Easy recipe: Twelve Minute Honey Baked Brie

Every Wednesday, for the last couple of years, I've been a part of a City Group at my church. One of the main components of that is a gathering of friends at my house for dinner nearly every week. I have never claimed to be a great cook, but over the last couple of years I've been building up a stash of recipes that I like to call "Yummy Things That Unfairly Make Me Look Like a Culinary Genius". These recipes are incredibly easy, fairly quick, and super delicious. Best of all, the resulting dish gets gobbled up and raved about like you wouldn't believe. I thought that I'd start sharing some of these with you, starting with Honey Baked Brie, which you can do a number of ways, depending on what you have on hand or what's in season or on sale:

baked brie (start)

  • A whole wheel of brie (or Camembert, they're practically the same)
  • Blackberries (or raspberries or a combo of both, but any fruit jam-- like apricot-- would do quite well, too)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh, chopped Tarragon (but fresh, chopped basil will work in a pinch)
  • Honey
  • Salt & Pepper (for best results, use sea salt and corse ground pepper)
  • Almond slivers (optional)

Serve with:

  • Crackers (I recommend Triscuits since they're thick and tough) or a sliced, small crusty bread, like a French baguette (oh la la!)
  • Granny Smith Apple wedges (I used three to serve four people)

finished brie

  1. Preheat your oven or grill to 350º. 
  2. After removing the brie from the package, using a knife, cut off the top rind from the cheese wheel. Make sure to leave the sides intact. This will prevent mega oozing while baking.
  3. Salt and pepper the surface of the now topless brie and place the wheel in a circular cake pan, lined with parchment paper. Don't have parchment paper? No problem. I ran out and had to use foil, and everything turned out okay.
  4. Give the seasoned top a generous spread of honey. No need to use a knife. I just squirted it directly on the cheese wheel in a long, tight zigzag pattern.
  5. Top with tarragon and the fruit and (optional) nuts of your choice.
  6. If you're serving your brie with apple slices, core and wedge the apples. Place the slices around the brie. I like my baked apple wedges salted. If you're like me, sprinkle some salt on 'em.
  7. Place the pan in the center of the oven or on the grill for exactly 12 minutes. 
  8. Plate, serve and die happy. 
  9. brie bite

Where I grew up, people didn't eat brie. We weren't fancy like that (we ate American cheese slices, Cheese Wiz, Easy Cheese from a can, and Velveeta). In fact, I was way dubious the first time I ever encountered brie (in college!). "What do you mean I'm supposed to eat the outside and the outside is mold?!" Nonetheless, I soon became a convert despite my little lactose intolerance issues. 

However, baked brie is a whole new level of awesome. I don't know how many times I've been to an event or ladies' night and there's a wedge of room temperature brie sitting out for us to enjoy. Not bad, especially if it's nice brie, but I promise that if you have a few minutes to spare, popping your brie in the oven will make you go from a ho-hum hostess to mini-Martha Stewart. 

Or just go get a can of Easy Cheese. Even the classiest woman won't be able to resist cheese from a can. Trust me. I know this from experience.

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