Caramel (especially if it’s salted) is a popular flavour that you see applied to every dessert imaginable — if the word “caramel” is on a dessert menu or the board at an ice cream shop, it’s practically irresistible. But, despite caramel essentially just being made of sugar and butter, the sticky sweet stuff is not just for dessert. This appetizer pairs caramel with creamy brie cheese for a sweet before-dinner dish to serve at parties or on special occasions.

  • c
    1 cup
    packed brown sugar
  • c
    1/2 cup
    butter
  • c
    1/4 cup
    half-and-half
  • c
    salt to taste
  • c
    1 8 oz (226 g)
    wheel brie cheese
  • c
    1/2 cup
    chopped pecans
  • c
    1/4 cup
    dried cranberries
  • c
    apple and baguette slices for serving
  • Directions
    • 1
      Combine the sugar, butter, milk and a pinch of salt in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, whisking, for about five minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Set aside and let cool. You’ll have more than you need for this dish: extra caramel can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
    • 2
      Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the top layer of rind off of the cheese and place in a small baking dish.
    • 3
      Sprinkle pecans and cranberries over top the cheese. Cover in about 1/4 cup of caramel sauce (or more to taste). Reserve excess caramel sauce for another use.
    • 4
      Bake cheese until soft and gooey in the middle: about 7 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with apple slices and baguette.
    Tips
    • 1
      Homemade caramel sauce is easy to make and uses ingredients that you likely have on hand, but for an even simpler appetizer, feel free to use jarred or bottled caramel topping.

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