I feel like I’ve just crossed the finish line of my first marathon and I’m just waiting for someone to wrap me up in one of those foil-like blankets and bring me potato chips and beer. Because these sweet little appetizer treats took me on quite the journey!
What started out as a harmless idea for a simple recipe became an unexpected two-month intensive study on the science of puff pastry. I just couldn’t get it right, but I refused to give it up!
Originally, I wanted to create one large pastry to serve and share as an appetizer or as part of a larger cheese board. And while it was incredibly beautiful to look at, it was too difficult to cut, too messy to share and too time consuming to get the puff pastry to cook throughout. So down the rabbit hole I went, testing puff pastry shells, crescent dough and apple brie tarts, until finally I decided to just make miniature versions of my grand idea and voila - here we are!
Despite their dainty appearance, these Rose Apple Brie Bites are simple to make and require just a few ingredients - two things I find important when preparing an appetizer. Because let’s face it, appetizers are the last thing on your mind when hosting a dinner party, but often the most important if your guests suffer from Hanger.
Filled with a small dollop of apple butter and a few slices of brie, these Rose Apple Brie Bites are topped with a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of toasted pecans. They are perfectly festive for fall and holiday gatherings and a fun twist on your typical baked brie dish!
As always, I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Rose Apple Brie Bites
While any ole apples will work for this recipe, I like to use apples that are ruby red in color to give the rosettes more definition. In addition, if you have the time, I suggest soaking the apple slices in a bit of red wine to give them the look of pink-tinted rose petals, although food coloring will also work (though not as nicely). They will of course taste just as good without this added step!
- 2 sheets, Puff Pastry (such as Pepperidge Farms - sold in freezer section)
- 5-6 Apples, sliced very thin
- 5 oz. Brie
- Apple Butter (or raspberry preserves for a sweeter, less savory flavor)
- Caramel, for drizzling
- Pecans, toasted and chopped, for garnish
- Optional: about 1/2 cup or more of Red Wine to soak the apples
- First, use a mandoline or a sharp paring knife to thinly slice your apples. Then, layer the slices in a baking dish or bowl and cover with a bit of red wine. You can either cover and let them sit overnight in the fridge or you can let them sit covered on the counter for 1 hour, turning the apples half way through to ensure they are evenly colored. Meanwhile, be sure to thaw your Puff Pastry according to the package instructions.
- Next, line a plate with paper towels and place your soaked apple slices atop the plate. We want the apple slices to be pliable, or easy to roll. If you feel they are not completely pliable, zap them in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds or quickly sauté them in a bit of butter over medium low heat.
- Once your puff pastry is thawed and your apple slices are ready, it’s time to prepare the brie bites! Take one sheet of puff pastry, and using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut into 6 even strips. If using Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry, it will already be divided/folded to create three nice sections and you can just cut each section in half lengthwise.
- Take each strip and smear a small bit of the apple butter or preserves of your choice atop the pastry. Then, take about 8-10 apple slices and begin laying them at the top of the pastry, overlapping each slice as shown above.
- Next, thinly slice a few pieces of brie and lay them below the apple slices. Then, fold the pastry up over the brie, allowing the apple tops to still show. Next, take one edge of the pastry and pinch it together to form a seam. Then, slowly roll it like a pinwheel. Once completely rolled, use your finger and bit of water or melted butter to smooth the end seam together forming one apple brie rose. Place the rose in a muffin tin and repeat until you’ve filled the pan.
- Once you’ve created your roses, place them back in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Once preheated, remove the pan from the refrigerator and place in the middle rack of the oven to bake for 45 minutes. I like to lightly cover the pan with a tent of aluminum foil for the first 20 minutes and then remove for the second half of bake time to prevent over-browning.
- Once baked, remove the pan from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Use tongs or a fork to help remove them from the pan and place them on a serving tray. Drizzle with a bit of caramel and sprinkle with the toasted pecans and serve!