Recently a friend of mine was bemoaning what I believe is a common predicament among parents—she basically said that having her kids help prepare a meal is great, in theory. She has two young children who like to help her cook. She loves that they’re interested, but since she’s constantly checking in to make sure they’re progressing and doing so safely, their help actually ends up being more of a hindrance. (An adorable, endearing hindrance, but a hindrance nonetheless.) With these savory crescent rolls, I think I came close to finding an appetizer or side dish that kids can complete from start to finish while their parents focus on other parts of the evening.

Mozzarella and Pesto Crescent Rolls

Makes 8 crescent rolls

This recipe includes instructions for homemade pesto, but you can also use store-bought. Kosher crescent rolls are available at Trader Joe’s. Keep them refrigerated until needed. Make sure to drain the mozzarella before using it—if you don’t, the extra liquid will make the rolls soggy.

1 can crescent rolls
Thinly sliced mozzarella, drained on paper towels for 5 minutes
½ cup pine nuts
1 large garlic clove
1 cup basil leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. For pesto: In food processor, process pine nuts, garlic, basil and oil until smooth, scraping down bowl as necessary. Transfer to small bowl and stir in Parmesan. Season with salt. Stir in more oil until pesto achieves desired consistency.

3. Remove crescent rolls from refrigerator, break apart, and lay out in front of you with the point facing away from you. Spread 1 teaspoon pesto over each roll. Layer one slice mozzarella ½ inch from bottom of roll, then roll up each triangle, pressing edges to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving two inches between each roll.

4. Bake until tops of rolls are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through baking. Serve immediately.

Baked Brie and Jam Crescent Rolls

Makes 8 crescent rolls

Kosher crescent rolls are available at Trader Joe’s. Keep them refrigerated until needed.

1 can crescent rolls
Raspberry jam
Brie, sliced into thin, 1-inch-by-2-inch pieces
Honey, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Remove crescent rolls from refrigerator, break apart, and lay out in front of you with the point facing away from you. Spread 1 teaspoon raspberry jam over each roll. Layer one slice brie ½ inch from bottom of roll, then roll up each triangle, pressing edges to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving two inches between each roll.

3. Bake until tops of rolls are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through baking. Drizzle honey over top of rolls to taste. Serve.