One thing I really enjoy nibbling on is cheese because one of my first jobs was in the cheese department of a gourmet grocery store. This is a very cool thing and very terrible (according to my waistline) because they taught me about soooo many cheeses that are absolutely delicious. Oh well. One of the things that I had to make at the market were baked bries. We made all sorts, sweet and savory, decorated and not for the holidays. Guess what my family now wants nearly every gathering? I don’t decorate them, but I do make them and they are SUPER EASY!
Buy a smallish full round brie and some frozen puff pastry dough. Have an egg on hand and whatever you want to fill the brie with. My family loves sauteed mushroom. I sautee 8 oz sliced mushrooms in 2 Tbl butter and 1/2 tsp dried marjoram till they lose their water. Let cool.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Let 1 sheet of puff pastry defrost. Use flour to roll it out. Cut brie in half lengthwise with a knife (I have used dental floss to recreate a cheese wire at home, but a knife and rotating the wheel is fine). It doesn’t have to look perfect because it will all melt anyway and will be covered in croute. Put cooled mushrooms (or jam, fruit pieces, sundried tomato & pesto, sugared nuts or whatever you think will taste good) in the middle, cover with the other side of cheese. Place in center of rolled dough. Pull the sides together, remove any extra puff pastry. I sort of glue the fold together with a little egg white wash. Place in a cook and serve container smooth side up. Make sure your container has sides that will be able to handle some runny molten cheese, I often use a glass pie pan. Brush with egg white for pretty browning. If you have time, let it sit in the fridge for a bit so that the puff pastry firms up a little to reduce the amount of cheese leakage. Bake for around 30-45 minutes. It is done when the puff pastry is brown and there is usually a bunch of cheese bubbling on the sides.
Serve with a spoon for when it is hot, knife for later. Bread, crackers and apple slices are all wonderful!