Cheese in pastry is more impressive than you'd guess

By Margaret Eby
Updated November 21, 2018
Credit: Gwenael_LE_VOT/Getty Images

At every party my friend Laurie hosts, and many of the ones that she attends, she brings along a signature party snack that never fails to get all the way eaten about 15 minutes into the event. It's a small wheel of cheese coated with jam and wrapped with Pillsbury crescent roll dough, baked until the pastry is golden brown and the brie is melted. You scoop it up on crackers and eat it, like a kind of enclosed fondue. The creation, I learned, is a variation of Brie en Croute, literally 'brie in a crust," and its a foolproof party move as long as your guests are ok with dairy and gluten. People clamor for it. It's so good that one year, she blew out her candles from atop a Brie en Croute instead of a cake.

So when Marin French Cheese, the people behind the delightful breakfast cheese that we tried earlier this week, announced that they were teaming up with La Boulangerie San Francisco to make a pre-assembled Brie en Croute with Marin Cheese and croissant dough for the holiday season, I was excited to try it. And indeed it is just as advertised—all the goodness of those classic party Brie en Croutes but with minimal effort. All you do is finish the Brie en Croute in the oven, and voila—done. It's the best way to feed a party before dinner is done, or just when you're sitting around drinking and want to have something in your stomach. The only thing the Marin French Cheese version lacks is jam, but you can easily serve it spread on top or just beside the crackers so guests can dollop it on at will. It's all the best parts of a grilled cheese sandwich, but in appetizer form.