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Festive Treats

Baked Brie with Cranberry, Apricot, Pecan, Bacon Crumble

You can experiment with other dried fruits (cherries)– Have some fun with it!


4 strips bacon

2 Tablespoons candied pecans or walnuts finely chopped

2 Tablespoons dried cranberries finely chopped

6 dried Apricots finely chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 7 to 8 oz round Brie

Sliced baguette or crackers for serving

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cook your bacon in a large skillet until crisp.  Drain on paper towels and finely chop once cooled. 

Combine the bacon, pecans, cranberries, apricots, rosemary, vinegar, pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl. Remove the Brie from its packaging.  Cut off the top rind of the round of Brie, leaving ¼” border around the edges (use a sharp knife and go in from above at a slight angle).  Discard the rind.  Put the Brie in a small baking dish.  Top with some of the cranberry, apricot, pecan, bacon crumble, and scatter the rest around the Brie.  Cover the dish with foil. And bake until the cheese is warm and gooey, 30 to 35 min.

Holiday Martini

Makes 4

1 cup vodka

½ cup orange liqueur (Cointreau)

½ cup cherry juice

¼ cup cranberry juice

¼ cup orange juice (freshly squeezed without pulp)

Note:  Make sure you get 100% juice for the cherry and cranberry juice

Sugared cranberries

2 cups sugar divided

½ cup water

1 bag (12 oz fresh cranberries)

In saucepan over medium heat, combine ½ cup of sugar with ½ cup water.  Stir until sugar is dissolved (2-3 min).  Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries until they are well coated. Using a colander, drain the liquid from the cranberries.  Transfer the cranberries to a wire rack and let dry for at least an hour.  Working in small batches, roll the cranberries in the remaining sugar until they are well coated. Let them dry for at least one hour on a wire rack.

Store the cranberries in a bowl without a lid.  Enjoy as a snack (it’s a nice little treat) or in your cocktail within two days.

You can cut this recipe down to a smaller portion!

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously. 

Add sugared cranberries and a rosemary sprig to the martini glass.
(I’ll be checking to see who did this)

Slowly fill the martini glass with the contents of the shaker.

Martini and appetizer recipes courtesy of Sherri Kershner