Brie Cheese (Photo courtesy pdphoto.org)

Brie Cheese (Photo courtesy pdphoto.org)

With the holidays more imminent than many of us are willing to accept, fast and easy appetizers are worth their weight in gold. Baked brie is a classic holiday treat that can easily be tweaked to reflect your favorite flavors. Use the basic baked brie recipe to add in your own flair, or check out the variation ideas below for some inspiration. Besides taking just minutes to prepare (and only about 15 minutes to bake), it comes out looking, smelling, and tasting divine. Your in-laws might even take back all those mean things they used to say about you.

Basic Easy Baked Brie Recipe
1/2 lb (8 oz) wheel of brie or Camembert
1/4 c jam, jelly, marmalade, spread, pesto, compote, relish, etc.
1/4 c toasted or caramelized nuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 c (1 stick) melted butter
12 sheets frozen phyllo dough

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly butter six sheets of phyllo dough, and stack them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place your wheel of brie or Camembert in the center of the phyllo dough. Top with spread of your choice, and chopped nuts if desired. Wrap corners of phyllo dough up over the top of your cheese. Lightly butter remaining sheets of phyllo and cover the top, tucking these corners under the wrapped brie. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until golden. Serve baked brie immediately with crackers, sliced bread or crostini.

Sample Baked Brie Ideas
Cranberry & Caramelized Walnut
Mango Chutney & Toasted Cashew
Fig Jam & Marcona Almond
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto & Roasted Garlic
Caramelized Onion & Bacon