Spinach & Artichoke Christmas Wreath

If you have a holiday party coming up this weekend, make this.

And if you don’t? MAKE THIS!

Because if Christmastime isn’t for gorging on bread and cheese like a rabid animal, I don’t know what is.

I’m currently in full-on “December” mode, which means I’m avoiding the majority of my adult obligations. I haven’t started Christmas shopping, I’ve barely been exercising, and my diet? Chaos.

All the cheese, all the sugar, total destruction.

So it’s no surprise that I’ve been a little scatterbrained with my posting (sorry), but I know you understand. Because even though the holiday season IS primetime for all things food, to me, it’s mostly a time for food nostalgia. Grandma’s cookies, mom’s pot roast, that seasonal special something from your local deli or bakery? Exactly. So posting new recipes between Thanksgiving – NYE feels a bit moot in the WRY world. But I do manage to post a few recipes just in case you want something new. And if that something happens to be the most magical bread wreath EVER, so be it.

Unsurprisingly this recipe calls for dough-from-scratch, which I’m confident you already guessed. But since Christmas is SO busy, I did you a solid and made this three times. Twice with my own homemade pie dough, and once with crusts from Pillsbury. And while the homemade stuff tastes SO much better (seriously, it does!), Pillsbury’s was pretty good too. So if you need to shave some time off this recipe, simply buy your dough and I’ll look the other way!

Just this once.

Anyway, this recipe is simple a marriage of pie crust + spinach & artichoke dip, so it’s obviously going to be delicious. Start by making a simple spinach and artichoke dip in your food processor, then arrange your bottom pie crust atop a parchment-lined baking sheet. Smother with the spinach & artichoke dip in a thick, even layer, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges. Top with the remaining pie crust, then pinch the edges to create a lose seal. Lastly set a small glass upside down in the middle, then use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 32 strips. Twist each strip so that they vaguely look like ribbons, then coat the entire wreath in egg wash.

Bake for 30 minutes, pair with marinara sauce, and voila!

Cheesy, buttery, savory, crowd-pleasing Christmas magic is served. xo

Spinach & Artichoke Christmas Wreath

Ingredients:

  • DOUGH:
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup cold water (approx.)
  • FILLING:
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup chopped artichoke hearts in water, drained
  • 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • a pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • parchment paper for lining
  • marinara sauce for dipping

Directions:

  1. Begin by preparing the dough.Using a handheld cheese grater grate butter into a small bowl, then freeze for 10 minutes (scroll this recipe for details). While butter freezes, combine flour, salt, and sugar in large mixing bowl.
  2. When ready, whisk cold grated butter into flour mixture until a mealy texture takes hold, then slowly begin adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough takes shape. Next, gather dough in a ball and transfer to lightly floured surface. Use a knife to cut the dough ball in half, then shape each half into two flattened rounds.  Tightly wrap each in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 45 minutes until dough is firm and cold.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Using a cheesecloth, squeeze out any excess water from the spinach. I squeezed mine 3 times to ensure I got as much liquid out as I could, so be diligent! Next, in a food processor combine the spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, garlic cloves, and parmesan. Pulse for 1 – 2 minutes until smooth, then add salt & pepper as necessary. I actually didn’t add any salt & pepper to mine, but depending on your taste buds you might want a pinch. Keep refrigerated until needed.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. With a floured rolling-pin roll out each chilled dough round into a 1/8″ thick sheet, then cut each into a 12″ circle with a pizza cutter, using a sturdy dinner plate or bottom of a springform pan as your guide. Transfer one round to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Use a spatula to evenly spread the spinach & artichoke filling into a thick layer atop the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges. Top with the remaining dough round, pinching along the edges to create a loose seal. Next, set a small glass upside down in the middle. Use a pizza cutter to slice away from glass (i.e. not through center), cutting the dough into quarters. Cut through each quarter again, making 8 strips, and again, making 16 strips, and one last time so that you have 32 strips of pastry emanating from the center. Lastly twist each strip a few times, then use a pastry brush to coat the entire wreath with whipped egg. Bake on oven middle rack for 30 minutes until golden all over, then immediately plate and serve! Pair with marinara sauce for dipping.
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