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Mozzarella Tomato Basil Pull-Apart Bread

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I’ve been wanting to share this Mozzarella Tomato Basil Pull-Apart BDSC01201read with you since Christmas. I know you’re looking at all that cheesy beauty and wondering how the heck I could hold out on you for that long. But rather than being mad at me, let’s just be glad we can come together now over this shareable goodness.

This recipe was inspired by my popular Caprese Bites recipe. It’s one of my favorite (and easiest) recipes on the site, so I found myself wanting a reason to make it again – or at least, to reinvent it. We’re cooking smarter, not harder by using store-bought crescent dough (much like the original recipe does) to cradle marinated fresh mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and pesto. I stuff all the bundles of joy into a cake pan and bake it into one tearable, bubbling masterpiece you can share with all your friends.

Well, you know my policy on sharing, which is: you never HAVE to share if it’s a secret you keep to yourself!

This Mozzarella Tomato Basil Pull-Apart Bread is easy to prepare and makes an excellent appetizer or lunch. Cheese + bread means everybody’s bound to love it, whether they’re young or old. And if they don’t like cheese and bread, just remember my policy on sharing…

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A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Feel free to play with the building blocks here and add in prosciutto/bacon, black olives, artichokes, spinach, red pepper, or whatever else you can think of.
  2. This does need some time to bake through, so feel free to assemble ahead of time then place in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
  3. Try serving with marinara or alfredo sauce.
  4. Covering the pan in foil for part of the baking time keeps the top from burning before the center cooks through.

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Mozzarella Tomato Basil Pull-Apart Bread
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • Two 8-oz. cans Pillsbury Crescent Dough
  • 1/4 cup pesto spread
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  •  2-24 oz. containers Formaggio marinated fresh mozzarella balls, drained
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 cake pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Unroll the crescent dough and carefully separate according the the perforated lines. Take a section and spread about 1/2 tsp. pesto on top. Place two mozzarella balls and one tomato on top. Then gently gather the edges and wrap them up around the filling, pressing the seams together at the top. Place each bundle in the prepared pan in a single layer until pan is filled.
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  3. Brush the bundles with the melted butter. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes. Finally, sprinkle with parmesan and bake 5 more minutes, or until golden brown and puffed (about 45 min total). Enjoy.

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Colleen Bierstine

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