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Image for article titled These 3-Ingredient Pecan Bites Are a Perfect Amuse Bouche

Photo: Claire Lower

One of my favorite Christmastime treats is a three-ingredient sweet called “Rolo candy.” (At least that is what my family called it.) You take a mini pretzel, place an unwrapped Rolo on top, then heat it in the oven until the candy softens. Press a pecan half into the chocolate and let it set, and you have a delightful sweet and salty morsel. (Some people sub in a red or green M&M for the pecan, but I think that’s a bit cloying.)

This little bite is what inspired me to make the pecan and cheese amuse bouche you see above. The format is basically the same, except the pecan moves downstairs to become the base, the chocolate is replaced by cheese, and the whole thing is crowned with a cranberry. You can drizzle or dot it with a bit of honey as well, if you want to sweeten things up a little further. It’s like a cheese plate in a single bite, and it’s delightful.

The cheese is your choice to make, but you can’t go wrong with brie. If you don’t like brie, pick another soft or semi-soft cheese that melts fairly easily, and avoid harder cheese like sharp cheddar, which could grease out in the oven. Set your oven to 250℉, then lay your pecan halves down on a sheet pan, flat side up. Put a little slice of brie on each pecan, then put the sheet pan in the oven for a few minutes (three is usually plenty for brie) until the cheese is softened and starting to ooze a bit. Remove the pan from the oven and press a sweetened dried cranberry—or your other favorite dried fruit—into the cheese. Drizzle with honey if you’re so inclined. Serve immediately, but don’t worry if they cool a bit before your guests arrive. They’re equally delicious at room temperature.

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