My friend, Jeanne brought this appetizer to a neighborhood Christmas party recently, and she used a yummy mushroom filling to make “Mushroom Pinwheel Crescents”. She said her kids love them the best when she uses a pizza filling to make Pizza Pinwheel Crescents (pictured above). Another variation is for Spinach Florentine Pinwheels. The best part is how they can be made ahead of time. Right now I have two cookie sheets in the freezer all ready to take with us when we’re visiting our families for Christmas. All I have to do is remember to get them out in time so they can thaw, and then bake them just before serving. I tried these out on the family yesterday and everyone loved them.
You start out with Jeanne's Homemade Crescent Rolls recipe and pick from the topping ideas below for the various crescent rolls recipes, or “pinwheels” that you can make with it. Here's how you assemble:
Crescent Rolls Recipes
Instructions: (See below for filling options.)
- The Homemade Crescent Rolls recipe makes 4 – 12” x 4” rectangles. (Mine actually were more like 6” x 16”.) The filling recipes below are enough for 2 rectangles, which will make about 36 pinwheels. (About 18 each rectangle.)
- After the first rise, roll crescent dough into a rectangle on a floured countertop.
- Spread with 1/2 of the filling mixture. (See below for filling options.)
- Roll up into a log, starting with a long side.
- Place on a buttered or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Repeat to use the other 1/2 of the filling.
- Chill in fridge at least 1 hour. (I omitted this step and they were still good, but Jeanne’s were prettier and kept more of the “pinwheel” shape.)
- Cut into 1/2” slices. Place on buttered or parchment paper covered baking sheets. (I let them rise a little on the cookie sheet, for about an hour.)
- Bake at 350* for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown.
- Best served warm and with more butter of course. 🙂
GREAT MAKE AHEAD NOTES: The beauty of this recipe is that it can be made a day ahead and the log can be kept in the fridge. The next day just slice and bake. OR to make ahead even further out from when you’ll need them: after slicing, lay out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a storage container to keep in the freezer until you’re ready to thaw and bake. So simple! Jeanne makes a lot of them at once to keep on hand for kids' snacks.
FILLING OPTIONS (Remember, this is enough for TWO rectangles):
- Pizza Pinwheels:
- 1 cup favorite pizza sauce (watch out for HFCS – I use organic)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 6 ounces pepperoni slices, cut into quarters (I couldn’t find pepperoni that didn’t have a rotten ingredient list, so I used about 2/3 c. crumbled sausage from our local farm – find more sources for healthy meat on my resources page.)
- Mix together
- UPDATE: I just found a post from Real Food Wednesday where they show how to make a very similar recipe, and then they put it on a stick to make it even more appealing to kids for pizza lollipops!
- Mushroom Pinwheels:
- 2 Tablespoons ranch dressing
- 16 ounces organic mushrooms
- 1 organic onion
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions (or 1/8 cup dried chives)
- Chop onions and mushrooms very fine. Sauté in small amount of butter or olive oil. Remove from heat, mix in the rest of the ingredients.
- Spinach Florentine Pinwheels:
- 2 – 10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed, well drained, and minced (I’m assuming that about the same amount of fresh spinach would work well, too.)
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled bacon (Best from a local farm – find more sources for healthy meat on my resources page.)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- Cook bacon until crisp. Sauté spinach and onions in leftover bacon grease. Remove from heat, add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.