I’m going to let you in on a little holiday hostess secret. Sparkling cranberries! You can also call them sugared cranberries or your new favorite treat, that works too. They’re the perfect little tart and sweet treat to jazz up desserts or appetizers, like this sparkling cranberry and almond baked brie. Baked brie is a fabulous addition to any appetizer display, especially during the holiday season. Look how pretty they are…
So first let’s chat about making the sparkling cranberries and then I’ll show you to pull it together to dress up the baked brie.
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sanding sugar (optional, can you use more granulated sugar if you prefer)
The idea is to create a simple syrup to soak the cranberries in and allow them to get sticky so they can be rolled in sugar. So combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup water (or equal parts if you’re making a larger batch) in a small saucepan. Stir on medium heat until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in cranberries. You can let them soak overnight for an extra sweet cranberry or at least an hour (they’ll just be slightly more tart) to be sure they’re ready. Scoop out cranberries and roll in remainder of granulated sugar. I add in 1/2 cup sanding sugar because the granules are larger and add extra sparkle! Now your cranberries are ready!
Sparkling cranberries are a wonderful way to dress up holiday desserts and appetizers from simple cakes and cupcakes to crostinis and of course, baked brie! Check out how they were used in this Red and White Santa Party!
Now I serve my baked brie with little mini toasts or crostinis but you could add in pita chips, apple slices, crackers, or bread slices. If you want your brie to have an extra festive touch, circle the brie wheel in rosemary after it is plated. To convert this into a passable appetizer, then top a crostini with a little square of brie, top with an almond, and bake until cheese is just melting. Remove from oven, top with a sugared cranberry or two and serve!
Here’s the easy recipe below! Leave a comment if you have any questions, but what I love about this appetizer is how easy it is while also looking like you pulled out all the fancy elements to wow your guests! Isn’t it a showstopper?! For more appetizer recipes, check out our appetizer gallery here! I also can’t wait for you to see my next book as it is full of fabulous appetizer recipes for year-round entertaining! Stay tuned…
- 1-2 cups sparkling cranberries (recipe in post)
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 brie wheel
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place brie wheel on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and top with almonds.
- Return to oven for 3-5 minutes.
- Top with sugared cranberries and serve with crackers, crostinis, apple slices, or bread rounds.
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