This Christmas Tree Appetizer is made up of Turkey Cranberry Brie Pinwheels and looks absolutely beautiful. These roll-ups are so delicious and always the first thing to go at any Holiday party.
Turkey Cranberry Brie Pinwheels
When it comes to a simple Christmas appetizer, it doesn’t get easier than Cranberry Brie Pinwheels. These pinwheels taste great and can be made any time of year. When you make them around Christmas time, shape them into a Christmas tree and you take a simple appetizer and elevate it into a special treat that everyone is going to love. Such a simple step takes this easy recipe and makes it so much more.
What You’ll Need To Make This Christmas Tree Appetizer
- Cheese– The pinwheels are filled with a cheese mixture of soft brie cheese and fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Turkey- You want to use slice deli style turkey.
- Dried cranberries- The cranberries add sweetness to balance out the flavors of the cheese and turkey.
- Tortillas- Spinach tortillas are used for an extra holiday touch, but you can use any kind of tortilla you prefer.
- Fresh rosemary and Parsley- These are used to decorate the tree.
- Star ingredients (optional)- pie crust, store-bought puff pastry sheet or crescent roll dough.
How to Make this Christmas Tree Appetizer
- Combine the cheese: In a medium-sized bowl, put the brie cheese and mozzarella. Mix them together using a handheld mixer until they are combined. If the cheese is not mixing well, you can microwave it for 30 seconds. Then, add 1/4 cup of dried cranberries and 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, and give it a stir.
- Make the wrap: Spread 1/4 of the cheese mixture on one side of the wrap. Sprinkle parsley and dried cranberries. Add the turkey and roll up tightly. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. Refrigerate for about 5 minutes to allow to firm up.
- Form the Christmas tree shape: Cut the wraps into 32 total pieces. Place the pieces on a platter and place one pinwheel down on the bottom for the tree trunk.. Above that place a row of five pinwheels, then a row of four, a row of three, a row of two then place one of the top. It should use 16 pinwheels in total for each tree. Then make a second tree.
- Make the star: Using a cookie cutter cut some brie cheese into a star shape. Using refrigerated pie crust or pizza dough, cut 2 star shapes out of that. Lastly cut 1 long strip of pie dough for the edges. Brush with an egg wash to bind the pie crust together over the brie. Freeze for at least 1 hour. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a preheated 375℉ oven. Bake until golden brown.
- Alternative Star Option: For a simpler approach, you may consider creating a star from a block of cheese. Choose a firm cheese that can hold its shape well. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the cheese block into a star shape. This can then be placed atop the pinwheel tree, adding a festive and tasty touch to your Christmas appetizer.
- Edible Star Decorations: If you prefer to use something other than cheese for the star decoration, consider using sliced almonds or dried cranberries. This creates a beautiful and edible star that will add a pop of color to your appetizer platter.
- Non-Food Star Options: For those looking for a non-food option for the star decoration, consider using decorative toothpicks or small ornaments.
- Pinwheel Options: If you’re not a fan of brie, use cream cheese or any other type of cheese. Sometimes we like to use pesto, cheese and turkey. Any type of pinwheels can used for this. Some options are Italian Pinwheels, Veggie Pinwheels, Pineapple Ham Pinwheels, Crack Chicken Pinwheels and Ham and Cheese Pinwheels.
- Tree Trunk: another option for the tree trunk is to add pretzel sticks.
- Decorating: something we like to add cherry tomatoes on top to look like “ornaments. You could also do this with olives, red bell peppers or any type of pepper.
Can I make these pinwheel trees ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble the pinwheel trees a few hours in advance, cover with plastic wrap and store them in the fridge until ready to serve. They will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, it is recommended to bake the brie right before serving for optimal taste and texture.
Can I use different fillings for the pinwheels?
Absolutely. Feel free to experiment with different fillings such as spinach and feta, or ham and cheddar. As long as the filling is spreadable and not too watery, it should work well for this recipe.
Can I substitute the pie crust for something else?
If you prefer not to use pie crust, you can try using puff pastry, crescent roll dough, or even tortillas. Just make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly. Another option is to cut our a star shape from cheddar cheese using a star cookie cutter.
Other Christmas Appetizer Recipes
- Cranberry Baked Brie
- Antipasto Wreath
- Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
- Cranberry Brie Bites
- Candy Cane Charcuterie Board
- Christmas Mini Cheeseball Bites
Christmas Tree Appetizer
- In a medium sized bowl, add the brie cheese and mozzarella. Whip together with an eclectic mixer until combined. ( if the cheese is not mixing well, microwave for 30 seconds) Stir in a ¼ cup of the dried cranberries and 1 tbsp fresh parsley.
- To make the wrap, spread ¼ of the cheese mixture on one side of the wrap using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle on some parsley, and dried cranberries and lay 4-6 slices of turkey breast on the bottom of the wrap. Roll the wrap from the bottom up tighty. Some of the cheese mixture may come out. Repeat with the remaining wraps and place them in the refrigerator to firm up for about 5 minutes.
- To cut the wraps, use a sharp knife and first cut them in the middle, Then cut 4 ½ inch slices out of each side. Repeat with the remaining wraps. You should end up with about 32 pinwheels. (you wont need the end pieces of the wraps, feel free to eat them or save them)
- To make the christmas tree, on a platter or board place one pinwheel down on the bottom for the “trunk” of the tree. Above that place a row of five pinwheels, then a row of four, a row of three, a row of two then place one of the top. (see pictures for reference) It should use 16 pinwheels in total for each tree. Repeat for the second tree.
- (optional) For the star on the top, using a star cut out or cookie cutter. Cut some brie cheese into a star shape. Using refrigerated pie crust, cut 2 star shapes out of that. Lastly cut 1 long strip of pie dough for the edges. Use egg wash to bind the pie crust together over the brie. Freeze for at least 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 375℉ and bake for 15-20 minutes.