Sheets of puff pastry filled with pesto sauce and then shaped into a Christmas Tree makes the perfect appetizer this holiday season.
Christmas Tree Puff Pastry Appetizer
Two years ago I saw a video on how to make a Christmas tree puff pastry appetizer that looked so incredibly beautiful I knew I had to try it. There were actually two videos, one using pesto sauce and the other using Nutella.
I made mine with the pesto sauce and it turned out even better than I could have imagined. I made it for Christmas Day as part of our appetizers and then I made it again for New Year’s Eve. And then I made it again last year. And now I’m sharing it with you…finally.
Don’t be afraid to try this recipe! It is actually very easy. I know sometimes when I look at recipes and see a ton of steps I quickly move on, but this recipe is very simple and the presentation it makes is amazing.
Your family and friends are going to be so impressed with you when you place this Christmas tree appetizer on your buffet table over the holiday season…really!
Helpful Kitchen Tools
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- Parchment Baking Sheets – using these sheets makes it easy to lift the puff pastry appetizer off the baking tray and move it to your serving platter.
- Pastry Roller
- Pizza Cutter
- Cookie Sheet Pans – a little different than traditional baking pans.
How to Make Christmas Tree Puff Pastry Appetizer
Let’s start the recipe! You can use homemade pesto sauce if you prefer, but I found it even easier just to reach for a favorite jar of pesto sauce.
- Roll out the first sheet of puff pastry onto a piece of parchment paper. THEN gently lift the parchment paper and place it on to a baking sheet.
- Roll out the second sheet of puff pastry and set aside.
- Spread the pesto sauce on the sheet of puff pastry that’s on the baking sheet.
- Then add the second sheet of puff pastry on top to make a sandwich.
How to Get the Christmas Tree Shape
If you’re good a “winging” it, cut the Christmas tree shape out of the puff pastry or you can do like I did and make a template using parchment paper.
- Make a template out of another sheet of parchment paper in the shape of a triangle.
- Cut the Christmas tree shape out of the parchment paper.
- Lay the template on top of the puff pastry.
- Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife and cut out the Christmas tree shape in the puff pastry.
- Make sure you cut a tree trunk at the bottom.
- Lay the extra sections of puff pastry aside.
- You’ll need to cut the star for the top of the tree with this extra puff pastry.
How to Make the Twisted Branches of the Christmas Tree
Again, you can definitely “wing” it, but I used a ruler as my guide. I keep this ruler with my kitchen tools and it’s only used for cooking.
- Make the branches of the tree by slicing into the puff pastry from the side being careful to not slice all the way through.
- Then start twisting.
- Press the edges of the twisted branches down into the puff pastry so they don’t pop up.
How to Make the Star for the Top
Use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut out the star for the top of the tree out of the excess puff pastry dough.
How to Bake the Christmas Tree Puff Pastry
Brush the entire tree with the beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the entire pastry is puffed and golden brown.
Let the pastry cool slightly before sliding it off the parchment paper onto the serving platter. All your guests need to do is pull a branch off and enjoy!
- • 1 - (17.3 oz) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
- • 4 to 6 Tablespoons prepared Pesto Sauce
- • 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Sprinkle a little flour on top of a sheet of parchment paper.
- Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on top of the parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out the puff pastry sheet into an 11 X 13 inch rectangle. Gently lift the parchment paper and transfer to a baking sheet.
- Spread the pesto sauce on top of the puff pastry sheet being careful not to go too close to the edge.
- Unfold the second sheet of puff pastry and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out also into an 11 X 13 inch rectangle.
- Gently place the second sheet of puff pastry on top of the first sheet of puff pastry that has the pesto sauce. Press gently to seal the two sheets together.
- Using a piece of printer paper or parchment paper, cut out a Christmas tree shape to use as a template.
- Place the Christmas tree template on top of the puff pastry and using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut out the Christmas tree shape. Reserve the extra pieces.
- Now it's time to form and slice the "branches" of the tree. I like to place a ruler down the center of the puff pastry Christmas tree to use as a guide, but it's not necessary.
- Starting on one side, make horizontal slices into the sides of the Christmas tree triangle being careful to stop before you reach the center.
- Repeat the same process on the other side of the Christmas tree triangle; again being careful to stop before reaching the center. You want to leave a 1 to 2 inch section down the middle of the tree that is not sliced.
- Starting at the bottom, twist the branches away from you. Press the edge of the branch firmly into the parchment paper to keep the branch from untwisting.
- Continue twisting the branches moving up the tree and then move on to the other side and twist those branches as well.
- With the excess puff pastry, use a star cookie cutter and make a star for the top of the tree. You can also cut out more shapes for the excess puff pastry and bake them separately as well.
- Brush the entire pastry with the beaten egg.
- Bake in the preheated oven until puffy and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
- You can gently slide the Christmas tree pastry on to a serving platter. Or lift the parchment paper off the baking tray and place on top of a serving platter.
- You can use Nutella Spread to make this a sweet appetizer or dessert.
- You will have extra puff pastry dough with pesto leftover. I went ahead and cut more stars out of the excess dough and baked them off as a "cook's treat." Or you can add them to your serving tray for your guests to enjoy.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100 Total Fat: 8.6gg Saturated Fat: 2gg Sodium: 161mgmg Carbohydrates: 2.8gg Fiber: 0.1gg Sugar: 0.2gg Protein: 2.7gg
Here’s another Christmas Tree appetizer I made that’s fun too!
And a Christmas Tree Danish for brunch!