| Recipes |

Party Food: Baked Brie Bites

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Going to a potluck holiday party after work and have zero time to really cook anything? Sometimes I get panicky when it comes to bringing a dish to a get-together. I want it to be good, homemade and unique, but I don't always have time to spend in the kitchen. If you, too, are reluctant to show up with box of crappy, hardtack-like grocery store cookies, these savory baked brie bites are delicious, cute and easy to whip up. I've made them three times in the past month, and they always go so fast.

You need: (Makes 30 brie bites) - 1 large wedge of your favorite brie - 1 bag of chopped nuts (I use walnuts but pecans are also good) - 2 boxes of mini phyllo shells (One box usually contains 15 shells) - Optional: honey, brown sugar, jam

How To: 1. Place a large cube of brie into each phyllo shell and gently press cheese down. Use enough brie to almost fill the cup but leave enough room for toppings. (Don't skimp on the brie. I've made the mistake of using too little cheese and baking for too long which makes for yucky little bites that aren't very pretty)

2. Top with chopped nuts, a small dollop of honey or jam and (if you like) a tiny bit of brown sugar.

3. On a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with baking spray, bake at 350 for about eight minutes.

4. After eight minutes, check to see that the cheese is completely melted but not bubbling and the nuts are lightly toasted.

5. Serve warm.

They're rich and savory with just a tiny touch of sweet, and guests will love them. I like bringing these to parties because, well, aside from being simple and quick to make, you can change it up so many ways. Use different jams like apricot, fig or even pepper jelly or top with fresh fruits like pear or chopped cranberries for a tart kick. Even kids gobble them up.

Would you give these mini brie bites a shot? Do you have a favorite recipe you turn to for parties and potlucks? Let us know in the comments section.

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