Wednesday, December 24, 2008

At Last it's Christmas

The holiday is upon us. Windows are decorated. Candles are lit. Friends gather. Laughter fills the air. What better time to enjoy a rich, melty, cheesy, treat. I love warm brie. There are few things that entice me to make the yummy noise more than this dish. I often wrap a trimmed brie wheel with puff pastry and bake it until the center is molten. Lately, I have been baking the brie naked- with just a dressing of dried fruit and a sprinkle of maple sugar. Either way you slice it- you'll be singing it's praises.
Baked Brie with Dried Cherries
Unbelievably easy and rich, an elegant addition to your dinner party.
1 wheel Brie cheese (6-8 inches in diameter)
3/4 cup dried cherries or other dried fruit of your choice
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or other nuts of your choice (Optional)
2 Tablespoons pure maple sugar
Unwrap the Brie. Place the wheel on its side on a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, trim off the top layer of rind until the cheese is visible.
Set the wheel, trimmed side up, in a cast iron pan. Mound the top of the cheese with the cherries (and nuts if you like). Sprinkle with the maple sugar. Place in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is bubbly- about 20 minutes. Be careful that the fruit and nuts do not burn.
Carefully remove from the oven and set on a large wooden cutting board. Serve right out of the oven with bread rounds or crackers.

This recipe is one we have made for years. It guarantees that Santa will discover the way to your chimney.
Magic Christmas Dust
Just in case you want to be double triple sure that Santa finds your chimney, mix up a batch of Magic Christmas Dust. Sprinkle it outside your door and the starlight will illuminate a path to your rooftop. The Reindeer will smell the oats and Santa will know just where to land.
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon glitter
1 teaspoon sequins or other sparkly things
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Stir gently until completely combined- saying "Thank You Santa, Thank You Santa!". Sprinkle outside your door- and be sure to say, "Merry Christmas Santa!" Make enough to share with your friends.
Merry Christmas!

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