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 I love cheese and blackberries! And of course, you know I love good pure vanilla!;). When I saw this recipe from The Gourmet Kitchen by Jennifer Farley, I knew I had to try it!  From late July in to late September we have blackberries coming out of our ears. I can’t take credit for them though. When we moved into our home, we found blackberries waiting for us.  The sweetest empty nesters before us planted them. The blackberries just do there thing every year. My niece’s littles come over and gorge themselves straight from the vines.  I make every kind of dessert you can think of with blackberries.  Jam is rolling and boiling in the pot. Smoothies and shakes are blended until we just can’t eat anymore!  But now, its late December and I’m wishing I could just walk out back into the sunshine and pick a few berries for our New Year’s party appetizer.  I guess I’ll be going to Costco to get my fresh blackberries. They won’t be nearly as good. Although, anything fresh right now is welcomed.

I can’t wait to try this ooey gooey brie, topped with the sweet homemade blackberry compote and crunchy candied pecans. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Happy New Year!


  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 ½ tablespoons natural cane sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups blackberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Tahitian Vanillapura extract
  • 2 8-ounces wheels of Brie, room temperature
  • handful of pomegranate seeds as garnish (optional)
  • a few fresh thyme leaves as garnish (optional)
  • crackers for serving


  1. To make the spicy candied pecans:
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pecans on the sheet and toast for 10 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. While they are roasting, mix together the butter, cane sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  4. Place the hot pecans into the mixture (be careful as it may sputter and hiss) and make sure that they are evenly coated. Spread them on the baking sheet on a single layer and place it back in the oven. Bake for another 10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  5. In a medium saucepan, heat the blackberries, lemon juice, honey, and vanilla in medium heat, stirring regularly. As liquid begins to release from the berries, turn the heat up to medium. Cook, stirring periodically, until it is reduced and the liquid is syrupy.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Carefully slice away the top of the Brie rinds and discard them. Leave the sides intact. Bake both wheels of Brie for 15 minutes or until melted through.
  8. Top each baked Brie with blackberry compote and spicy candied pecans.
  9. If preferred garnish them with a few blackberries, pomegranate seeds, and fresh thyme leaves. Serve immediately.
appetizers blackberries blackberry compote brie candies pecans cheese party food tahitian vanilla extract vanilla vanilla extract vanillapura

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