Maple Crostini with Brie

maple crostini with brie

I first posted this brie recipe on Mommysavers.com.  I was inspired by watching chef Amy Thielen, the host of Food Network’s Heartland Table and author of The New Midwestern Table.  What’s great about this recipe, other than its simplicity, is that the ingredients are pretty frugal.  I got my brie at ALDI for $2.99.  I made a huge batch of this for a mom’s wine night last week and spent well around $5 for a huge tray of these.  Plus, I had bread left over.

Maple Crostini with Brie

  • 4 slices sourdough bread, sliced thinly and cut into fourths
  • 1/2 C. real maple syrup (split)
  • 1 stick butter (split)
  • 1 round brie cheese (I get mine at ALDI)

In a frying pan, melt the maple syrup (1/4 cup) and butter (1/2 stick) over medium heat.  Place half of the bread in the pan, flipping right away to get the butter/syrup mixture to saturate both sides of the bread as much as you can (you may want to lower the heat if it gets too hot so the crystalized maple sugar doesn’t burn).  Continue flipping the crostini until golden brown on both sides.  Place tiny wedge of brie on top.  Smear a little.  Serve immediately while the bread is still warm.

Substitutions:  Don’t have sourdough bread?  You can make it at home (recipe HERE) or use any dense white bread.  Goat cheese or camembert will work for the cheese as well.  I have also made this recipe with the honey goat cheese they sell at ALDI and I’d highly recommend that as well.  Check that out here:  Maple Crostini with Goat Cheese.

 

Baked Brie in a Bread Bowl

Baked Brie in Bread Bowl

Baked Brie in a Bread Bowl

  • Bread bowl
  • One bulb roasted garlic, mashed into spreadable paste (DIY:  How to roast garlic)
  • 1 brie cheese round
  • 1 tsp. rosemary leaves

This baked brie recipe is sure to impress any guests at your New Year’s Eve gathering.  They’ll never guess how easy (and frugal!) it really is.  First, I started with this Super-Easy Bread Bowl Recipe.  Basically, it’s any regular beer bread recipe.  Instead of making it in a bread pan, bake it in a bowl.  There are many variations on beer bread.  For this recipe, don’t make the sweet version.  You’ll want the savory nature of the cheese to stand out.  I normally add about 1/3 – 1/2 C. sugar to my beer bread.  For this version, I’d dial back the sugar in the bread dough to just a tablespoon or two.

Next, cut the top off the bread bowl and hollow out enough of the bread to insert the brie round, reserving the bread which you’ll cut into cubes for dipping.  Spread the roasted garlic paste over the brie and sprinkle with rosemary. Next, put the top of the bread bowl back on and wrap in aluminum foil.  Bake for 40-45 min. at 350 until the cheese has melted.  Remove the top and cube for dipping as well.

Frugal Tips:  If you haven’t yet discovered all of the great seasonal cheeses at ALDI, head there PRONTO!  Many of them will go away until next November.  Their brie is just $2.99.  You can’t beat that!  We also really loved their Spanish cheese variety pack, which included yummy Manchego cheese.

brie in bread bowl

brie in bread bowl

 

Sweet and Savory Party Poppers

sweet and savory party poppers

These Sweet and Savory Party Poppers were one of the best things I sampled at the ALDI Taste Kitchen Event.  Thanks to the ALDI kitchen team and Chef Alyssa for sharing the recipe.

Frugal Tip:  ALDI has a variety of gourmet cheeses as seasonal offerings during the holiday season.  Goat cheese, brie, edam, and gouda are available for about 30-50% less than what you would pay at your typical grocery store.  View photos of ALDI 2012 fall seasonal offerings.

Sweet and Savory Party Poppers
Recipe type: appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 

These sweet and savory party poppers require only four ingredients, but will be a big hit at your next party!
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. pitted dates
  • 4 oz. brie cheese round
  • 6 oz. slivered almonds
  • 1.5 lb. thick sliced bacon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cut dates in half lengthwise.
  3. Cut brie into bite-sized pieces (about the size of a peanut). Place a piece of brie and 4 almond pieces on the open half of the date; place the other half on top.
  4. Quarter the bacon slices and wrap tightly around the stuffed date. Secure with a toothpick.
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil an place wrapped dates on top.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until bacon is crispy.
  7. Serve warm.