Cranberry Brie Appetizer Pinwheels #Breadbakers


Baked goods made with laminated dough are a treat very often relegated to gatherings and holidays.  Laminated dough has been a bit of a nemesis for me and I tend to stick to rough puff.  That's perfectly fine though!  Rough puff works a treat for so many things.  So for our BreakBakers challenge to use laminated dough, I decided on a nice little appetizer with my favorite rough puff.

These are a simple little treat, not too sweet, just rich and satisfying.  They really do benefit from that tiny drizzle or dusting of sweet on top though!  (Hubby decided that he quite liked them with a little jam on top.)  Brie cheese in the states is not as flavorful as what is available in Europe, so I gather.  This is evidently due to the use of pasteurized milk rather than the raw milk used to culture the cheese in France.  For this reason, I do recommend making sure to use all the perfectly edible rind for the most flavor possible if using American Brie.  Brie is meant to be eaten along with the rind anyway but I won't judge those that trim it off.  Just don't ever scoop out the center of Brie from a cheese board. 

The dough recipe will make enough for two full sheets of pastry, double the filling if you want to use them both, or freeze the extra sheet for another time.  You can of course use store bought puff pastry in a pinch.

Cranberry Brie Appetizer Pinwheels
makes 12-14

(Makes 2 sheets, enough for two batches of appetizers)

3 cups (15 oz) all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
2¼ tsp instant yeast
¾ tsp salt
20 tbsp (1¼ cups or 2½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ¼-in slices and chilled
1 cup sour cream, cold
¼ cup orange juice, cold
3 tbsp ice water
1 large egg yolk

(this amount will fill one sheet of the pastry, double for both sheets)
(Makes 12, double for 24) 

3 tbsp butter, melted, divided
4 oz Brie cheese, diced
¾ cup dried cranberries, chopped
½ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 tbsp honey or golden syrup

honey or golden syrup for drizzling, or powdered sugar for dusting

For the pastry dough:
(Can be made in advance and frozen in a block or rolled out and rolled up in parchment and sealed, then frozen.)
Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large (gallon size) zip top bag. Add butter to bag and seal. Shake bag to coat butter. Press all the air out of the bag and seal.  Gently pound all over the bag to flatten all the chunks of butter.  Flip the bag over and repeat.  Be careful not to pound too hard close to the seal just in case it pops open.  Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl. Toss the flour and butter pieces and sheet any lumpy pieces with your fingers.  Combine sour cream, juice, water and yolk in a 2-cup glass measure and mix to combine. Stir and fold into flour mixture until combined.

Turn the shaggy dough onto a floured counter and pat into a rough rectangle.  Using a bench scraper, bring up the sides and fold into the middle a couple times on each side, pressing down between folds.  Knead briefly to form a cohesive mixture. Roll the dough out into a 20x12-in rectangle. Starting at a short edge, roll the dough up into a tight cylinder. Flatten the roll by patting into a 12x4-in slab. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 15 minutes.  Remove dough from freezer and place on lightly floured counter. Roll into two 12-inch squares, or 12½-inch circles.  (The dough may be rolled up in parchment and frozen at this point.)  
To make the pinwheels:
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  (If the pastry has been frozen, thaw covered at room temperature for 40 minutes.)  Unroll a sheet of pastry onto a clean and lightly floured work surface.  Brush the surface with about a tablespoon of melted butter.  Sprinkle and arrange the diced brie, cranberries, and nuts evenly over the pastry.  Drizzle the honey or golden syrup over the cheese, cranberries, and nuts.  
From a long side, roll the pastry up as tightly as possible, as for cinnamon rolls.  Brush the roll with the rest of the melted butter. Using a sharp knife, cut it into 12-14 pinwheels.  
Transfer the pinwheels to the baking sheet, flattening them just slightly.  

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pastry is golden brown.  Remove to a cooling rack for a couple minutes.  While the pinwheels are still warm, drizzle with a little honey or golden syrup, or dust with a little powdered sugar, and enjoy.

Be sure to check out the rest of our laminated recipes this month:

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



  1. Those sound so delicious! I need to try rough puff pastry. It sounds so much easier.

    1. I really need to try full puff with European butter. I noted that Kerrygold is pliable at the same room temperature where an American butter is hard. That causes no end of issues with butter breaking during lamination, and then butter oil bleed through and smoking while baking. It made a huge difference in pie dough too. I think the lower moisture content of butters like Plugra and Kerrygold will make a tangible difference.

  2. Love these pinwheels! Highly customizable too. Laminated dough is also my nemesis. Sometimes I defeat it, sometimes butter is bleeding everywhere. Now why did I choose it for our theme? Ha!

  3. I love your method with the plastic bag, Kelly! Very clever and much less mess to clean up.


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