Brie and Candied Bacon Grilled Cheese Bites

Brie-and-Candied-Bacon-Grilled-Cheese-Bites-5 (1 of 1) Holiday things are happening, people.

The tree was lit in Rockefeller Center last night, I just received a notification that Pandora added a “John Legend Holiday” station (don’t mind if I do), and I bought all the fabulous things for a pot of Christmas this morning. This is obviously very exciting, and I seem to be snapping out of my post-Thanksgiving blues much more quickly than anticipated. In fact, I’m rapidly approaching Buddy the Elf levels of holiday cheer. (Smiling is my favorite!)

The only upsetting thing about the holidays (besides Logan’s beard) is that they go by far too quickly. It’s December 1, and then before I know what’s happening, it’s roommate Christmas, then regular Christmas, I’ve drunk 10 gallons mulled wine, and bing, bang, BOOM. It’s all over!

Not this year. This year, I’m going to stop and smell the poinsettias (not literally because they’re mildly toxic, but you know what I mean)…

Brie-and-Candied-Bacon-Grilled-Cheese-Bites-6 (1 of 1) I’m going to spend stress-free quality time with my roommate, my besties, and my family. I plan to get my Christmas shopping done ASAP, so that I’m not running around like a batshit crazy woman the three days leading up to Christmas (a tough tradition to break, but I have faith). And I’m going to bask in the glory of the little Christmas-y things that I love, like watching my roommate carry our tree through the streets of the West Village while I paparazzi him (Exhibits A and B), wearing sequins, and eating Brie and Candied Bacon Grilled Cheese Bites. Who’s with me?

Brie-and-Candied-Bacon-Grilled-Cheese-Bites-3 (1 of 1) Sweet baby Jesus, these are little bites of HEAVEN.

Most of you are familiar with my feelings about grilled cheese, but in case you’re new here, it’s my second greatest food love (after pizza, duh), and this particular version is quite the Casanova. The combination of creamy Président Triple Crème Brie and brown-sugar glazed bacon is straight up swoon-worthy, and that’s before you melt it between baguette slices slathered in Président Unsalted Butter. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. It is delicious insanity, and I wish for all of you to experience it as soon as humanly possible.

For those that would like to add these festive sandos to their holiday extravaganza menus (good call), I have excellent news! You can prep the sandwiches a couple hours in advance, keep them in the fridge, and then just throw them in a pan when your fans friends arrive. They only take about 1 minute per side, and then you just pile them on a fancy plate and enjoy watching people lose their minds over your unparalleled domestic prowess.

Brie-and-Candied-Bacon-Grilled-Cheese-Bites-4 (1 of 1) Oh, and while grilled cheese bites are finger food fun for all ages, feel free to whip up a full-size version if you’re so inclined. (What’s up, No-Calorie Sunday?) I may make one for my roommate this weekend to thank him for the whole tree-carrying sitch.

Brie-and-Candied-Bacon-Grilled-Cheese-Bites-7 (1 of 1)

Brie and Candied Bacon Grilled Cheese Bites

Yield: 6-8 appetizer servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons good quality maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons pecans, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 small baguette (or ½ a large baguette), sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 3½ tablespoons Président Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 wedge Président Triple Crème Brie

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray a wire rack with non-stick cooking spray and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, chopped pecans, black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper.
  3. Place the bacon on the prepared wire rack, making sure the slices aren’t touching. Using a small spoon, evenly spread the brown sugar mixture on top of each piece of bacon. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the topping is nicely browned. (Keep an eye on it in the last 5-10 minutes of the cooking time to make sure the bacon doesn’t burn!) Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. When cool, chop the candied bacon into very small pieces. (The bacon can also be made in advance and stored in a Ziploc at room temperature for up to 12 hours.)
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut the Président Triple Crème Brie lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices. Then cut those slices in half (or thirds, depending on the size of your baguette). Spread Président Unsalted Butter on one side of each baguette slice.
  5. To assemble each grilled cheese bite: Place 1 slice of Président Triple Crème Brie on the unbuttered side of a baguette slice. Top with a sprinkling of candied bacon and a second slice of Brie. Cover with a second buttered baguette slice.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When hot, place the grilled cheese bites in the pan. (You will need to do this in 2-3 batches.) Cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until the sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese has melted. Remove from the pan and serve immediately.
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Sponsorship: Lactalis compensated me for this post and provided me with badass cheese products. Thank you for supporting the brands that contribute to the dankness on Domesticate ME! As always, all opinions are obviously my own.

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