There is nothing I like more than baked brie as an appetizer for a party, but it can take quite a bit of time to put together, and it usually winds up as an unsightly oozing mess on an otherwise picturesque cheeseboard.
I came up with these little beauties when I had leftover phyllo dough in my fridge after making Spanokopita a couple weeks back. These baked brie bites hold their shape, the melty gooey brie is neatly contained within, and the exposed jelly adds a welcome pop of color. Bonus: they do away with the need for crackers or apple slices as conveyers!
Baked Brie Bites
8 oz. of Phyllo dough (or 20 sheets)
8 oz. of Brie cheese, cut into 30 pieces
1 stick (4 oz.) of butter, melted
pepper jelly, about 1/4 cup (feel free to sub out another favorite here; I often use seedless raspberry)
Special tools: mini-cupcake tin, pastry brush
Lay out a sheet of parchment paper about the size of a cookie sheet on the counter. Brush the parchment lightly with melted butter.
Gently unroll the package of phyllo dough and cover with plastic wrap and a damp cloth so that it doesn't dry out. (In the SW Florida humidity, this step is completely unnecessary!)
Peel off one sheet of phyllo and place it down on the buttered parchment paper. Brush the phyllo with butter, and then top it with a second sheet. Brush with butter. Continue alternating sheets of phyllo and butter eight more times, until the stack is 10 sheets.
Cut the stack into fifteen 3x3" squares and place squares into a mini-cupcake pan, pushing down the center of each gently to form a cup. Drop a piece of brie into each cup, and top with a small spoonful of pepper jelly.
Bake at 350 degrees until the pastry is golden and the brie is bubbly, about 15 minutes. While the first batch bakes, prepare the second batch by repeating steps 3 and 4 with the remaining ingredients.
Allow the baked brie bites to cool in the pan for a minute or two before removing to a serving tray. (Don't wait much longer for them to cool, otherwise the jelly and brie will begin to set and stick to the pan!)
Party planning tip: Make and bake these ahead of time, and allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to a month. When you are ready to use, simply pop them on a baking sheet and reheat at 350 degrees until the cheese is bubbly.
Makes 30 bites.