Sweet, spicy, creamy, and flaky meet in these Pepper Jelly Cream Cheese Pinwheels puff pastry filled appetizers.
These easy to make appetizers will be a hit at your next game day or fancy holiday party!
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Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. I read all the comments myself and I try to help as soon as I can. I have readers from all levels of comfort and experience in the kitchen on my site, and I’ve tried to answer some of your questions already in the post. But if I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment and ask.
Tailgating Snacks Month
It’s football season, and it’s Tailgating Snacks Month here on the blog! So, I wanted to make something for you guys that would knock your socks off! I totally hit it out of the park with this one, if I do say so myself! It’s easy to make and so delicious.
Thawing frozen puff pastry
If you have frozen puff pastry sheets, you’ll need to thaw them so they are nice and pliable. Thaw time may vary; you want the puff pastry to unfold easily but still be cold after thawing.
To thaw at room temperature, remove the pastry sheets from the box and outer wrapping. Thaw the sheets on the counter for about 40 minutes.
Though not my recommended method, puff pastry can be thawed in the microwave if you’re careful. To thaw in the microwave, remove one pastry sheet from the box and outer wrapping, and wrap the sheet in a paper towel.
Working with one sheet at a time, microwave on high for 15 seconds. Turn the pastry sheet over. Microwave on high for another 15 seconds.
If pastry doesn’t unfold easily, microwave for another 5 seconds on each side.
Using the puff pastry
Unfold the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Remove parchment paper. The pastry should be ready to roll and shape.
If the pastry cracks when unfolding, sprinkle the crack with a little water and press the edges together to seal.
If thawed pastry sheets become warm or sticky after thawing, place in the freezer for 5 minutes, or the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, then they should be ready to use.
Other puff pastry recipes you’ll love
Pepper Jelly Notes
I love having a batch of this pepper jelly in the fridge for all kinds of occasions. And if you just want the pepper jelly recipe, hop over to the printable recipe card for that.
I make this pepper jelly recipe fairly often; it’s so good and so easy to make. I know my readers love it too ~ I get comments all the time about how great it is! Later this month I’ll be giving the recipe a space of its own as well.
This pepper jelly recipe makes more than you need for this puff pastry pinwheels recipe.
Use the extra jam in my Pepper Jelly Shrimp or Pepper Jelly Cheese Balls. Serve it on a cheese plate or charcuterie board. Smear some on a grilled cheese sandwich. There are lots of ways to enjoy this spicy sweet condiment.
Yes, of course you can use store bought pepper jelly. But this one is so good and I think it’s worth the time to make it.
You could also use peach jalapeno jam in these in place of the pepper jelly.
I’ve gotten lots of questions about making these ahead. And, yes, there are lots of make ahead options.
Make them the day before or earlier in the day if you want to serve them at a party. Fill, roll, and cut the pinwheels, place them on a baking sheet and cover the whole thing with plastic wrap. Place them in the fridge, covered, for a day, then bake up fresh for the party.
Yes, roll them, cut them, place them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined tray, and cover them with plastic wrap. Then freeze them. After they’re frozen you can place them all in a freezer safe bag.
When you’re ready, put them in the fridge overnight and they should defrost. Then, bake as directed.
You can bake them from frozen, though they may need a little extra baking time. Keep an eye on them as they bake to see how they are doing.
Yes, if you have a few leftover baked Cream cheese pepper jelly puff pastry pinwheels, or want to pre-bake them before a party, simply store them in a covered container in the fridge for a couple of days.
Then, pop them back in a 400° F oven for about 5 minutes, and you’ll have great pinwheels again.
Crescent rolls: I’ve had many readers who have made them with crescent rolls. I’ve, personally, never made them with crescent rolls. You will have to adjust the fillings more or less depending on the amount of crescent roll. Crescent rolls are typically 8 ounces, where the puff pastry is 17.3. You could use two canisters of rolls and use roughly the same amount of filling as the recipe card calls for.
Phyllo sheets: I’ve been asked about phyllo, and I think it will work, but with some reservations. First phyllo is more difficult to work with and will give you a different texture. Each layer of phyllo needs to be brushed with melted butter so that it gets flaky and crispy. Here are some tips you can use to help you. And other than general tips I can’t say how much to use or anything like that; just go with what looks good. You could even do a stacked phyllo thing (like baklava) rather than a roll if you want.
Tortilla: tortillas are a fairly traditional pinwheel wrapper. If you use them, you won’t even have to bake the snacks. Spread the filling over a large flour tortilla and roll up. Slice into rolls about 1/2 -inch to 1-inch thick.
Add in some chopped roasted red bell pepper for a cheesy roasted pepper pinwheel or even hot peppers.
Use ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese
Use raspberry jam or roasted cranberry sauce instead of pepper jelly for more of a sweet roll.
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Pepper Jelly Cream Cheese Pinwheels
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 jalapenos seeded ribs removed and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ground
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ½ cup pepper jelly
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 17.3 ounces puff pastry thawed
Make the pepper jelly:
- Mix all pepper jelly ingredients (vinegar, sugar, chopped peppers, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper) in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours or until reduced by a little more than ½, making about 2 cups of pepper jelly.
- Allow jelly to cool. It will thicken as it cools. You will want ½ cup of pepper jelly for this pinwheels recipe.
Make the pinwheels:
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix the softened cream cheese and ½ cup of the pepper jelly together.
- Beat the egg and the water in a separate small bowl.
- Unfold one pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Remove the parchment paper from the pastry sheet. Lightly roll out the pastry using a rolling pin so that the pastry is flat and all roughly the same thickness.
- Spread half of the cream cheese pepper jelly mixture onto the pastry sheet. Starting at the short side closest to you, roll up the pastry like a jelly roll. Gently cut the log into 10 slices, about ½ inch thick each. A serrated knife may help you cut more easily. Lay the slices flat on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush rolls with egg mixture.
- Repeat with second puff pastry sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.