Brie Bites and Tomato Basil Bruschetta


Frosted Cranberry and Brie Bites

2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
16 water crackers (such as Carr’s)
8 ounces brie cheese
1/2 cup cranberry chutney or cranberry relish
Fresh mint, for garnish

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

8 plum tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Cooking spray
1 (8-ounce) French baguette, cut into ½ inch thick slices


Frosted Cranberry and Brie Bites

Rinse the cranberries and place in a medium bowl. Heat the syrup in a small saucepan just until warm. Pour over the cranberries. (Make sure the syrup is warm, not hot, or the cranberries may pop.) Gently stir with a spoon to coat all the berries. Cool, cover, and refrigerator overnight.

Drain the cranberries in a colander. Add sugar to a large bowl and add half of the cranberries. Gently roll cranberries until lightly coated in sugar; repeat with the other half. Place on a baking sheet and let dry, about 1 hour.

To assemble, top the crackers with one slice of Brie, a light layer of cranberry chutney, and four or five sugared cranberries. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
YIELD: Makes about 16 bites

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Combine first 8 ingredients, and let stand 1 hour.
Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve tomato mixture over toast.

Yield: 6 servings