Gluten Free Holiday Tips & Cranberry Brie Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on December 12, 2011

Glutye Free Recipes | Cranberry Brie

Why is it that at a time of year when our schedules are already packed to the gills and our budgets stretched to the limit with shopping and decorating and such we feel inclined to entertain as well? Because we want to share the joy of the season with those we love, that’s why!

This year, I’m honored to take part in the NFCA’s Gluten-Free Holiday “How-Tos” Blogger Campaign sponsored by Crunchmaster. I am one of four gluten free food bloggers taking part in this campaign dedicated to a safe, delicious and FUN holiday season. The other NFCA Holiday Posts were:

Every day since Nov. 21 and continuing until through Dec. 16, the NFCA reveals a tip a day for not just surviving but actually enjoying your gluten free Holidays so hop over there and get a lot of valuable advice.

NFCA will be sending out a special email from me to all who sign up with my top ten tips on How To Throw A Fabulous Stress-free Budget-friendly Holiday Party.  (You do know I was a professional event planner, right?)

When you sign up for the email you will automatically be entered to win the Crunchmaster giveaway for the week, $40 worth of free Crunchmaster gluten free crackers, as well as be entered to win the Crunchmaster Grand Prize, $40 worth of Crunchmaster crackers plus $100 cash. To be entered into the drawing, you must subscribe to receive my Top Ten Tips by Friday, December 16th at 12 noon EST.

In the meantime here are a few tips to get you started:

Cocktail Parties are always easier than sit down dinners.

It is easier to plan a party if you stick to some sort of theme. I am not talking a Mickey Mouse Christmas Party (unless that’s your thing) but some sort of through line to pull it all together. It can be your heritage or favorite country or food you really love. It will help the décor, food and beverages fall into place.

Don’t be afraid to take help form the store! Make a dish or two, like the Cranberry Brie below and then fill in with store-bought items like pre-cut veggies, hummus, fruits, cheeses and gluten free cold cuts.

Don’t spend your entire budget and all night mixing drinks – make one signature cocktail, your liquor budget will stretch much further. Instead of making just about 12 martinis, a bottle of gin or vodka can be mixed into a drink or punch that will serve dozens. Supplement with waters and maybe some wine or gluten free beer if the budget allows.

To get height and interest on your buffet table, wrap empty boxes with wrapping paper and bow made with wired ribbon and set platters of food on top – it looks so pretty and festive and doesn’t cost a lot of money.

Get help from your friends – when they ask what they can bring, tell them! Assign them a gluten free dish to bring. Make it simple, especially if they are not gluten free, like mixed olives, nuts or cheeses. Dips are great and often gluten free – you can stock up on great gluten free crackers, like Crunchmasters, to go along with what they bring.

And if you want a pretty, festive dish you can make ahead try this Gluten Free Cranberry Brie.

Don’t forget to sign up for more tips and enter to win $40.00 worth of Crunchmaster crackers and $100.00! This will certainly help with that budget!  Click here to enter.

Gluten Free Recipes | Cranberry Brie

Gluten Free Cranberry Brie Recipe


1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons gluten-free flour
1 large egg, beaten
½ cup finely ground Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers Rosemary & Olive Oil
1 – 7 ounce round of brie
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers Rosemary & Olive Oil


Combine cranberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes stirring occasionally and gently mashing the cranberries with the back of a spoon. Let cool.

Put the flour, egg and cracker crumbs on individual dinner plates. Coat the brie first in the flour, then the egg and finally the cracker crumbs, making sure it is completely coated. Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted and the oil is hot, add the brie and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Place the brie on a serving plate and top with the cranberries. Serve with gluten free crackers.


Serves 8

Ready for dessert?

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“I can now have recipes I know I can count on for every Dessert and Breakfast occasion! I’m thrilled!” – A. M.

“I am amazed! This recipe is BETTER than the ‘regular-with-gluten’ recipe! Thanks so much, Carol” – V. P.

“I love your gluten free recipes – I can now have my desserts.” – F.R.

Need a quick meal?

Gluten Free Recipes - Simply Gluten Free Quick MealsSimply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals is now available, with over 100 recipes not featured in my blog.

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“The “Simply” in ‘Simply … Gluten-Free Quick Meals’ doesn’t just make for a catchy title. The recipes in this cookbook truly are quick and easy to prepare. – A. C.

“I set the timer on two separate nights and made two complete meals from Carol’s latest cookbook in 30-40 minutes. They not only pleased my family, but gave me new recipes and techniques to get dinner on the table faster every night.” – W. K.

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Categories:    Appetizers

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna December 12, 2011 at 11:59 am

Great tips – and that brie – amazing!


Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Thank you Donna!


Ricki December 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm

These are great tips, Carol! I love the idea of coating the cheese in the crumb mixture. I’m going to do it with my vegan goat cheese! :D


Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Thanks Ricki and yum!


Hallie December 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Fabulous tips, Carol! Your photos make my mouth water, as usual. :)


Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Thank you so much Hallie!


Cara December 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I was just thinking the other day about alternatives to a puff pastry wrapped brie. This sounds fantastic. In fact, I think I like it even better!


Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Thanks Cara and easier too!


Maria December 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Love this appetizer! Perfect for the holiday season!


Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Thank you Maria!


Alisa December 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Gorgeous presentation Carol! This reminds me that I really need to trial some homemade dairy-free baked “cheese” soon and I love the idea of giving it a cracker crust.


Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Thanks Alisa and you have me intriqued with your baked “cheese”!


Kulia December 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I could sink my teeth into this!


Maggie December 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm

This is such a fabulous idea! Who doesn’t LOVE brie? The cracker crust is a must!


Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Thanks Maggie!


Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free December 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I agree with Maggie – the cracker crust is amazing! It’s a perfect textural contrast to the soft, warm brie. Fabulous recipe!


Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Thanks so much Amy!


Shirley @ gfe December 13, 2011 at 8:30 am

Stunning, Carol! I want to come to one of your parties! Please … please. :-) Great tips, dear! Off to share …



Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I would love to have you at one of my parties!


Kim (Cook It Allergy Free) December 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I can only imagine what one of your party spreads must look like. These are all great ideas. I always make a signature cocktail for my parties. It definitely makes it more festive and stretches that dollar! ;0)


Carol Kicinski December 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Thanks Kim and who doesn’t love cocktails :)


InTolerant Chef December 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Great idea! I bakea great goat milk Brie, and this will makea nice and yummy change.


Dolores December 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

Carol, this post is wonderful! thanks… I thought the white coat of the brie cheese wasn´t GF… Am I wrong? I´ll try this recipe for a friend… thanks!


Carol Kicinski December 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Apparently there are brands that may contain – Alouette is gluten free as are many others – the rind is mold. It depends on what else the company processes and if there is cross contamination. The best thing to do is check the website of the company or call them


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