So these delicious garlic knots were originally in the shape of a Christmas tree however, in my haste to serve and eat I forgot to take a picture.The original recipe from Southern Living Magazine® Magazine can be found right here and you can see what the finished product will look like. It makes for a great holiday presentation on your appetizer table and it was absolutely delicious too!
In my version, I substituted the cream cheese with ricotta cheese. I felt that was more in line with the flavors of this dish and I do not care for hot cream cheese. However, feel free to use whatever is more to your liking as both cheeses work equally well in this dish. I also made a quick marinara sauce to serve alongside the garlic knots but you can also use a store made or jarred version as well. I skipped the pepperoni and bell pepper garnish this time around but it definitely makes for a festive presentation if you choose to include it!
- 1 can of refrigerated pizza dough
- 4 oz. cream cheese OR ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 7 oz. basil pesto
- 2 tbs melted butter
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper, optional
- Bite-size pepperoni pieces, optional
- Marinara sauce, for serving
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a cookie sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll out the pizza dough on a flat surface. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 36 squares.
In a bowl combine the cream cheese OR ricotta, mozzarella cheese, and basil pesto.
Add a spoonful of the cheese and pesto mixture to each pizza dough square. Pinch the corners together then close up the seam of the dough square to form a ball around the mixture. Place the ball seam-side down on the pan. As you place the mixture filled dough on the sheet pan, arrange the dough balls in the formation of a Christmas tree.
Bake the completed Christmas tree for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
While the Christmas tree is in the oven combine the butter and minced garlic in a small bowl. Melt the mixture in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
After taking the Christmas Tree out of the oven, brush it with the fresh garlic butter. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, chopped red bell pepper, and mini pepperoni for a festive holiday look. Tuck the sprigs of fresh rosemary under the edges of the Christmas tree for a final festive touch. Pair with a bowl of marinara sauce for dipping.