Recipe by HeatherFeather
These are so delicious. I saw these made on a Pillsbury Bake-off Special (the original version of this recipe won its category) and immediately gave them a try the very next day. We all ooohed and aahhed at how pretty they look and then the taste....so scrumptious. In the contest, the original version called for using a tube of Pillsbury French bread, which she baked up fresh and sliced...I have done this and it is a brilliant idea for a fast quick loaf of bread to use for this. However, I often just use a baguette fresh made from the local bakery. My other changes are using fresh blackberries (she used frozen thawed) and I omit the nuts and add mint instead. You may also use other berries in this. A mix of blackberries and raspberries is very pretty.
- 1 loaf French bread, thinly sliced into rounds (baguette style)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature (Neufchatel)
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1⁄4 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 2 cups fresh blackberries or 1 (10 ounce) bag frozen blackberries
- 24 mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
- 1⁄3 cup sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)
- nonstick cooking spray or melted butter, to brush tops of bread
Directions See How It's Made
- (If you are using frozen berries, thaw and drain well according to package directions.).
- Slice your baguette into about 24 thin rounds, about 1/2" thick (you might have extra bread left over).
- Preheat oven to 350 F and have ready a large baking sheet, ungreased.
- Lightly spray the tops of each bread round with some nonstick spray or brush with a small amount of melted butter.
- Sprinkle with granulated sugar evenly.
- Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with almond extrac and powdered sugar using a mixer on low speed.
- Spread some cream cheese mixture on top of each bread round, then top with 3-4 berries, sprinkle with some nuts (if using) and garnish with a mint leaf.
- Using a sifter, dust some powdered sugar over all and serve.
- If making ahead: you can make the cream cheese spread in advance and just wait to toast and top the bruschetta until right before you plan to serve them.
- Also, if your berries are very very tart, you may need to add an extra sprinkling of granulated sugar to the berries, only be aware that this will cause the berries to weep a bit, so only do if necessary and eat right away.