Monday, May 4, 2009

Caramel Nut Brie

I will confess, this is not my brie. It's actually some brie a girlfriend of mine made for our book club, but my pictures of hers looked more delicious than the pictures I took of my own. No skin off my back though, I still got to make it myself and eat a very large amount of yummy cheese all on my own. Good brie recipes abound in my kitchen. I am in a couple of book clubs, and brie seems to be a staple on the snack list, so I have a very extensive knowledge of great ways to serve brie.

In my mind it comes down to these four classifications: baked or not, encased in pastry or not, and sweet or savory. I love them all, so I try and give each of them their fair share of attention. I am sure many of you are familiar with the brandy nut brie recipe in the Best of Bridge cookbook series. I was actually given the entire set one Christmas as a gift (an excellent gift!) by my mother. The brandy nut brie is one of my favorite ways to serve brie, but the one difficulty for me is that I don't regularily have brandy on hand, so it seems like every time I make it I make a special trip to the liquor store to pick up an airplane sized bottle of over priced brandy.

This brie actually tastes quite similar (brandy combined with a pile of brown sugar ends up being kind of caramely), but is an easier make for me because I like to keep caramel sauce on hand for ice cream. To make it, pop a wheel of brie into the oven at 350 for about ten minutes (just so it gets warm and a little melty), and then top with either walnuts or pecans and some caramel sauce. It doesn't get easier than that. On top of being delicious, it makes for a beautiful presentation served on a nice little plate with caramel dripping into the cheese as wedges are cut.

This is a great little appetizer to put out at a party, but can also double as a dessert/cheese plate type dish for a dinner party if you want something sweet and decadent to finish a meal, but don't want to do up a full dessert course.

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