It is an excessive dish. The soft and spreadable, creamy and funky cheese that does not need to be melted is already delightful, and can be served at room temperature without adornment.
We melt it.
We wrap it in pastry and bake it, because we don't just melt it. brie is nearly perfect in its simplest state, why do we do this to it? Because we can. It tastes good.
There is no reason to limit yourself, family, or party guests to a single wheel of baked brie, it is the excess, the extravagance, the extra-ness that makes it perfect for holiday parties and Christmas movie marathons. You can make yourself a pan of baked brie by Lean into the decadence.
Baking up a single wheel is not as easy as making an entire pan of baked brie. There is no wrapping, no leaking, and no worry about the brie spilling out of the pastry as it bakes. It's in the pan.
There is no need for a recipe in the process. Remove a sheet of frozen puff pastry from your freezer and thaw it. While it is still warm, put a bunch of brie into a pan, cut it up as needed to fill the pan with cheese, and then spread some stuff on top of it. Put a sheet of store-bought puff pastry on top of the cheese, brush it with an egg wash, and bake it until it is puffed and golden brown.
You can add whatever you want to the top of your brie. You don't have to be beholden to one flavor profile with so much brie in play. You can divide the foundation into thirds or quadrants and then divide it into different sections. I left the last third plain by sprinkling the middle third with brown sugar and bacon bits, and smeared one third with a berry jam. Baking brie this way gives you enough room to try all of them, and Jam, pepper jelly, honey, cranberry sauce, caramelized onions, salty rendered meats, and nuts all make great topping.
You should thaw your pastry by the time you finish the first two steps. It is ready if it unfolds with ease. If you want to cover the brie completely, roll it out on a smelly surface. The pan borders should be pushed down.
Other than cheese, pastry, and jam, you will need an egg wash to top it all off. If you want to brush the pastry with milk, beat one whole egg with a small amount of milk. Pop it in a 400F-oven and bake it for at least 25 minutes.
Cool for 15 minutes and give the cheese time to solidify. You want your brie to be scoopable, not flowing. You can either slice it up and serve it with fruit or eat it out of the pan. We are not making judgements.