Spiced Walnut and Spinach Pinwheel Christmas Tree

This adorable appetizer is guaranteed to be a hit with your family and Christmas party guests. First, roll up spinach, goat cheese, and California walnuts into pre-made crescent rolls and slice into pinwheels. Then, simply arrange those pinwheels in a tree shape and bake, and finally top with cranberries and candied walnuts. It’s a recipe you’ll return to year after year.





2 c. California walnuts, divided
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
All purpose flour, for dusting
2 (8-oz.) tubes crescent dough
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. dried cranberries




  1. Step 1Preheat oven to 350° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Step 2In a food processor, pulse 1 1/2 cups of the California walnuts, Italian seasoning, fennel, onion powder, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of the oil until walnuts are finely chopped and starting to clump together, about 15 seconds. Scrape the walnut mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the spinach and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Step 3On a lightly floured surface, unroll the crescent sheets. Using your fingers press together the seams. Spread a thin layer of walnut mixture onto each rectangle. Starting with one long side, roll up each rectangle. Cut each roll into 8 slices. Arrange on the baking sheet in the shape of a tree.
  4. Step 4Brush the pinwheels with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Bake until golden, about 32 minutes. 
  5. Step 5Meanwhile, drizzle a small plate with oil and brush into an even layer. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup California walnuts and sugar in a small skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and golden, about 3 minutes. Scrape onto the prepared plate and let cool.
  6. Step 6Serve buns warm or at room temperature adorned with the dried cranberries and candied walnuts.
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