Sunday Dinner

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Miniature Camembert, Walnut and Cranberry Pastries

Simple Salad

Caramel Sauce Cockaigne
Lightly Sweetened Whipped Crème Fraîche

When I pop one of these little beauties and begin to process the levels of texture and flavor, I get holiday food brain.  There are certain smells and tastes that just evoke the holiday season.  The combination of Camembert cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries, and a touch of fresh rosemary nestled between layers of flaky, buttery pastry certainly does some serious evoking.

One might think that these are time consuming and tedious to prepare, but they really aren't.  The pastry can be made and baked up to a day in advance and the rounds can be filled and kept at room temperature up to an hour before baking.  Warm them in the oven just as your guests arrive and serve them immediately with a sparkling beverage or even a hard cider for a nice pairing.

Sunday Dinner one year ago
Sunday Dinner two years ago
Miniature Camembert, Walnut and Cranberry Pastries
makes about 60 hors d'oeuvres

For the Pastries
1/3 cup walnuts, minced
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
About 1 pound puff pastry, thawed if frozen (from a 17 1/4-ounce package or a 14-ounce package)
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water

For the Cheese Filling
8 ounces firm Camembert, rind discarded, cut into small cubes and set at room temperature
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Pinch of kosher salt

For the Pastries
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a small bowl, stir together walnuts, butter, brown sugar, and salt; set aside

On a lightly floured surface, roll out each sheet of pastry into a 10-inch square.  Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out about 30 rounds from each sheet of pastry and discard trimming.  Transfer the rounds to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the rounds with the egg wash, then sprinkle each one with about 1/4 teaspoon of the walnut mixture.  Bake rounds until golden and puffed, about 10-15 minutes.  Slide the pastries still on the parchment onto a baking rack to cool. (Remain oven temperature.)

While the pastries are still warm, gently pull each one apart to make a top and bottom.  Lightly press down on any puffed inner layers on the tops and bottoms if necessary.

For the Cheese Filling
In a medium bowl, mash together the cheese, walnuts, cranberries, rosemary, and salt.

Spoon a 1/2 teaspoon mound of cheese filling between the top and bottom of each pastry.  Return the pastries to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until the cheese begins to melt, 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Note: Puff pastries can be baked and rounds separated into tops and bottoms 1 day ahead, then cooled completely and kept at room temperature in an airtight container.  Pastries can be filled (but not baked) 1 hour ahead and kept loosely covered at room temperature.

Source: Adapted from Gourmet, January 2003


  1. How cute are these little appetizers?!

  2. I love your blog! I think I have printed or pinned almost every recipe posted since I found it. I especially like that we can see the recipes from the past to years.


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