December 15, 2020

Holly_boarderWhat comes to mind when you think of bruschetta? Typically it’s chunky tomatoes, aromatic garlic and freshly grated parmesan cheese on warm toasted bread. Now, take that imagery, add in some holiday cheer and you’ve got a fresh, new twist on this classic small bite favorite.

Escoffier Chef Meghann Shaffer has a special holiday version that will make you rethink everything you knew about traditional bruschetta. With a sweet, tangy base that could actually be a bit boozy–if you desire–she deftly uses holiday leftovers to transform this hearty hors d’oeuvre into a potential meal itself. Recently she hosted a cooking demonstration featuring this unique recipe. In the event you missed it, you can follow her video tutorial here and download the recipe.

Holiday Bruschetta

Orange Honey Cranberry Sauce

? cups honey

¼ cup water

¼ cup orange juice – fresh squeezed from one orange is the best

1 tsp orange zest

¼ tsp vanilla extract

1 cinnamon stick

¼ tsp ginger – granulated or fresh

1 pinch cardamom

12 oz. Cranberries either fresh or frozen

Combine your honey, water, juice, zest, vanilla and spices in a medium saucepan to a simmer. You don’t want it to boil because it will quickly turn to molten lava. Medium heat will keep it at a medium simmer.  Stir constantly to make sure all of the honey dissolves.

Add your cranberries and now you can increase your heat and bring it to a boil. Cook the berries in the honey mixture for about 10 minutes, uncovered. Keep stirring! The cranberries will burst, don’t worry, that’s supposed to happen.  Your sauce is going to thicken so once you have a maple syrup consistency, pull off the heat. It will continue to thicken as it cools down.

Pull out the cinnamon stick and allow the sauce to come down to room temperature before you transfer it to a container and refrigerate.

For those who like a little kick in their cranberry sauce, you can add ¼ a cup of Grand Marnier to the honey mixture. Let it simmer to sweet, boozy perfection!


  • 1 loaf of baguette
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 6 sprigs rosemary plus 3 Tsp crushed rosemary
  • 5oz Brie Cheese
  • 6oz leftover turkey, ham or prime rib
  • 1 Tsp dried sage

Cut the the loaf of bread so that each piece is about 1/2 to 1″ thick

Drizzle with olive oil and sage and toast under a low broiler until golden brown.

Once toasted, spread the orange cranberry sauce onto each piece of bread and layer the rest of your ingredients finishing with your sliced brie.

Toast again so that the cheese melts. Serve warm

About Chef Meghann Shaffer

Chef Meghann is the Student Success Manager at our Boulder Residential Campus, helping students navigate through their culinary and pastry programs. Before working in her current role, Chef Meghann began her culinary career as a student in the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts pastry program. In addition to working with our students, Chef Meghann owns Blackbird Baking Company located in Fort Collins, Colorado. For more information on our Baking and Pastry diploma and degree programs, visit our website

To download and print the recipe, click here. Holiday Bruschetta