Eastern Shore of Maryland Event Planner & Designer
If we had to pick one thing we look forward to most around the holidays, it would have to be the steady stream of cocktail parties! Relaxed, low-pressure and full of our favorite things—drinks and mini bites—cocktail parties are pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to entertaining! Whether hosting or attending, we’re always looking to spice things up with new bite-size recipes perfect for a cocktail party setting, and these tasty little cranberry brie croustades from Gourmet by the Bay have been our go-to this holiday season. Easy to prep ahead of time, these festive treats are sure to make waves at your next gathering! Happy entertaining!
1 bag of whole cranberries
Egg white of one whole egg
For the croustade:
White loaf bread
Salt and pepper
For the filling:
½ whole vanilla bean
1 ½ cloves
2 cups sugar
1 ½ bags whole cranberries
For the brie:
Brie de Meaux, or other international brie
Cut into squares
First, make cranberry orange relish. Zest the orange and lemon completely. Blanch the zest in boiling water, then cool. Caramelize the sugar and then add the vanilla bean, cloves and blanch zests then stir well. Add the whole cranberries and let boil on low until cranberries pop and it becomes the consistency of loose jam. Pour into metal container and refrigerate to cool. Should have a thick jam consistency once chilled. Store in airtight container and it will last for months. If you are unable to make cranberry relish, use a packaged version that provides a tart jam flavor.
Next, make sugared cranberries. (One egg white to one bag of cranberries) Put egg white in bowl and whisk until frothy. Toss in bag of cranberries and coat well. Remove from egg whites and roll in pan with sugar until coated. Let dry for 12 hours or overnight uncovered on baking sheet.
Cut white loaf bread into small squares without crusts (one slice of crustless bread makes 4 squares). Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place into mini muffin tins so the center is on the bottom and the edges point upward. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Can be held in airtight container for several days.
Cut brie into small squares so they fit into the bread croustades.
To assemble, place a dollop of cranberry relish in the bottom of the croustade. Top with brie. Bake at 300 degrees for about 2 minutes, until brie melts. Remove and top with sugared cranberry. Let cool slightly before serving.
Eastern Shore Maryland Event Planner & Designer
It’s not officially fall until we change over what we’re drinking. And while red wine is always a staple, we decided to go on the hunt for a few other seasonal cocktails to get us in the fall spirit. Thanks to our friends at Bartlett Pear Inn and 375 Park Avenue Spirits, we found the perfect remedies. Whether you need to ease into the season with a pomegranate gin and tonic or are ready to jump right in with an apple cider mule, we’ve got you covered with three delicious and simple fall cocktail recipes photographed by the fabulous Karena Dixon! Cheers!
Courtesy of Bartlett Pear Inn
1.5 oz. Vodka
.5 oz. Rosemary Simple Syrup
.5 oz. Raspberry Jam, strained and without seeds
Garnish with rosemary stem
Serve in a martini glass
Cider Maple Mule
Courtesy of 375 Park Avenue Spirits
2 oz. Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky
1 oz. Apple Cider
Garnish with apple slice
Serve in a copper mug
Pomegranate Gin and Tonic
2 oz. Dry Gin
4 oz. Tonic Water
Garnish with lime
Photography: Karena Dixon
Styling: Kari Rider Events
Calligraphy: Surcee Calligraphy
“Cheers” Drink Stirrer: Laura Hooper Calligraphy
Alcohol: Hair O’ The Dog
Rasmo Recipe: Bartlett Pear Inn
Cider Maple Mule Recipe: 357 Park Avenue Spirits
Kari Rider Events is a boutique event planning and design company crafting elegant, individually styled celebrations on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and beyond. Our blog features real weddings designed by our team, shoots we've styled for magazines and other blogs, and lots of wedding tips and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by and we look forward to hearing from you!