This cranberry brie bites recipe is a quick and easy appetizer to share! Puff pastry is sliced into squares, filled with cheese and cranberry sauce, then baked until gooey and crisp.
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Are you looking for a festive appetizer that is simple to make with gourmet results? These cranberry brie bites in puff pastry only require six ingredients to make a fancy starter. I use homemade cranberry sauce when the berries are in season. It’s easy to customize and to create exciting flavor combinations for the holidays and special occasions.
I took my stunning baked brie appetizer and turned it into a mini version! This makes it a lot easier for guests to grab and nibble. Use frozen puff pastry for a quick pastry to defrost and fill. It’s a delicious sweet, tangy, and savory hot appetizer.
Puff pastry selection
For convenience, use frozen puff pastry sheets. I use the Pepperidge Farm brand. However, I have seen all-butter and gluten-free options at the grocery store. Defrost in the refrigerator the day before or for 40 minutes at room temperature.
Keep the pastry in the packaging until ready to roll and bake. This keeps it from drying out. You want to work with the pastry while it is still cool but pliable. This ensures super flaky and crisp layers.
Prepare the pastry
To make bite-sized pieces that fit into mini muffin tins, cut the pastry into 3-inch squares. You need to roll the sheets to a 12 by 9-inch rectangle to cut twelve pastry squares per pastry sheet. This will yield 24 pieces in total.
Slice the cheese
Use an 8-ounce wheel or wedge of brie cheese. Although the white rind is edible, I slice the sides off, so it’s not so chewy when bitten. You do not have to trim the top or bottom of the rind. It helps hold the soft cheese together when cutting.
It’s easiest to cut cold cheese. Cut into 24 small pieces, about 1 inch long and ½ inch wide. Any larger and they won’t fit inside the pastry cups.
Use a mini muffin pan to make the brie cranberry bites. If you don’t have a nonstick pan, lightly grease the insides with cooking spray. Arrange each pastry square into the cups, so they fill the well and have some overhang on the edges. Lay each piece of cheese flat inside the cup.
I use my homemade cranberry sauce to fill on top. Canned whole cranberry sauce is a good substitution. Spoon about 1 teaspoon into each cup. It shouldn’t overflow over.
Brush with egg wash
For a golden brown hue, brush the surface of the puff pastry cups with a whisked egg. The yolk adds a deep yellow hue, and the egg white makes the egg wash dry and shiny. You can skip this step, but the puff pastry will appear matte.
Bake the brie bites at 400ºF (200ºC). The high temperature quickly cooks the pastry so that the steam creates crispy layers. In about 10 minutes, the cheese will be hot and bubbly, and the pastry golden brown on the edges and bottoms. I’ve noticed that some of the cheese may overflow onto the pan. No problem!
Use a spoon or knife to scoop it back into the center of the cuts quickly. You don’t want to lose any of the delicious fillings! Let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer it to a serving platter. Garnish with chopped pecans and fresh rosemary for extra crunch and aromatics.
Ways to customize the brie bites
- Cheese: Slice up pieces of swiss, gruyere, smoked gouda, or white cheddar.
- Sauce: Instead of cranberry, Use jams or preserved like strawberry, grape, apricot, orange marmalade, fig, or pepper jelly.
- Nuts: Add chopped pistachios, walnuts, almonds, or candied pecans.
- Herbs: Top with thyme, sage, rosemary, tarragon, or microgreens.
Other appetizers to try
Frequently asked questions
It’s not required because the white rind is edible. The top and bottom rinds hold the super soft cheese together when slicing. The sides can be trimmed, so the brie bites are not as chewy.
Yes! The brie bites can be assembled, covered, then baked the next day. Let the pan sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, so it’s not cold when added to the oven.
Changing the filling with jam is easy if cranberries are not in season. Grape, strawberry, fig, cherry, apricot, or orange marmalade are delicious options.
Using crescent dough
Crescent roll dough can be substituted for puff pastry. They are sold in 8-ounce tubes in the refrigerated section in sheets (preferred) or rolls. If using rolls, press the dough together, so there are any cut marks. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to create a rectangle, then cut it into 24 squares. They will not be much overhang of the dough in the cup. Fill, egg wash, and bake at 375ºF (190ºC) until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
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Cranberry Brie Bites
- 2 puff pastry sheets, defrosted if frozen
- 8 ounces brie, wheel or triangle
- ¼ cup whole cranberry sauce
- 1 large egg, whisked
- ¼ cup pecans, chopped, walnuts, or pistachios
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, or thyme, optional
- Thaw Puff Pastry – Thaw the frozen package overnight in the refrigerator, or thaw on the counter until pliable but cool, about 40 minutes. Remove from its packaging when ready to use. If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Preheat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the middle position. Heat to 400ºF (190ºC).
- Prepare the Pastry – Roll the puff pastry sheet into a 12" by 9" rectangle. Cut into 3" squares to yield 12 pieces. Place into mini muffin tins, forming a bowl shape. Repeat with the remaining sheet. There will be 24 pieces in total.
- Add the Cheese – Trim the rind off the sides of the cheese, and cut into 24 even-sized pieces, about 1" long and ½" wide.
- Assemble – Add a slice of brie and 1 teaspoon of cranberry sauce to the center of each puff pastry cup.
- Add Egg Wash – Brush the surface of the puff pastry corners with the whisked egg.
- Bake – Bake until the edges are puffed up and golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. If the cheese overflows onto the tin, spoon it back into the center of the pastry cups. Cool in the warm tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving tray.
- To Serve – Garnish with pecans and rosemary. Serve while still warm.
- Storing: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freezing: Freeze in a reseable plastic bag or airtight container for up to 1 month.
- Reheating: Reheat in the oven at 350ºF (177ºC) until the pastry is warm and crisp.
- Using Crescent Dough: Use an 8-ounce tube of refrigerated crescent dough sheet. Roll into a rectangle, and cut into 24 pieces (they will be smaller than the puff pastry). Fill, egg wash, and bake at 375ºF (190ºC) until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
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