Baked Brie with Rosemary, Honey, & Candied Walnuts

Baked Brie with Rosemary, Honey, and Candied Walnuts
Happy New Year!

The past couple months have been crazy with all the holidays, and I gotta say, I’m glad it’s over. January feels like a fresh start, and I am so ready to put all that heavy holiday eating behind me. Err… soon. After this cheese.Me, this brie, and a bottle of wine. That’s how I rang in the start of 2014, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.I’m certain this breaks some cardinal rule of the New Year, but to those of you who made resolutions to watch your diet, I say… what about cheese? What about rich, gooey, decadent cheese, baked with rosemary and dripping in honey?

Forget the calories. This has to be good for your health.

Baked Brie with Rosemary, Honey, and Candied Walnuts

Having the holidays so close together definitely took its tole on me. Even when they’re spaced out more reasonably, I tend to be tired by the end of it all, but this year even more so. With no real down time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, or Christmas and New Years, I was feeling a little extra sleep deprived, and as a result, a little extra cranky-pants.

My (self-prescribed) remedy? A hunk of crusty bread, molten cheese, and the sweet/savory combination of rosemary, honey, and maple candied walnuts. If this couldn’t take the stress away, nothing would.

Baked Brie with Rosemary, Honey, and Candied Walnuts

After this photo was taken, I pretty much devoured the entire wheel of cheese. And then hibernated for the first few days of the new year. As expected, this did wonders for my mood, and I woke up feeling completely rejuvenated. This just goes to show the healing powers of cheese and sleep. New Year’s Resolution: more of both.

I’ve never been big on making new year’s resolutions, but this year I’m breaking my own rules and laying out the ground work for some personal change. Top of my list is to work on shifting my sleep schedule, and becoming more of a morning person. I’ve always been a night owl, and that’s worked out okay for me so far, but I had a mini revelation a couple weeks ago that convinced me mornings might be better.

When I stay awake at night, more often than not, I’m spending my time trying to unwind from the day. I watch youtube videos and browse pinterest, mindlessly surfing the web for hours until I finally pass out… but it occurred to me recently that the best way to unwind from stress is probably just to fall asleep, even if my mind is telling me it wants to spend the next few hours catching up on cute cat videos. Plus, if I were to fall asleep earlier, I might wake up feeling more rested, and could spend my mornings doing more productive things.

That’s my theory, anyway. As for the reality, well, so far I’m lying in bed at 11 o’clock, fighting the urge to turn on the computer. I’ve dealt with five year old’s less ornery about bedtime than I am, so this is easier said than done. Wish me luck.

Besides my personal resolutions, I’m also planning on making some changes around here in the next few weeks. More on that to come. In the meantime, you may see a slow down in posts as I get my act together. Also, as I’m writing this, there’s over a foot of snow accumulating outside, and growing. I don’t foresee any grocery shopping happening in the next few days. I guess I’ll just have to go back to hibernating, and dreaming about this cheese…

That rosemary on top is like candy, you guys.ย Candy.

Baked Brie with Rosemary, Honey, and Candied Walnuts

So what about you, did you make any new years resolutions? Also, are you a morning person or an evening person? Have you ever made the switch? Let me know in the comments below, and if you have an advice, please share!

Baked Brie with Rosemary, Honey, & Candied Walnuts
For the walnuts:
  • 1½ cups walnut halves
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (the real stuff)
  • pinch of salt
For the brie:
  • 8-12oz. wheel of brie*
  • 2-3 TBSP honey
  • a few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • crusty french bread, toasted, for serving
  • maple candied walnuts, for serving
For the walnuts:
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. Preheat a dry skillet over medium-high heat for a couple minutes to get it nice and hot. Add the walnuts, maple syrup, and salt, and stir. Cook, stirring constantly, until the maple syrup has thickened and clings to the walnuts. You should just begin to smell the syrup caramelizing when the nuts are done. Be careful not to let it burn.
  3. Pour nuts onto the prepared baking sheet, and quickly spread them out to avoid clumping. Let cool, then store in a cool dry place at room temperature.
For the brie:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove cheese from its packaging. Place in the center of a rimmed baking sheet, or an oven-safe pan. Place a sprig or two of fresh rosemary on top, and drizzle thoroughly with honey -- don't skimp.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the honey is bubbling and the cheese is soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before digging in.
  4. Top with additional honey and bits of rosemary (I like to remove the leaves from the sprigs of rosemary that were baked with the cheese and sprinkle them on top, or you can use a little fresh rosemary), and serve with crusty bread and candied walnuts.
*When choosing a brie for baking, try to find a younger cheese. Older cheeses may be too runny, and the rind can have an unpleasant flavor. Brie's labeled "triple cream" are also softer and runnier inside. Look for something labeled "double cream", or ask your cheese monger for a good brie for baking.
The rind of the cheese is completely edible. If you prefer to avoid the rind, you can slice off the very top of the wheel prior to baking. Do not remove the rest of the rind, as you need it to hold the cheese together. Once baked, simply dip and scoop the cheese out of the center.
Baked brie is a great place to experiment with different sweet and savory flavor combinations. You can use just about anything you can think of! Here are some ideas: bake your brie with herbs, spices, garlic, pesto, or serve with caramelized onions, for something savory. Or, bake your brie plain and top it with fruit preserves (such as apricot jam, marmalade, or cranberry relish), fresh fruit (such as figs, raspberries, or apples), or drizzle with honey or maple syrup. If you have a favorite way to eat brie, share it in the comments below!


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36 Responses to Baked Brie with Rosemary, Honey, & Candied Walnuts

  1. Elly McCausland January 7, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    This is the most luscious thing I have ever seen. Amazing photos, I need it in my life asap!

    • Willow Arlen January 7, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks! And I agree, you do need this in your life asap. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Abby January 7, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    Cheese definitely has healing powers and should be incorporated into any resolution making ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks fabulous.

  3. Ruthy Kirwan January 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    There is no better way to ring in the New Year than with a freaking WHEEL of cheese! I’m the opposite of you- a total morning person, and I feel like I get slower and dumber as the day goes on. So my challenge has always been to stay motivated in the morning and get the important stuff done first. Happy New Year, Willow!

    • Willow Arlen January 7, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

      Thanks, Ruthy! Sometimes I feel like waking up in the morning is the hardest thing I do all day. Especially in the winter when it’s still dark outside when my alarm goes off – ugh! I don’t know how you do it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. shannon weber January 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    first off, brie = delicious. and what i love most about this particular one you’ve presented me with is that there’s rosemary and not all the gloppy brown sugar you sometimes see where there’s honey and walnuts, you know? it’s sophisticated, and rosemary IS like candy, i agree. So i declare it “healthyish” as compared to the alternative. and way better tasting.
    did i make resolutions PLEASE of course i did. As much as i’d love to be one of those people who’s all “you know what? I’m good!” i’m so not, so i have a massive list of both personal and blog-related resolutions. I think my overriding focus this year is to make both of those lists manageable so i don’t get overwhelmed.
    my biggest thing this year, if i had to sum it up, is balance. i need to find it, and i need to find it in all ways. i spread myself too thin and try to do too much, and sometimes my “go big or go home” mentality mostly means i’m just going home, you know what i mean? nothing gets done. so i’m still strategizing, but it’s good to hear others’ resolutions to gather some inspiration.
    good luck with switching your night owl tendencies! I’ll say this, and maybe it will give you some encouragement. I never thought it could be done, changing your inner time clock, but it can. Mr. Table used to (and still does, but in a more normal way) run a music venue, and i don’t have to tell you that it involves super late nights. he was suited to this b/c the man would NOT go to bed, even when not working, until like 3 in the morning. and he was a viciously bad morning person (wouldn’t you be? yes). So anyway, in the 15 years or so that i’ve know him, life has shifted, he’s more of an executive person now, and does normal job hours which involve am awakenings, and somehow when all that was shifting a few years back (during the time i had the Wee One) he did it, with great success. Nothing fancy, just really focused on things which couldn’t zone him out at night (internets! tv shows!), and sort of forcing himself to bed early with a book did the trick. the first month or so of dragging (truly, accurate word there) himself out of bed at 5 am or so was SO HARD, but he got there. I’ve always been a morning person – much rather live my life from 5 am to 9 pm, then bed, if i had my way) and i become a ‘night person” when family is in town. it’s exhausting, and i do nothing productive. I don’t know how the night people do it.

    • Willow Arlen January 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragement, Shannon! That sounds like an impressive transition Mr. Table made. And I have to say, finding balance is a huge part of my resolutions this year, too. I think one of my biggest challenges is striking a balance between blogging and the rest of life, and I’m hoping that restructuring my day, and spending a little more time focused on the things that really matter, will help me find that sweet spot. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. January 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    I could never, ever give up cheese! This Brie is gorgeous, how could I pass this up?

    • Willow Arlen January 9, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      Heheh, thanks, Tanya! This brie was seriously inspired by all the cheese we ate in Ohio… mm!

  6. DessertForTwo January 10, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    This is exactly the kind of food I want to eat. And serve to guests, too! If I share…

    I’m the same way..I lay in bed and plan tomorrow. My husband falls asleep in 2 minutes, and I lay there, trying to fall asleep. I use Pinterest to unwind, too, but never cute cat videos! This must change ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Willow Arlen January 23, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

      Haha, my husband is the same way — out like a light! I’m so jealous of that.

  7. Jennie Phaneuf January 11, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    Your NYE sounded fabulous. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than melty cheese and a glass of wine. I totally believe in the healing powers of cheese. Melted cheese=happy tummy. See. Your photos are stunning. They make me feel like I’m sitting there with the cheese, experiencing the cheese and all its glory. Happy New Year, my friend.

  8. frugalfeeding January 13, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Well now, wow! Usually I’d just slice Brie and reserve baking for Camembert, but there’s no reason not to cook it since they are similar. In truth, Willow, this looks absolutely fantastic… seriously! Great flavours too, honey and rosemary are so photogenic.

  9. Fefo (Stefano) January 16, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    I usually like to cover the Brie with lots of chopped and crushed walnuts and hazelnuts that I have previously “burned” in a pan, dried apricots, dried figues and dates and honey before putting everything in the oven.

  10. Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes January 22, 2014 at 12:09 am #

    I am so glad to have just discovered your blog WIllow. I love your photographs. Really beautiful. I am a complete morning person. I go to bed uber early. In fact my nick name in college was cash-o-la because I was always cashing out early. Ha ha. I sort of envy your ability to stay up late:)

    • Willow Arlen January 23, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

      Thanks, Katie! I think I’m starting to get the hang of going to bed earlier, but it’s tough to do anything your body isn’t used to. I think staying up late can be fun sometimes, but the rest of the time it’s just a pain to not be able to fall asleep. Don’t worry, you aren’t missing out on much!

  11. Amy @ ELephant Eats January 29, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    haha, cheese and sleep really do cure everything! Man, that melty wheel of cheese looks GOOD. Good luck with your resolutions. I go to bed super early but I still spend like 30 min on my phone looking up who knows what before I go to sleep. I think it’s prob not the best activity for winding down the brain. A magazine or book would be much better and prob tire you out faster. Excited for your upcoming changes ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry I’m so late to catch up on posts, but Happy very belated New Year, Willow!

  12. Cathy February 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    What wine did you serve with this?

    • Willow February 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      I served it with a glass of Vouvrey. I’m no wine expert, though, I just happen to like white, sweeter wine with a cheese like this. I’m sure it would be fantastic with a lot of other wines, too!

  13. Tereasa March 23, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    This sounds amazing! I’m going to try it tonight. I just got home from New Orleans and had a baked brie with a mango chutney on top. It was delicious.

    • Willow March 26, 2014 at 4:09 am #

      Mmm, sounds divine! Hope you like this version, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. shelby April 24, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    Mmm Im going to try this tonight with crack black pepper instead of walnuts and a glass of Chardonnay (great for pairing with brie), I just finished another semester of university and cannot wait to celebrate tonight after soccer!

  15. laura November 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Hi I’ve got a question. I want to bring this to thanksgiving this week but am unsure if there will be room in the oven for it. Is there any way I pre make it and re heat without the oven?
    … wishful thinking probably, but figured I’d ask !

    • Willow Arlen November 26, 2014 at 12:20 am #

      Hmm, I’m not sure, I’ve never tried reheating it before. I imagine it would work in the oven, but if you don’t have room, you might be able to use the microwave. I know cheese melts well in a microwave, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Sorry I can’t be more help, I’d love to know how it goes if you try it!

  16. Alex April 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    If you are taking this to a party, how long do you think it can sit after baking and still be good?

    • Willow Arlen April 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

      That’s a great question, Alex! I think it will stay “good” for an hour or more, but as the cheese cools it won’t remain gooey like it is while it’s hot. (I’d say it’s ideal within the first half hour.) My recommendation would be to bake it off at the party if possible, or if you have to bake it before hand, re-warm it in the oven for a bit just before serving. Hope that helps!

  17. Kevin August 6, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    I am about to make this now…


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