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Rania's Recipes: Tree Trimming Party Treats

Rania Harris stopped by PTL to show off some delicious recipes that are perfect for a tree trimming party!

Pecan Baked Brie with Baguette Crisps

  • 1 (8-ounce) wheel brie cheese, rind trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

For the Maple Honey Drizzle:

  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup pecan halves, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place brie on a rimmed baking sheet or a 5-inch cast iron skillet; sprinkle with brown sugar. Place into oven and bake until softened, about 3-4 minutes; let cool 5 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until foamy, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in pecans and cranberries.

Serve brie warm topped with pecan mixture; serve with crackers or baguette.

Serves 6

Tomato and Gruyere Tart

For the Crust:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, ½-inch-diced
  • 2 cold extra-large egg yolks
  • ½ cup ice water
  • 2-1/2 pounds dried beans, for baking the crust (optional)

For the Filling:

  • 2-1/2 pounds firm medium tomatoes, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 cup whole fresh parsley leaves, lightly packed
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ pound grated Gruyere cheese (1 pound with rind)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese


Place the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, until the butter is the size of peas. Add the egg yolks and pulse a few times to combine. With the motor running, add the ice water through the feed tube and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and roll it into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a large bowl. Put the parsley, basil, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until finely minced. With the processor running, pour the olive oil down the feed tube and process until combined. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes and toss gently. Set aside.

On a well-floured board, roll the dough out to an 11 x 17-inch rectangle and transfer it to the prepared sheet pan. Don't worry if it doesn't fit exactly; you want it to cover most of the bottom of the pan but it can be a little rough on the sides. Place a second sheet pan directly on the pastry and bake for 15 minutes. (You can also line the pastry with foil and fill it with dried beans.) Remove the top sheet pan (or the beans and foil). Using a dinner fork, pierce the pastry in many places. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Check the pastry during baking; pierce any spots that bubble up. Allow the crust to cool for 15 minutes.

Lower the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the mustard on the crust with a pastry brush. Sprinkle a thick even layer of Gruyere on the pastry, reserving ½ cup for the top, and sprinkle with the ½ cup of Parmesan. Place overlapping tomatoes in rows on top. If there is a little garlic and herb mixture in the bowl, sprinkle it over the tomatoes, but if there is liquid in the bowl, strain it through a very fine mesh strainer, discard the liquid, and sprinkle the garlic and herb mixture on the tomatoes. Sprinkle the reserved ½ cup of Gruyere and the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cool slightly, cut into squares, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6

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