it to deep-fried candy bars, which is supposed to be very popular in the UK.
    I’m sure it’s good — anything with melted cheese is :-) It looks pretty. I think I’d prefer a savory topping. Walnuts or pecans, but with roasted bell peppers and smoked chicken or something.

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    • All of those savory items would be fabulous with brie – but they would something you’d expect in a sandwich. There’s something about brie that goes so well with a sweet and savory mixture, like a cranberry chutney, or a fruit compote with walnuts mixed in. There are some that are way too sweet for me, but if you include sweet and savory, it’s really wonderful. You’ll just have to try one some time. It’s like how well goat cheese and caramelized nuts or fresh pears go so well together…

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  8. Mimi, Your family is SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO lucky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure they MUST appreciate your cooking more than they let on. And, yes, the brie looks fabulous. Who can argue with maple syrup and pecans?:-) Happy New Year – Shanna

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      • Do any of your kids or in-laws enjoy cooking with you… you mentioned that they don’t offer to help. I tell my daughter all the time she is my “little chef” in hopes that she will always help me out. :-)

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      • My younger one always helped me cook. I have a picture of her at 8 years old holding a 6′ long sheet of pasta that she made herself. Actually both of my daughters now, at 27 and 30, do a good job of home cooking. They know I love to cook, and take it seriously, but I wouldn’t mind help sometimes. It’s tough, though. My daughter who lives in London didn’t get to Oklahoma till sunday night, spent a little time with her sister, then they went to that daughter’s husband’s home for Christmas eve, and I didn’t get to see anybody till Christmas morning. By then, everything was pretty much cooked. So it’s not like they come home for a week before christmas and refuse to do anything. And, they work, so their schedules are limited. PLUS, I really wanted my husband to wait to have his bicep surgery AFTER Christmas, but he did it before. He can seriously only use one arm – so no help from him at all! I think I was just feeling sorry for myself over the holidays!
        But keep up with the little chef – hopefully that will stick forever!

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      • You know, it is amazing that your kids come home for the holidays – especially since your daughter does not live close. It speaks volumes to your personhood and excellent job as a parent. I hope that my kids love me enough to come to visit for special occasions, too. The story about your daughter and the pasta sheet is precious. You instilled them with great cooking skills. I hope that your husband recovers quickly! Lucky man to be married to a chef! :-)

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  9. Oh I hear you Mimi!! But imagine my surprise when this year, for the first time ever, my girls (35yrs & 37) threw me out of the kitchen New Years Eve so they could make a splendid meal as an early birthday celebration for me! My eldest loves to cook, she asks for technical direction, recipes and advice, the other turns to the internet! Your Brie sounds delicious, I posted a very simple version earlier this year, with garlic, thyme and verjuice! Happy New Year

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    • Well maybe I just have to wait some more years. Mine are 27 and 30. What a lovely gift that must have been! Happy New Year.
      PS I remember your brie – it looked wonderful!

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  10. I used to go all out with holiday food preparation—a little over the top—and I finally decided that a big pot of chili would feed us all just as well (and sometimes even more appreciated) than a big “gourmet something.” Happy holidays. (I haven’t made baked brie in years. I friend just gave us some pecan pie topping from Sally’s in NOLA and I was wondering what to do with it. Now I know!) Thanks.

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    • Hi Debra! Well, I’m just a slow learner! But this year, I made a beef curry, shrimp curry (for pescatarian daughter), spinach curry, and a basmati rice, and people ate when they wanted to, and heated everything up themselves. No sit down dinner, which I think is what makes me work so much harder. It’s just not fair to spend all day in the kitchen (Thanksgiving), but then, my husbands says it’s all my fault. I’ll keep trying to hit that happy medium from now on!
      I hope you love your Brie!!!

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  11. I think I might make this for tomorrow night, along with your Faux Boursin recipe !! I’ve never tried baking Brie. The recipe I do sometimes utilizes a microwave but, as you know, that can get tricky… Thanks for supplying me with two great new recipes for my Women’s Night Only parties!! ; o )

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