Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree Appetizer | Gluten Free, Vegan & Allergy Friendly Variations, Nut Free
Appetizers & Sides, Breads & Muffins, Christmas, Holiday Recipes, Recipe

Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree | Recipe & Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RotelHoliday #CollectiveBias

Blue Ribbon Appetizer

Have you ever wanted to wow your guests? Do you have that one in-law, neighbor, friend, or co-worker that always seems to have an edge on every gathering with their award-winning potluck dishes?

Hostess with the Mostess

Have I got the plate that will make you the hostess with the mostess!! Seriously when I made it, my husband said, “Oh wow!!! You made this?! This looks so good! It looks like someone else made it!” Insert eye roll emoji friends! Hahahahahahah!!!!!! However, I took that as a compliment, that it looked – THAT. GOOD! Plus, my husband and I have a playful banter so I knew he meant it as a huge compliment, and fun teasing me! Boy does he like to get my goat. Game on! Now, I’ll be looking for a chance to tease him back!

Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree Appetizer | Gluten Free, Vegan & Allergy Friendly Variations, Nut Free

Adaptable for Gluten Free, Vegan & Nut Free

Seriously! Back to this amazing appetizer! It’s so easy too! This recipe can be made with traditional freezer puff pastry sheets, or the gluten-free variety. If you go the gluten free route, the recipe can be free of: gluten, egg, peanut, tree nut, fin fish and shellfish of the top 8 major allergens. All gluten-free puff pastries I have found always contain soy. If you find one that doesn’t let me know! If you have a dairy free cream cheese you can sub, you can also make it dairy free, and vegan! How ’bout that?!

Vegan Egg Wash for the Win!

I’ve even got an amazing substitute for the egg wash! Just mix 2 Tablespoons of Dairy or dairy alternative to 1 Tablespoon maple syrup! Whisk it together and glaze away.

Doing it All

Now, I’ve got to sidetrack here for just a moment. I’ve got 5 kids, 10 and under. I homeschool, I run a homeschooling support group, I am active and volunteer and serve in my local church, I’ve got my blog, I crochet, I sew, I cook, I bake, and I’m juggling a million things at any given moment. I get asked all the time, “How do you do it all?” Well guess what friends?! I don’t “do it all”. No one can. You’ve got to utilize your resources well, have lots of self-care, learn when to slow down, know when to say no, and how to delegate.

WalMart Online Grocery

You’ve also got to use amazing resources out there like WalMart Online Grocery! Friends, I’m telling you, this is a major game changer in my life.

We recently moved from Show Low, Arizona which is a tiny mountain town about 4 hours northeast of Phoenix. We didn’t have this service up there. Innocence is bliss and I had no idea what I was missing out on.

When we moved to the Valley (metro Phoenix), about a year ago in the summer of 2017, I kept hearing about it. Friends, I bought my wedding dress online in 2006 when it was a little more rare back then (online shopping), and I hadn’t ever even tried it on before walking down the aisle in it! So needless to say I’m a pretty savvy confident online shopper.

Life-changing Mom Hack, #winning!

However, I was a little nervous about using WalMart Online Grocery. I took the plunge, and I’m so glad I did! Literally I use it multiple times a week now, and in the last year I’ve only stepped inside a WalMart or any other grocery store, for that matter, maybe a handful of times! It’s life-changing and I can’t imagine winning at this mom life without it!

So check it out, I bought all my ingredients for a little holiday shin dig through WalMart Online Grocery!

They loaded everything up for me, and I was able to check out any produce or other items to approve before they loaded them into my car. It’s amazing!

Order with the App

So easy! I order it through an app on my phone. I don’t even keep a grocery list anymore. I just always add what I need straight to my app.

Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree Appetizer | Gluten Free, Vegan & Allergy Friendly Variations, Nut Free

Then I drive up, literally in my slippers!

They load everything, and all for free!! You don’t even need to tip them! It’s just what they do! You do need to have a minimum order of $30, so I just add my grocery list in my app til I have at least $30 worth and then submit for pick-up.

Shopping with 5 Kids

Once it’s all loaded I head home and life is amazing! Because. I mean, who wants to go into a grocery store with 5 kids?!?! Not this girl! I want to go home, feed us all some great food, and take a nap!

Gather Around the Fire #RotelHoliday

Alright! So now, I’ve got my ingredients, which this appetizer only takes 5 ingredients friends!! Get ready to “Gather Around the Fire” for a #RotelHoliday Since this recipe uses RO*TEL as a main ingredient, which is known for delivering bold adventurous flavor. It’s got a kick to it, which is perfect followed by some hot cocoa while you gather around with family and friends to enjoy the holiday!

2 (10 oz) cans of Original RO*TEL diced tomatoes with green chilies

2 puff pastry sheets

2 (8 oz) blocks of cream cheese

1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, whisked with 1 T water

Now before we get into the tutorial. This is double amazing because you will get TWO appetizers from one recipe! Watch, I’ll show ya!

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Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree Appetizer Tutorial

So first you’ll want to pre-heat your oven to 375. Mash up your cream cheese with a fork, and then stir in the drained RO*TEL. Transfer the RO*TEL mixture to a medium pan on stove top with medium heat. Heat it up, stirring occasionally, just til the cream cheese is well melted and blended into the RO*TEL. Once melted through, turn off heat and set aside.

Now, lay out two pieces of parchment paper. I like the pre-cut sheets. They are a game changer (pre-cut sheets)!

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Next, lightly sprinkle all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour mix), onto each parchment paper sheet.

Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree Appetizer | Gluten Free, Vegan & Allergy Friendly Variations, Nut Free

Lay your thawed puff pastry, one per parchment sheet, and roll out til they measure about 11×16. If you have any cracking just add a dab of water and rub smooth, or pinch together pieces that have come apart.

Grab your RO*TEL mixture, and spread a thin layer on one puff pastry, leaving about 1″ bare around the edge.

Take about 1/2 C of grated parmesan cheese, and evenly shake it on top of the RO*TEL mixture that is spread on your puff pastry.

Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree Appetizer | Gluten Free, Vegan & Allergy Friendly Variations, Nut Free

Take your other puff pastry, and place it on top of the one that has the RO*TEL mixture on it.

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Seal your sides by pressing them together all the way around. It will kind of resemble a ginormous toaster pastry!

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Now you can use a piece of parchment with an outline, or you can just gently “draw” in your lines using a knife or pastry cutter, or even a pizza cutter. I do it once just barely pressing so I can see a line, but not cutting through.

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You will want an approximate 45 degree line on the left and on the right, wide at bottom, and narrow, meeting at the top to make the main part of the Christmas tree.

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Then you will use two fingers to mark out your trunk, and cut away scrap dough from the bottom on the left and right side horizontally adjacent the bottom of the “trunk”.

Save those scraps, you will use them for the star, and also for the second appetizer!

Now you will cut your branches. Mine were roughly 1 1/2″ thick, and I didn’t go all the way through. I left that 2 finger space all the way up to the top.

Starting with the bottom branches, roll each branch away from you a couple twists, and press down the edge to the parchment to make it “stay”. Continue doing this until all branches are twisted.

Now from one of your larger scrap pieces gently mark the shape of a star. It can be rustic, and not perfect. It will bake up, and you won’t see each edge perfectly anyways!

img_2650

I scored the place at the top of the tree where my star was going, as well as the back of the star, and “glued” it together with egg wash.

Whether you are using a “milk” and maple “egg wash” or a traditional egg wash, go ahead and gently brush the egg wash on top of the tree covering all face up portions.

Now shake about 2-3 Tablespoons of grated parmesan over the brushed on egg wash.

Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

Egg wash and sprinkle on grated parmesan cheese, to all your scraps of pastry. I cut mine into lean bread stick type shapes, but have fun with it. You could even use a festive cookie cutter! Then bake those for about 12 minutes, til light golden brown, at 375 as well.

Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree Appetizer | Gluten Free, Vegan & Allergy Friendly Variations, Nut Free

Serve with the remaining RO*TEL mixture as a dipping sauce for your savory puff pastry!

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Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Author Food Allergy P.I.

Ingredients

  • 2 10 oz cans of Original ROTEL diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 puff pastry sheets can sub gluten free pastry sheets
  • 2 8 oz blocks of cream cheese can sub vegan cream cheese
  • 3/4 C grated Parmesan cheese divided can omit to make dairy free or vegan
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 T water (can sub 2T dairy alt. & 1 T maple syrup)

Instructions

  1. So first you'll want to preheat your oven to 375. Mash up your cream cheese with a fork, and then stir in the drained ROTEL. Transfer the ROTEL mixture to a medium pan on stovetop with medium heat. Heat it up, stirring occasionally, just til the cream cheese is well melted and blended into the ROTEL. Once melted through, turn off heat and set aside.

    Now, lay out two pieces of parchment paper. I like the precut sheets. They are a game changer (pre-cut sheets)!

    Next, lightly sprinkle a-purpose flour (or gluten free flour mix), onto each parchment paper sheet.

    Lay your thawed puff pastry, one per parchment sheet, and roll out til they measure about 11x16. If you have any cracking just add a dab of water and rub smooth, or pinch together pieces that have come apart.

    Grab your ROTEL mixture, and spread a thin layer on one puff pastry, leaving about 1" bare around the edge.

    Take about 1/2 C of grated parmesan cheese, and evenly shake it on top of the ROTEL mixture that is spread on your puff pastry.

    Take your other puff pastry, and place it on top of the one that has the ROTEL mixture on it.

    Seal your sides by pressing them together all the way around. It will kind of resemble a ginormous toaster pastry!

    Now you can use a piece of parchment with an outline, or you can just gently "draw" in your lines using a knife or pastry cutter, or even a pizza cutter. I do it once just barely pressing so I can see a line, but not cutting through.

    You will want an approximate 45 degree line on the left and on the right, wide at bottom, and narrow, meeting at the top to make the main part of the Christmas tree.

    Then you will use two fingers to mark out your trunk, and cut away scrap dough from the bottom on the left and right side horizontally adjacent the bottom of the "trunk".

    Save those scraps, you will use them for the star, and also for the second appetizer!

    Now you will cut your branches. Mine were roughly 1 1/2" and I didn't go all the way through. I left that 2 finger space all the way up to the top.

    Starting with the bottom branches, roll each branch away from you a couple twists, and press down the edge to the parchment to make it "stay". Continue doing this until all branches are twisted.

    Now from one of your larger scrap pieces gently mark the shape of a star. It can be rustic, and not perfect. It will bake up, and you won't see each edge perfectly anyways!

    I scored the place at the top of the tree where my star was going, as well as the back of the star, and "glued" it together with egg wash.

    Whether you are using a "milk" and maple "egg wash" or an actual egg wash, go ahead and gently brush the egg wash on top of the tree covering all face up portions.

    Now shake about 2-3 Tablespoons of grated parmesan over the brushed on egg wash.

    Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

    Egg wash and sprinkle on grated parmesan cheese, to all your scraps of pastry. I cut mine into lean breadstick type shapes, but have fun with it. You could even use a festive cookie cutter! Then bake those for about 12 minutes, til light golden brown, at 375 as well.

    Serve with the remaining ROTEL mixture as a dipping sauce for your savory puff pastry!

Recipe Notes

To make this gluten free you can use gluten free puff pastry sheets. 

To make this vegan:

Use your favorite vegan cream cheese substitute, and omit the grated parmesan cheese. 

For a vegan egg wash, you can whisk together and use 2 T of your favorite dairy alternative, with 1 T of maple syrup! Enjoy friends. 

You can visit this site for more RO*TEL Holiday inspiration http://cbi.as/a2r8b

Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree Appetizer | Gluten Free, Vegan & Allergy Friendly Variations, Nut Free

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