Christmas Appetizer

Looking for a unique Christmas Appetizer for your next party?  This spinach appetizer is shaped like a candy cane but can be made into any shape so that it can be used for any holiday appetizer!

This appetizer can be used for any occasion.  You can shape it into a loaf and then after it bakes, you can cut it into slices or you can get creative and shape the loaf into any shape you want.  Have fun with it!

Ingredients for this Christmas Appetizer:

1/2 pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, grilled
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1 loaf of frozen white bread dough, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of all liquid.
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, brought to room temperature
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
Red Food Coloring
1 egg white
1 teaspoon of water

Here's what you need to do:

The night before you are ready to make your appetizer, place a loaf of frozen bread dough into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap that has been spray with non-stick cooking spray as well.  Place in the refrigerator and allow to rise overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator when you are ready to start your appetizer. 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cook and crumble the bacon and allow to drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken with Seasoning Salt.  Cook on either a grill pan or regular frying pan with a little Olive Oil or vegetable oil.  Remove from pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper.  Mix well.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Cut into 3 equal parts.

Working with 1/3 of the dough at a time, roll out into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.  This may take some time because the dough will keep trying to shrink back to it's original size but keep working with it until you get it rolled out( you may even have to let it rest for a few minutes).

Spread with the 1/2 of the spinach filling leaving a one inch space all around the edges.

Cut the chicken into small pieces and sprinkle 1/2 of the chicken on top of the filling.  Sprinkle with half of the bacon.

Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese.

Starting with the long end, carefully roll the dough into a log making sure to keep the filling inside of the log.

Squeeze and shape the log making it long enough to form into your desired shape, in this case a candy cane.  Make sure that the seam is on the bottom of the log.  Fold the ends under.  Form into the shape you want.

Repeat the process making a second log.

Make sure that you wear gloves for this next step!

Add food coloring to the remaining 1/3 of your dough and work it into the dough with your hands (make sure to have your gloves on or you will stain your hands and more than your Christmas Appetizer will be RED......if you don't use gloves, don't come crying to Mama!).  The amount of food coloring you use will depend upon the color you want.

Divide the dough in half.  Roll it out and cut into small strips, long enough to go across the candy canes.

Shape each log into a candy cane and place on a baking sheet.

Mix together the egg white and water.  Brush the tops and sides with the egg whites.  Carefully lay the red strips across the candy canes. The egg whites will act like glue. Once the stripes are placed across the candy canes. Brush the stripes with the egg whites as well.

Using a toothpick or a skewer, poke a bunch of holes in the candy canes so that the heat will escape and the filling will not ooze out while baking.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until candy canes begin to brown.

This Christmas Appetizer is great served warm with Marinara Sauce or just plain.

I can't stress enough to make sure that you wear gloves whenever you are mixing or working with the red dough!

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