Wow your guests with easy cherry pecan brie

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   It is said that necessity is the mother of invention – I say that unexpected guests are the mother of great, spontaneous recipes. When I need to make a fancy schmancy appetizer with no time for preparation, my secret weapon is to start with a round of brie.
   Of course one could always just put out a lovely round of brie with some gluten free bread or crackers and that would be a perfectly fine appetizer, but with a few more ingredients and a couple more minutes, we can take it from perfectly fine to perfectly fabulous!
   First of all I start with inexpensive, grocery store brand brie – not the expensive French stuff. In my humble opinion, the cheap stuff warms up nicer than the expensive stuff. I could be completely wrong about this but hey, it’s cheaper and it works great so that’s my story and I am sticking with it!
   I made a quick topping for the brie with some natural maraschino cherries. I like to use the type that is made with Bing cherries – they have a more full bodied flavor. The regular natural maraschinos would be great too and the redder color would be oh-so-pretty. The addition of a splash of balsamic vinegar, black pepper and thyme makes this simple appetizer very sophisticated.
   To make this appetizer even more fabulous, the big trick is to heat your
Recipe Image
By Carol Kicinski
This brie appetizer goes from good to amazing with just a few simple additions.
Gluten Free Cherry Pecan Brie
Serves 4
12 natural maraschino cherries
¼ cup maraschino cherry liquid
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (7-ounce) whole round of brie cheese
2 tablespoons toasted chopped pecans

   Remove and discard stems from cherries and roughly chop. Place the cherries, cherry liquid, vinegar, thyme and pepper in a small skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil until the liquid is mostly reduced and has thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
   Place the brie on a serving plate and microwave for 30 to 60 seconds on high power until soft. (If you don’t have a microwave, simply bake the brie in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.) Top the brie with the cherry mixture and toasted pecans and serve with gluten free crackers or toasted slices of gluten free French bread.
brie. The insides get all soft and runny – perfect for spreading on a mild gluten-free cracker or piece of baguette.
Combined with the sweet yet savory cherry topping and the toasty crunch from the pecans, this is seriously gourmet!