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Pesto Puff Pastry Christmas Trees

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 10:09 pm

These pesto puff pastry Christmas trees are not only incredibly fun and festive for the holiday season, they are buttery, flaky and epically delicious!

A hand holding a pesto puff pastry Christmas tree up in front of a platter of more puff pastry Christmas trees.

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These pesto puff pastry Christmas trees are the most adorable and festive holiday appetizer. Perfect to make with kids while blasting Christmas music.

This recipe only contains four ingredients and take just 25 minutes to bake. The assembly takes a little bit of time, but it’s fun to form these little Christmas tree shapes.

I’ve provided detail instructions on how to make these pesto puff pastry Christmas trees, along with tips and tricks and do’s and don’ts. So be sure to read the entire post to ensure you have a smooth time making these cheery Christmas trees.

If you love puff pastry appetizers, then you’ll also love my Baked Brie with Fig Jam recipe. Another minimal ingredient appetizer, but this one is much easier to assemble!

Ingredients

The pesto puff pastry Christmas tree ingredients and supplies.

Puff pastry: you’ll want two sheets of puff pastry, which can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store next to other dessert and pastry items.
Pesto: I recommend a pesto that is on the thicker side. If it is runny, it may ooze out of the puff pastry. I used Rao’s Homemade pesto and it was the perfect consistency.
Mozzarella cheese: use finely shredded mozzarella cheese or grate your own.
Egg: we’ll brush an egg wash on the Christmas trees and stars so they turn golden brown in the oven.

Equipment

Baking sheets
Rolling pin
6″ wooden skewers
Star cookie cutter
Pizza cutter
Pastry brush

A platter of pesto puff pastry Christmas trees.

Assemble the Puff Pastry

Unfold your sheet of puff pastry onto a clean counter dusted with flour. Dust your rolling pin and roll out the puff pastry into an approximately 15″ by 10″ rectangle.

Spread pesto onto the sheet of puff pastry in a thin but even layer. Be sure to cover the entire sheet of puff pastry.

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pesto in an even layer. Press the cheese into the pesto so it adheres.

Roll the second sheet of puff pastry to the same size as the first. Carefully top the first sheet of puff pastry with the second.

Shape the sheets of puff pastry with your hands so the edges align. Gently press the edges of the puff pastry together to seal everything in.

the stages of assembling pesto puff pastry Christmas trees.

Create the Christmas Trees and Stars

Use a pizza cutter to cut 10″ long by 1″ wide strips (so you will be cutting parallel to the 10″ side).

Fold one strip onto of itself accordion style, ensuring the bottom is the widest and gets more narrow as you fold.

Pierce the skewer through the bottom of the tree and through the top, positioning the Christmas tree in the center of the skewer.

Pull the layers of the Christmas tree apart so there is space for it to puff up in the oven. Place the Christmas tree on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Repeat the process with all but one strip of puff pastry. Cut stars out of the last strip of puff pastry and place on the baking sheet.

The baking sheet of Christmas trees and stars before baking.

Bake the Christmas Trees

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine the egg and one teaspoon of water together in a small bowl and whisk until frothy.

Brush Christmas trees and stars with egg wash. Bake the stars for 15-20 minutes and bake the Christmas trees for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow the Christmas trees and stars to cool for at least five minutes, then place the stars on top of the Christmas trees.

Adding the star to the top of the puff pastry Christmas tree

Tips

  • The puff pastry should be defrosted but still cold. Otherwise it will be too soft to handle easily.
  • Be sure not to add too much pesto or mozzarella, or it will become very messy as you form your Christmas trees.
  • Use a ruler to ensure you are cutting 1″ wide strips.
  • Position the puff pastry on the skewer with at least one inch on the top (for the star) and one inch on the bottom (to pick them up).
  • Pulling apart the layers of the Christmas tree ensures the puff pastry has room to puff up in the oven, which will make the trees look better.
  • Ensure you are brushing the tops, sides and bottoms of the Christmas trees with the egg wash to ensure they turn golden all over while baking.

Dipping a pesto puff pastry Christmas tree into marinara sauce.

FAQ

Why is my puff pastry sticking to the counter/my hands?

Your puff pastry is too warm and/or you are not using enough flour on the counter, rolling pin and hands. Place the puff pastry back in the freezer for 10 minutes before handling further.

Why are my puff pastry Christmas trees collapsing in the oven?

The Christmas trees will appear to collapse before they really start to puff up. Try to avoid opening the oven while the Christmas trees are baking.

Another reason they could be collapsing is because the strips are wider than 1″. The thicker the trees, the more likely they are to collapse.

What can I serve with pesto puff pastry Christmas trees?

I like to serve these pesto puff pastry Christmas trees with a variety of dipping sauces, such as pesto or marinara sauce.

How can I store these pesto puff pastry Christmas trees?

Allow Christmas trees to cool completely, then store in an air tight container or bag in the refridgerator. I do not recommend freezing these.

How long are pesto puff pastry Christmas trees good for? 

Pesto puff pastry Christmas trees will last for 3 days in the fridge. To reheat, place Christmas trees on a baking sheet and warm in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, or until heated through.

A close up of a pesto puff pastry Christmas tree on a skewer.

Substitutions

Pesto: I used a store bought pesto but you can make your own for this recipe, as well as use any variation of pesto, such as pesto rosso (made with sun-dried tomatoes).
Mozzarella: you can use other types of cheeses, such as parmesan, pecorino or fontina, just ensure it’s grated finely.
Note: I have not tried this with crescent roll or pizza dough, so I am unsure of the results. It may work, but they will likely not puff up as much as puff pastry.

More Holiday Recipes You’ll Love

If you make this Pesto Puff Pastry Christmas Trees, be sure to leave a comment below and rate this recipe! If you snap a pic, be sure to tag me on Instagram @thechowdown! I love seeing your creations!

A hand holding a pesto puff pastry Christmas tree up in front of a platter of more puff pastry Christmas trees.
Print Recipe
4 from 1 vote

Pesto Puff Pastry Christmas Trees

These pesto puff pastry Christmas trees are not only incredibly fun and festive for the holiday season, they are buttery, flaky and epically delicious!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Mini Puff Pastry Christmas Trees, Puff Pastry Christmas Trees, Puff Pastry Pesto Christmas Trees, Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Trees
Servings: 14 trees

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Unfold your sheet of puff pastry onto a clean counter dusted with flour. Dust your rolling pin and roll out the puff pastry into an approximately 15" by 10" rectangle.
  • Spread pesto onto the sheet of puff pastry in a thin but even layer. Be sure to cover the entirety of the puff pastry sheet. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pesto into an even layer. Press the cheese into the pesto so it adheres. Roll the second sheet of puff pastry to the same size as the first. Carefully top the first sheet of puff pastry with the second.
  • Shape the sheets of puff pastry with your hands so the edges align. Gently press the edges of the puff pastry together to seal everything in. Use a pizza cutter to cut 10" long by 1" wide strips (so you will be cutting parallel to the 10" side).
  • Fold one strip onto of itself accordion style, ensuring the bottom is the widest and gets more narrow as you fold. Pierce the skewer through the bottom of the tree and through the top, positioning the Christmas tree in the center of the skewer. Pull the layers of the Christmas tree apart so there is space for it to rise in the oven.
  • Place the Christmas tree on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat the process with all but one strip of puff pastry. Cut stars out of the last strip of puff pastry and place on the baking sheet.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine the egg and one teaspoon of water together in a small bowl and whisk until frothy. Brush Christmas trees and stars with egg wash.
  • Bake the stars for 15-20 minutes and bake Christmas trees for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow Christmas trees and stars to cool for at least five minutes, then place the stars on top of the Christmas trees.

Notes

Notes: 

  • The puff pastry should be defrosted but still cold. Otherwise it will be too soft to handle easily.
  • Be sure not to add too much pesto or mozzarella, or it will become very messy as you form your Christmas trees.
  • Use a ruler to ensure you are cutting 1" wide strips.
  • Position the puff pastry on the skewer with at least one inch on the top (for the star) and one inch on the bottom (to pick them up).
  • Pulling apart the layers of the Christmas tree ensures the puff pastry has room to puff up in the oven, which will make the trees look better.
  • Ensure you are brushing the tops, sides and bottoms of the Christmas trees with the egg wash to ensure they turn golden all over while baking.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Kim Smith says:

    4 stars
    Made this last night and they look great. Added some ground chicken to the mix and 2 tablespoons of mayo. Will serve with marinara. Next time will try and make them a bit smaller as they were suppose to be appetizer’s.

    1. thechowdown says:

      Thanks, Kim! Glad they turned out well 🙂