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Beautiful Monte Cristo Pinwheel Appetizers

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Last Modified: November 11, 2023
Published: November 11, 2023

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More Magic With Puff Pastry

monte cristo pinwheel appetizers

Recently, guests were asked to bring an item to share at a birthday party, so our daughter made these beautiful Monte Cristo pinwheel appetizers, and they were a huge hit!

She’s been attending a lot of birthday parties for friends who are turning a “certain age.” She expected to have some leftovers to share, but they were almost all devoured!

This beautiful recipe was inspired by the Monte Cristo sandwich, a delightful creation that marries the elegance of French cuisine with the hearty spirit of American comfort food. Its origin is a tale as rich as the sandwich itself.

The origin of the Monte Cristo sandwich is shrouded in mystery, but like any good legend, it has interesting variations. It is believed to be a delicious version of the classic French croque-monsieur, which is basically a ham and cheese sandwich dipped in egg and pan-fried to perfection.

The Monte Cristo took the croque-monsieur’s foundation a step further by adding turkey for an even more interesting layering of flavors, then dipped it in egg, fried it, and dusted it with powdered sugar. It’s a very popular sandwich to this day!

The fancy name Monte Cristo, named after the famous count by the same name, was intended to give it a sophisticated air, even though it’s comfort food at heart.

monte cristo pinwheel appetizers

These puff pastry pinwheel appetizers look impressive, but they are easy to make, and doesn’t puff pastry always elevate anything to a higher level of sophistication? The flavor combination is classic, sweet, creamy, and salty! They go together quickly, and they are baked, not fried! What could be better than that?

You can serve them warm but also wonderful at room temperature. Dust them with powdered sugar and arrange them around a bowl of raspberry preserves (hers were homemade!) for dipping, and you’ve got a real treat for your eyes and tummy!

How To Make Monte Cristo Pinwheel Appetizers

First, a few tips on using puff pastry. You can thaw puff pastry in the fridge. Remove the outer wrap and place each sheet on a plate, then cover it with plastic wrap and defrost in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. Once puff pastry is thawed, work quickly while it’s still cold. Your hands should be as cool as possible when handling the pastry dough.

Place the pastry on a silicone mat or parchment paper so you can handle it easily. If your puff pastry seems small, you can lightly and carefully roll it out with a rolling pin, but avoid the edges! If you roll over the edges, you’ll mash the layers together, and it will not puff when it’s baking!

Once your puff pastry is nice and square, spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard over the whole surface.

Now add a layer of ham and cheese to cover the entire puff pastry.

Now, carefully roll the puff pastry into a log, with the seam side on the bottom. It should be about ten to eleven inches long.

Slice it into sixteen pinwheels and place them on a parchment-covered sheet pan. When you cut puff pastry, a bench scraper works very well. Never “saw” the knife through puff pastry; just cut straight down and lift the blade between slices to preserve the layers in the puff pastry. You can also try using a serrated knife and have better results.

Arrange the pinwheel appetizers on a parchment paper-covered sheet pan or a silicone baking mat. If you like, brush them with an egg wash of one egg beaten with a teaspoon or two of water for a shiny finish or melted butter for a softer crust. The ones in the photo were brushed with melted butter before baking.

Bake them for about twenty minutes at 425 degrees or until you’re happy with your desired golden brown color. Since every oven is different, keep a close eye on them as they bake.

baked pinwheel appetizers

Dust the pinwheels with powdered sugar and arrange them on a platter surrounding a bowl of raspberry preserves for dipping. You can use another type of jam, but raspberry is traditional.

Equipment You Need To Make Monte Cristo Pinwheel Appetizers

  • Silicone Mat or Parchment Paper
  • Spatula to spread the mustard
  • Rimmed Baking Pan
  • Rolling Pin or you can use the side of a straight-sided glass
  • Sharp Knife or a Bench Scraper

These quick and easy puff pastry pinwheel appetizers are a great snack or appetizer and might be a wonderful thing to serve while Thanksgiving dinner is cooking and everyone has the munchies!

Yield: 16 pinwheels

Monte Cristo Pinwheel Appetizers

monte cristo pinwheels

A lovely appetizer or snack version of the famous Monte Cristo sandwich in a light, baked version using puff pastry.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • One sheet of puff pastry, defrosted but cold
  • About 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Enough thinly sliced turkey AND deli ham to cover the puff pastry in a single layer.
  • About 8 thin slices of Swiss cheese
  • One egg for an egg wash for brushing before baking OR About 2-3 tbsp of melted for brushing before baking, if desired
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Raspberry jam or preserves for dipping.


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Carefully roll out the puff pastry on parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  4. If it seems small, lightly and carefully roll it out with a rolling pin, but avoid rolling the edge of the dough. Roll from the center out only so you don't disturb the layers.
  5. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard over the whole sheet.
  6. Place a single layer of thinly sliced ham and turkey to cover the sheet.
  7. Top with thinly sliced Swiss cheese slices.
  8. Carefully roll into a log and place on the silicone mat or parchment paper seam side down.
  9. Cut the log into about 16 slices. Use a bench scraper or sharp knife. Cut straight down and don't "saw" through the puff pastry. Lift the knife or cutter straight up between slices to preserve the shape and the layers.
  10. Place the slices, not touching, on the prepared baking sheet covered with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  11. Brush with an egg wash if a crisper, shiny finish is desired. Beat the egg with a teaspoon or two of water.
  12. OR if a softer crust is what you want, brush each slice with some melted butter.
  13. Bake for about 20 minutes or until you are happy with the color.
  14. Dust with powdered sugar.
  15. Serve warm or at room temperature with raspberry jam or preserves for dipping.

If you liked this recipe, you are my people! You might also enjoy these Easy Sausage Balls, another easy appetizer recipe that's always a hit!

Please share this post on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest if you enjoyed this recipe today. It would sure tickle me, and I'd be ever so grateful; thank you! 

If you haven't already, please check out my Facebook page and find me on Pinterest, where I'll post easy, delicious, and family-friendly recipes every week!

Love, GB (Betty Streff)

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