This Pull-Apart Cheesy Bread Is Also the World's Greatest Christmas Tree

Cheesy Pull Apart Bread
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Look, we're all for Christmas tree-shaped sugar cookies and everything. But let's face it: Sugar cookies are nobody's favorite cookies. And they have a startling lack of hot melted cheese inside them (unless your grandma is kind of a weirdo).

If you really want to impress your guests -- or become the best guest at somebody else's house -- we strongly recommend making this Christmas tree-shaped pull-apart cheesy bread. Between the sexy, stretchy cheese action when you systematically dismantle the tree and the pretty pesto greenery, it's a delicious snack that will have people saying "wow." Which is kind of gross, considering they have mouths full of cheese. Get it together, grandma.

1 package pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store or your favorite pizzeria. Usually they're about 12 ounces, but this isn't an exact science, so don't sweat it.
1 jar of pesto sauce
1 8-ounce ball mozzarella (or buy cillengini, the cherry-sized mini-balls)
1 ½ cups marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
Olive oil
  • Let dough warm up to room temperature. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Either grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper. Roll out the dough and cut into 16 equal-sized pieces.
  • Cut the mozzarella into ½-inch chunks (or cut the cillengini in half).
  • Wrap each piece of dough around a piece of mozzarella to form a ball. Seal the seams well, lest you get something resembling squeezed toothpaste instead of cheesy balls.
  • Place each ball (hehe!) seam-side down on prepared cookie sheet, arranging the balls in the shape of a Christmas tree. Brush the balls with a coat of pesto.
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with olive oil.  
  • Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

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Melissa Locker is a writer in New York and only eats marshmallow Peeps. Follow her on Twitter @woolyknickers but don't follow her in real life.