I have always been amazed by vegan cheese balls and my biggest problem with them is that I can eat them all by myself as soon as I actually put them together!
Here is a recipe for a soft, creamy, dreamy, and super delicious vegan cheese appetizer that will be an absolute stunner at your holiday table! Made with a macadamia nut base and wrapped with puffed pastry, vegan baked brie is the life of every party. With its homemade maple-cranberry sauce, how could you expect people to resist?
You will need to make these three recipes for this appetizer. You will also need a sheet of vegan puff pastry.
1 C. macadamia nuts, soaked 4-8 hours in cold water, then drained and rinsed.
1 C. boiling water
2 T. Tapioca Flour
2 T. Nutritional Yeast
1 T. pure maple syrup
1 T. yellow miso
2 T. tahini
1 T. rice vinegar
1/2 t. dijon mustard
1 t. sea salt
2 T. Earth Balance or other vegan buttery spread
1/2 package sugar-free pectin
Lightly oil a small round dish (I used a glass tupperware), set aside. Measure out half of the dry pectin, about 4.5 teaspoons. Combine calcium packet from pectin box with 1/2 C. water (not listed in ingredients above) in a small lidded jar and shake til thoroughly combined. Blend all ingredients except pectin and calcium water in your turbo blender or food processor until completely smooth. Add dry pectin and half (1/4 C.) of the calcium water and pulse until all combined and thick. Immediately scrape hot brie out into the small round prepared dish. Refrigerate for a couple hours, turn out on to a plate, brie will be slightly soft (as brie is) but ready to use in this recipe.
Maple Cranberry Sauce
1 package fresh cranberries (I used ocean spray)
2/3 C. pure maple syrup
2/3 C. apple cider
1/4 t. crushed thyme
1/4 t. sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into glass jar. Let cool and refrigerate until ready for use (this will keep up to a month in the fridge and longer in the freezer and leftovers can easily be saved for the holidays).
Savory Oven Crackers
1 C. whole wheat flour
1/4 C. sesame seeds (I used black)
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
6-8 T. cold water
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. veggie salt or sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Process all ingredients but water until combined in your food processor. Add half the water, then add a water a tablespoon at a time (you may not need it all) while pulsing until a round ball of dough forms. Put dough on a sheet of parchment paper and roll out until PAPER thin (or as thin as you can possibly roll them out). Brush surface with water and sprinkle with a bit more sea salt or veggie salt. Cut into squares with a pizza wheel. Bake for on a baking tray for 8-10 minutes, then remove crackers from parchment paper and bake an additional few minutes on the tray until golden.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out puff pastry a bit. (I reused the parchment paper I cooked the crackers on for this task). Spoon 1/2 C. Maple Cranberry Sauce into the center.
Top with Macadamia Nut Brie (smooth side touching the cranberry sauce). Leaving a few inches all around, cut puff pastry into a round following the brie as a guide. Tuck edges up in a pinwheel fashion.
Turn right side up and decorate festively for upcoming Holidays with remaining scraps if desired. I brushed my pastry with 1 T. water and 1 T. pure maple syrup to make it extra glossy.
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