Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time
10 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
Yield
Serves 8

This easy-yet-elegant appetizer will be a hit at your next casual gameday party, weekend family brunch or holiday cocktail party. It is best served warm so pop it in the oven about 20 minutes before your guests arrive. You do not need to cut the rind from brie cheese; it softens as it warms, making it completely edible and a delicious addition to your next cheese board. While the brie is in the oven, heat the honey, salt and five spice powder in a saucepan, then stir in the chopped, toasted pecans and sweetened, dried cherries. Transfer the cheese to a pretty serving platter, top with pecan mixture, and serve with apple slices, baguette slices, or a sturdy cracker. Five Spice Powder is a widely used ingredient in Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine and includes all five flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami, or savoriness. Most five spice blends will include a mixture of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and fennel seeds, and some blends will also include anise seeds, nutmeg, ginger root, turmeric, cardamom pods, licorice, or orange peel. Five Spice Powder is often used to flavor braised or roasted meat, fish, and poultry dishes, and can also be added to marinades and rubs.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Unwrap cheese, and place on prepared baking sheet. (Do not trim rind from cheese.) Bake until cheese is soft to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on baking sheet 5 minutes.

Step 2

Place honey, salt, and five spice powder in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low until honey “melts,” about 2 minutes. Stir in pecans and cherries; cook until warmed, about 2 minutes.

Step 3

Carefully transfer cheese round to a platter; top with pecan mixture. Serve warm with apples, crackers, and/or toasted baguette slices.