These Cranberry brie Mini Tarts are the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving or Christmas! They are also a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce!

How was everyone’s weekend?  Mr. Briar and I had a pretty great one.  Friday night we experimented with burger recipes (those will be coming to the blog in the future!), Saturday we went to Discovery Park, which if you live in Seattle or are planning on visiting, you should make an effort to visit – it is gorgeous!  I posted a few pictures on snapchat of fallen leaves that were twice the size of my hand.  After our rainy walk in the park, we finally got to check out Un Bien, the new incarnation of the famous sandwich shop Paseo.  It has been about five years since I ate at Paseo, and the new place did not disappoint.  We also had dinner with friends both Saturday AND Sunday – we were extra social.  I ended up bringing these quick cranberry brie tarts to one of the dinners.

I have a thing for happy hour.  And by happy hour I mostly mean appetizers and drinks in any setting, it doesn’t have to be at a bar.  In fact, my husband and I are so fond of having happy hour at home that for our wedding instead of serving a large dinner we served about 20 heavy appetizers that people could pick and choose to make their meal.  Because of my love of happy hour, I have a love for easy appetizers.  I especially like it when a few of them together (along side a nice cheese plate) makes an impressive spread, but without working in the kitchen for hours.

With the holidays coming up, I am guessing that most of you are going to be going to a few get-togethers, and maybe hosting some as well.  It is always good to have a few quick appetizers up your sleeve, either for bringing to a party or for hosting one.  This one is so simple, it only takes three ingredients!  I used the leftover cranberry sauce from Friday’s post here.  I’m sure many of you are going to have some leftover cranberry sauce laying around after Thanksgiving, and even though Turkey Cranberry sandwiches are delicious, it’s good to have some other options for using it up.

For these simple mini tarts, I just used mini phyllo cups which are available at most grocery stores in the freezer section.  If you can’t find them, you can use regular phyllo dough cut into squares and pressed into the mini muffin tin.  Buying the cups already made just saves some time.  Into each cup I placed a dollop of creamy brie – triple cream.  If you use double cream it won’t melt as well, so try to use triple cream.  I baked them for 10 minutes, then took them out of the oven and spooned a little cranberry sauce in each cup.  You can also bake them with the cranberry sauce, but I preferred the fresher flavor that the cranberries had when I did not bake them.  I finished these with a little fresh cracked pepper, which I think rounds out the flavor nicely.  You can leave it out if you want, but it really adds an extra layer of flavor, so at least try it before you decide!

The crunch of the phyllo cup combined with the buttery flavor of the brie and the sweet tart flavor of the cranberry sauce all compliment each other and make the perfect two bite appetizer.  Serve these next to a nice cheese plate and some bacon wrapped dates and you have a nice little cocktail party spread with hardly any effort.  These would also be great to serve as Thanksgiving day appetizers.  I like to have a few small plates out for guests to nibble on throughout the day so that people don’t get hangry when the turkey inevitably takes longer than scheduled.

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