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Baked Brie Bites Are Your Favorite Holiday Appetizer in Miniature Form

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Take 5 is a PEOPLE Food series with a mission: Get a star-worthy meal (or dessert or cocktail) on your table in either 5 minutes or using only 5 ingredients. Each recipe has been bravely tested, tasted and approved by our food editors for your eating pleasure. If you’re hungry for more recipes, we’ve got you covered.

When it comes to holiday appetizers, baked brie reigns supreme.

And though the classic recipe — a whole wheel of brie wrapped inside puff pastry dough, usually with some sort of jam and nuts — is delicious, it’s not without fuss. It requires more oven time than you think, and it can be hard to tell when the dough is fully cooked through. Soggy dough and melted cheese are not a good combo.

This version solves that problem, in an elegant, bite-sized form. The secret is to cut the puff pastry into rounds and pre-bake it, then top with apricot preserves, candied pecans, and brie for the last few minutes. The cheese will melt and all the flavors will come together into savory-sweet, cheesy, buttery perfection.

Watch the video above to see how we did it, then follow the recipe below to make it yourself at home.

Baked Brie Bites

Makes 24
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets)
1 small wheel brie cheese, cut into bite sized pieces
⅓ cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp. butter or oil (freebie ingredient)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
⅓ cup apricot preserves

1. Preheat oven to 375°. On a clean surface, roll out puff pastry dough lightly. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles out of the dough and divide them between two baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until puffed up and slightly golden.

2. Meanwhile, in a saute pan over medium heat, add butter or oil and stir in pecans. Add brown sugar and a pinch of salt and stir, allowing to toast for about 3 minutes. Pull the tarts out of the oven and let them cool slightly. (Note: some of them may get very puffed up; that is fine. Just push them down a bit when you are putting the other ingredients on top.)

3. Top each tart with apricot preserve, followed by a small spoonful of the pecan mixture, and finally a piece of brie. Put back in the oven for another 3 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.