This is an appetizer for the simple people out in the world The people who would eat pizza 365 days a year if their waistlines would permit it.
Kids and all pizza lovers will enjoy this fun and festive pullapart peperoni tree.
Pull-Apart Festive Pepperoni Pizza Tree Bites
For my pizza-obsessed husband, anything that looks like a pizza, smells like a pizaa or is a pizza is something I know he’s going to automatically devour. He basically has the palate of a child, anything that’s slightly unhealthy and a tad-bit greasy, he’s going to eat it before he eats anything else.
It’s a real pain in the you-know-where, but after four years of marriage, I’ve gotten used to it. It doesn’t mean I like it, or cook a ton of crap just to make him happy. Every now and then, I put on my good wife apron and make something just for him.
One day, while I was at the store, I called him while he was at work and asked him what he wanted for dinner.
It’s always pizza or pasta. Always. It’s rarely anything like my recipe for spicy thai noodles with chicken and quinoa.
So, being the good wife I can occasionally be, I got everything I needed to make a pepperoni pizza. I made one regular pizza, and then with the other bag of dough I thought I would try something a little different, just to see if it would work.
I’d say thse pepperoni tree pull-apart bites are pretty genius. I used Signature Kitchens Pizza Dough, which can be found in most grocery stores, and I was shocked when I realized that the dough actually tasted good. 🤷♀️ Doesn’t happen every day.
I rolled about 24 1-inch cubes of pizza dough into balls, and placed them on a cookie sheet in the form of a Christmas tree. In the center, near the top of the pan, place one ball of dough, in the row beneath, I placed two balls, and so on and so forth until I was just about about of room. To make the trunk, I placed two more balls of dough and called it a day. The balls of dough don’t have to be touching, but they need to be close enough that when they begin to rise and bake, they will bake into each other… Thus making them pull apart from one another.
The empty dough tree will first get prebaked for about 15 minutes, or until it’s lightly golden brown. Once removed from the oven, you’re going to evenly spread a layer of pizza sauce over the dough, then sprinkle some cheese over the sauce, pepperoini, bell pepper, and more cheese. I thought it looked best when about 1/4” of the edges and the trunk of the tree were left empty, but you do you.
Once the pizza star has cooked completely, remove from baking sheet and transfer to a platter. Sprinkle some fresh tomatoes, and green onions on top. Serve hot with dipping sauces like ranch or marinara. If you’re looking for a more adult-friendly party appetizer, check out baked brie bites.
Pinwheel Pepperoni Trees
Kid-friendly pepperoni pizza bites shaped as a festive tree.
Prep time: 40
Cook time: 20
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 24 servings
- 2 bags signature select pizza dough or other raw dough
- 1 tablespoon Dried oregano leaves or Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
- 1 (8 oz) can pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
- 4 ounces fine shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup cherry plum tomato
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
- Preheat oven to 375 F. spray large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. separate dough into 48 individual balls and sprinkle the oregano.
- Form two trees on the sprayed cookie sheet using 24 balls for each tree. For the first tree, place 1 ball for the top on one side of the cookie sheet. arrange 2 below the top, sides almost touching. Continue arranging rows of 3, then 4 balls and continuing until a row of 6 slices across. center three balls below the tree for the trunk.
- Repeat for the second tree, assembling the opposite direction on cookie sheet. Bake at 375F for 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove partially baked trees from the oven. Spread 2 ounce of sauce over each tree to within 1/2 inch of edges, leaving the trunk uncovered. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of pepperoni evenly over sauce on each tree. sprinkle each with 1/2 cup of cheese. and finish with yellow bell pepper.
- Return to the oven; bake additional 3 to 6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Meanwhile, heat remaining sauce in small saucepan until hot.
- Remove trees from oven. Sprinkle each tree with 2 tbs tomatoes and 1 Tbs onion. Cool trees on cookie sheet for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully slide trees onto serving platters, trays or cutting boards. Serve warm with warm pizza sauce for dipping.