Gretchen McKay | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)
The best Halloween costumes are usually the ones that sparkle — or scare — with creativity and imagination.
The same can be said for the post-trick-or-treat finger foods served at a Fright Night party.
Sure, you could set the table with an array of chips and dips or offer a big bowl of pretzels for snacking. But if you really want something that’s scary good, take a few extra minutes and whip up a ghoulish treat that conjures up one of the holiday’s most popular monsters — a mummy?
It’s easier than you might think.
All you need is a wheel of brie, a sheet of frozen puff pastry, a half-cup or so of your favorite red jam and a sharp knife to cut the rolled-out dough into strips of “cloth” to wrap the cheese up with its telltale bandages.
This kid-friendly recipe only takes about a half-hour start to finish, and includes a seasonal and super-easy homemade cranberry jam. I brought it to life with candy eyes, but you also could use pecans or small slices of apple topped with raisins or craisins.
Be sure to brush the wrapped dough with egg wash; that’s what gives the finished dish its shiny, golden-brown color and helps as a binder.
It’s best served warm and gooey right out of the oven, with water crackers, apple wedges or slices, crostini, pretzel chips or anything else that’s sturdy and spreadable. If you have leftover jam, put that on the serving platter too, for a bright and zingy finish.
Mummy Baked Brie
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely minced
1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed
Juice and zest of 1 orange
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1 8-ounce wheel of French-style brie
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
Egg wash, for baking
Prepare cranberry jam: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add minced shallot and cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add cranberries to pan along with orange juice, sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine, then bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until cranberries explode and mixture gets jammy, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice brie in half horizontally, and set the top half aside. Spread cranberry jam on the bottom half of the brie. Replace the top half of the brie so that the jam is covered.
Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square. Place brie in the center of the dough and make two cuts on both long sides of the dough, from the brie to the edges, to create even thirds. Fold the middle piece on each edge over the brie. (It will be mostly covered with dough.)
Now the fun part! Cut 1/2 -inch-wide strips into the short sides of the dough, from the brie to the edges. Gently stretch the strips over the top of the dough in a crisscross pattern so it looks like mummy wrappings. Tuck any loose ends under the pastry.
Transfer the wrapped brie to the parchment-covered baking tray. Brush the pastry with egg wash and place in hot oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.
Add large edible eyes, and serve warm (and gooey) with sliced apples, toasted baguette, crackers, dried fruit, nuts and any leftover cranberry jam.
— Gretchen McKay, Post-Gazette
©2023 PG Publishing Co. Visit at post-gazette.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.