Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

The holidays are here!  My favorite part of the season is getting the opportunity to spend time with my family and friends.  Throughout the month, there are a lot of get-togethers, holiday parties and work functions.  I really like to take the few days between Christmas and New Year’s to spend quality time with my close family. 

Traditionally, my entire family will host a holiday party the weekend before Christmas.  We have such a large family with a lot of small children, so it tends to be difficult to get everyone together on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  I actually like it this way.  It gives everyone the chance to have a small, intimate holiday celebration at their homes without the hustle and bustle of visiting with ten or so aunts and uncles, dozens of cousins, grandparents, grandchildren… and it can go on!

My absolute favorite part of this family time is sitting around the tree on Christmas Eve, listening to festive music, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying my favorite holiday treat, Brie en Croute.   My absolute favorite recipe comes from Campbell’s Kitchen®.  As you all may know, I do work for Swanson® and as a part of the Campbell’s family, I am always trying delicious recipes! I particularly love this recipe because it’s a perfect combination of the sweet and tangy apricots and dried cranberries along with the crunch of the almonds and the creamy smooth brie.  It really adds a special touch to a classic holiday treat!

Holiday Brie en Croute 

From Campbell’s Kitchen®
Thaw: 40 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Stand: 45 minutes
Makes: 12 servings

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1/2 cup apricot preserves or seedless raspberry jam
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 (13- to 16-ounce) Brie cheese round
1 package (13 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Entertaining Quartet Distinctive Crackers

1.     Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
2.     Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square. Spread the preserves on the pastry to within 2 inches of the edge. Sprinkle with the cranberries and almonds. Place the cheese in the center of the pastry. Fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover. Trim the excess pastry and press to seal. Brush the seam with the egg mixture. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Decorate with the pastry scraps, if desired. Brush with the egg mixture.
3.     Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes. Serve with the crackers.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Best, and until next time, Kaitlin!

1 comment:

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I am bookmarking this for a holiday appetizer. Make one last night which was similar but i used quince paste. There is nothing better than melted brie with pastry!