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Christmas Tree Savory Rolls

 Christmas Tree Savory Rolls
Topped with festive pepper stars, this appetizer tree consists of tender yeast rolls with a savory cream cheese filling. It's good with or without the crabmeat. —Maryalice Wood, Langley, British Columbia
22 ServingsPrep: 1 hour + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling


  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened, divided
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed, optional
  • 1 each small green and sweet red pepper
  • 1 medium lemon


  • In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast, lemon peel and
  • salt. In a small saucepan, heat milk and water to 120°-130°.
  • Stir in oil and lemon juice. Add to dry ingredients; beat until
  • smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

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Christmas Tree Savory Rolls (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about
  • 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the
  • top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat 4 ounces cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add the mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, lemon-pepper and
  • parsley; mix well. Stir in crabmeat if desired; set aside.
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; roll out into a 22-in. x
  • 14-in. rectangle. Spread prepared filling to within 1/2-in. of
  • edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch
  • seams to seal. Cut into 22 slices.
  • Cover a baking sheet with foil and grease well. Place one slice near
  • the top center of prepared baking sheet. Place two slices in the
  • second row with sides touching. Repeat, adding one slice per row,
  • until tree has five rows. Repeat last row. Center remaining two
  • slices below last row for the trunk. Cover and let rise until
  • doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • Bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully
  • transfer rolls with foil onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat remaining cream cheese and lemon
  • juice until smooth. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or
  • plastic bag; fill with cream cheese mixture. Pipe onto rolls for
  • garland.
  • Cut peppers in half vertically; remove stems and seeds. Using a
  • 1-1/2-in. star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out stars from peppers;
  • place on tree. Carefully remove a 2-in. piece of peel from lemon
  • (save lemon for another use). With a 2-in. star-shaped cookie
  • cutter, cut out a star from peel; place on top of tree. Remove foil
  • before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 tree (22 rolls).
Nutritional Facts: 1 roll (calculated without crabmeat) equals 191 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.