With Thanksgiving just around the corner, most of us have a turkey game plan ready, our sides selected and our pie prep in motion. But what about an appetizer? Sure, you don’t want everyone filling up too much before the big meal, but something to keep hungry mouths at bay while the turkey rests will go a long way to preserving everyone’s sanity (most importantly yours).
One of our favorite seasonal hors d’oeuvres takes advantage of a dish you probably already have on the menu: cranberry sauce. Its sweet tanginess pairs wonderfully with earthy Wisconsin brie. Prepare a tray of simple bites with sliced brie on crackers topped with cranberry sauce and chopped nuts. Or, go for something a little more rustic with cranberry sauce baked brie topped with granola and nuts. Either way, you’ll have a beautiful appetizer ready in a snap without adding lots of ingredients to your shopping list.
For the cranberry sauce, follow our simple recipe below, or use your family’s favorite. You’ll have plenty left over to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. And probably some leftovers for the next day (Turkey, Cranberry & Swiss Crostini, anyone?)
Simple Cranberry Sauce: Combine 12 ounces fresh cranberries, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest in sauce pan. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes, or until cranberries begin to pop. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cranberry & Brie Bites
Servings: Makes 24 bites
12 ounces Wisconsin brie (wheels or logs), cut into 1/2-ounce pieces
24 snack crackers (such as Ritz)
1/4 cup cranberry sauce (Recipe below or use your own favorite.)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts or pecans)
For Cranberry Sauce:
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
For cranberry sauce: Combine fresh cranberries, sugar, water and orange zest in sauce pan. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes, or until cranberries begin to pop. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For bites: Place 1 piece of brie on each cracker. Top each with 1/2 teaspoon cranberry sauce and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve immediately.
Cranberry Baked Brie with Granola
Butter, for pan
1 wheel (8 ounces) Wisconsin brie cheese
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
1/4 cup granola
2 tablespoons raw pecan halves
Toasted baguette slices, for serving
Heat oven to 400°F. Butter small cast iron skillet or baking dish. Place brie in baking dish and spread cranberry sauce over. Top with granola and pecans. Bake 8 minutes or until cranberry sauce is warmed through and brie is softened. Serve immediately with toasted baguette slices.