Add a touch of whimsy to your holiday meal by serving Green Pesto Crescent Roll Christmas Trees instead of dinner rolls. They are fun and easy to make.
Green Pesto Crescent Roll Christmas Trees
My most popular project here on Hungry Happenings is my Crescent Roll Carrots and I've been thinking a lot about variations of this idea and am finally sharing one today. There are a lot of you who have purchased the cream horn forms to make those carrots, and I thought you'd like another recipe that will put them to use.
I tried to come up with a way of creating a green Christmas tree out of Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheets and didn't want to just use food coloring. I wanted to create a tree that would taste great all on it's own, but could be filled too. There were a few failed attempts, but I finally landed on something I think tastes great and looks festive and fun for a Christmas party.
Each of the trees pictured above is coated with green pesto and sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese to make them look snow covered. I think the Christmas Tree Appetizers look good just as they are, but it would also be fun to decorate them, if you want to take that kind of time.
For the tree pictured at left, I cut some roasted red peppers into small circles and attached them to one of my trees. I also added a small star to the top, which fell off once baked. This tree was covered in dill, which I thought looked great, but ultimately tasted like you were eating grass on a crescent roll, so I don't suggest it, but I do love the addition of the red Christmas ornaments.
Green Pesto Crescent Roll Christmas Trees (makes 12-15)
flour to dust cutting board
|Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheets or puff pastry
about a cup of pesto (store bought or homemade - see recipe below)
2-3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
pizza wheel or knife
metal cream horn forms
baking sheet lined with parchment paper or non-stick tin foil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dust cutting board liberally with flour. Unroll Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet onto cutting board. Use a pizza wheel or knife to cut the dough into ⅜ inch wide strips. Wrap one strip around each of your cream horn forms in a spiral.
Set your crescent dough covered cream horn forms on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Liberally brush green pesto all over your crescent roll trees.
Place in a preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes until the trees get golden brown.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Return to oven for 30 seconds, just to make sure the cheese melts enough to stick to the trees.
While your crescent roll Christmas trees are still hot, remove them from the cream horn forms. Hold the open end of the cream horn mold with tongs. Gently tug on the widest end of the crescent roll tree and slowly pull it off the cream horn mold.
Serve your Green Pesto Christmas Tree Appetizers warm or cold. You can bake them ahead of your party and re-heat them before serving. They taste great all on their own, but if you prefer, you can fill them with something savory, like I did with the crescent roll carrots. I used ham and egg salad for the carrots, but chicken salad or a cheese spread would taste great in these pesto trees.
If you'd like your trees to stand up, you will need to trim the bottoms to level them out. Just cut off any bumps using kitchen shears (scissors.) If any of the trees come apart when you pull them off the cream horn forms, just serve the now spiral tree alongside the whole trees, like I did!
Green Basil Pesto Recipe:
⅓ cup toasted pine nuts (see how to toast nuts here)
4-5 cloves roasted garlic (see directions here) or use 2-3 raw garlic cloves for a sharper flavor
2 ¼ cups packed basil leaves
7 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese or good quality Parmesan
Place the pine nuts, roasted garlic, and basil leaves in a food processor and pulse until the leaves and nuts are chopped. With the food processor running, drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Then add the cheese and pulse just to combine.
NOTE: For really bright green pesto - before you begin the pesto recipe, bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop in the basil leaves. Stir for 20-30 seconds. Then immediately remove the basil and place in an ice water bath to cool. Spin dry in a salad spinner then proceed with the recipe above.
Be sure to check out all my fun Christmas Recipes!