Friday, December 27, 2013


I hope that y’all had a wonderful Christmas!  We sure did.  It was quiet, but we got to spend Christmas with family, which doesn’t happen every year.

The holidays just move so fast don’t they?  We’re already on to prepping for the New Year celebration.  

Blue Brie Date and Walnut Bites are wonderfully, tasty little morsels, perfect to serve at a casual or a fancy party.

This recipe is totally versatile; really it’s all about the flavors of the topping.  I made these with puff pastry to be fancy, but if pastry freaks you out, or you just want to throw something together super-duper fast, you could use Ritz crackers for the base; these flavors would even be great made into a tart or flat bread, as an appetizer!  

There’s a really good chance that I won’t post anything new until after New Year’s, so I’d like to wish you all a healthy and happy New Year!

Here’s what you do.

I learned this from Alton Brown; thaw sheets of frozen puff pastry at room temperature between two clean kitchen towels, this helps with moisture.

Roll the pastry into a 12 inch square and then use a 2 1/2 inch pastry cutter to cut 18 rounds from each sheet.
Keep those scraps of pastry, cut into uniform pieces and toss them first in egg wash and then in finely grated cheese, then bake them until golden brown.  Now you have little cheese crackers.

Lay the rounds on to a sheet pan that is lined either with Silpats, or parchment paper. 
Use another slightly smaller pastry cutter to make a border, press down but not quite all the way through the pastry.

Prick the centers with a fork and then bake in a pre-heated 400 degreee oven for 7 minutes.

While the pastry is in the oven prepare the remaining ingredients.

This recipe used 2 small wheels of Blue Brie or Cambozola cheese. 

In this picture is one wheel which I cut in half across the width, and then into 16 pieces, the two wheels yield 36 wedges. 

This is just a suggestion, you may cut the cheese however you gosh dang please!

Also chop some dates and walnuts quite small.

After 7 minutes remove the pastry from the oven.

Place a piece of cheese on each round, and then sprinkle with a little of the dates and walnuts; press them down slightly, just to help everything hang on.  

Return to the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melty and the pastry is golden brown.

A little balsamic glaze rounds everything out. 

I prefer balsamic glaze that doesn't have added sugar.

Drizzle just a little glaze on the top and serve warm or at room temperature.


Makes 3 dozen

2              sheets     Frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/3           cup         Walnuts, chopped
½             cup         Dates, chopped
9              oz.          Blue brie, or Cambozola, cut into 36 cubes, or small wedges
                             Balsamic glaze, for garnish

   1.       Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 
   2.       Roll the sheets of puff pastry into 12 inch square; use a 2 ½ inch circle cutter to cut 18 rounds from each sheet of pastry.  Take another slightly smaller cutter and place that in the center of each round, don’t cut quite all the way through.  Place the rounds on a sheet pan lined with Silpat liners or parchment paper.  Use a fork to prick the center of each round.  Bake for 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven, place a cube of cheese, and a sprinkle of walnuts and dates on each round, pressing down just a little.  Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes until the rounds are golden brown.
   3.       Allow the Blue Brie Date & Walnut Bites to cool on the pan for a few minutes, remove to a platter and drizzle the tops with just a touch of balsamic glaze.

Note:  Ritz crackers can be substituted for the puff pastry rounds; you will just top the crackers and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

You may also like:

Baked Potato Croquettes

Fresh Fig and Proscuitto Pizza

Tahini Hummus

Ginger Oat Florentines