VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen bread dough, thawed
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 4 cups (1 pound) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large egg yolks
- 4 drops each red, yellow and green food coloring, optional
- 4 pitted ripe olives
- 2 roasted sweet red pepper strips
- Thaw bread dough according to package directions; let rise until doubled.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until no longer pink; drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the spinach, cheeses, oregano and garlic powder; set aside. Roll each portion of dough into a 14x12-in. rectangle. Spread sausage mixture lengthwise down the center of each rectangle. Gently press the filling down; dot with butter.
- Bring edges of dough to the center over filling; pinch to seal. Place each loaf seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Tuck ends under and form into a snake shape.
- Place an egg yolk in each of two small bowls; if desired, use red and yellow food coloring to tint one yolk orange and use green to tint the other. Brush stripes and diamond designs on snakes to decorate.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cut out two small holes for eyes at one end of each loaf; gently press in olives. In each loaf, cut a slit below eyes; insert red pepper strip for tongue. Yield: 2 loaves.
Originally published as Sausage-Stuffed Slithery Snakes in Taste of Home's Halloween Annual 2006, p34