Monday, July 11, 2011

Pizza Muffins

"Manly Monday" is here and while I haven't had a whole lot of time to post regularly, I have vowed to get one in today! :)

A friend of mine who always writes to me for advice, was telling me how no one knows how to cook anymore. Other than shoving something in the microwave or making some rather lavish meal with ingredients that you'll only use a few times or ingredients that us poor folk can't afford, people don't know how to cook ordinary, regular, use what you got on hand, food! She admitted to barely knowing how to boil water! :D Which made me laugh but, in honor of her realization. I'm using somethings I always have on hand at my house: cheese, pizza or spaghetti sauce and pizza dough mix.

I wanted to use the boys too! They were on outside mode, inside the house. Which when cooped up because the heat index is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the toddler doesn't sweat very well, who can blame them. Though my house will never be the same! :P So, I wanted to have them do something constructive rather than destructive. Together we came up with: Pizza Muffins. I know, I know, it's not original and neither is the idea but, the point is that they were involved and having fun and not only did I use what I had on hand but, it is the simplest of things to make! So, even peeps who burn water, should be able to do this with ease!

Now, pizza dough is different for everyone. We make ours from scratch sometimes, others we have a boxed dough on hand to make in a pinch. The Vegan Zombie has a great from scratch recipe here. Don't freak out if you're not Vegan, it's a normal, very yummy recipe. We didn't use that this time though, I cheated and used a boxed dough that already had oregano & basil in the mix. I made it and let it rise per directions and then got some frustration out by pounding it down. :P

Pizza Muffins
Dough mix, or homemade dough
Pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
pepperoni (Vegan or regular) or whatever choice of meat you want
Veggies (are optional)

I rolled it out to about 1/4 inch or a bit thinner, because I know it would rise in the oven. Then used my fancy biscuit cutter to make small circular pieces of dough.
Yes, that is simply a small can turned upside down. :) It is really the perfect size for a biscuits! Anyway, I did this 12 times.

I laid them atop my muffin pan, like so.
It's making me hungry again! Anyway, then I spooned a bit of sauce on it gently pressed it down into the actual non stick or slightly greased/sprayed, muffin hole. Making sure to kind of stretch it so that the sides came up a bit. Now, keep in mind that the dough will rise in the oven so this is going to get HUGE! So, if you want little appetizer, cute sized ones, make sure your dough rolled out a bit thinner and smaller. If you want the big daddy Pizza Muffin, then by all means roll it out to that 1/4 in thickness and stretch the small pizza dough circles to reach the top of the muffin hole. You can be generous with the sauce too, don't be afraid to put a heaping spoonful in here. It may look like a lot but, it will sink into the muffin.

Once they all have your sauce on them and you've kind of mushed them down. Place your pepperonis, your veggies, your olives, or whatever you and your kiddos love into the middle of the muffin. I used Vegan pepperonis for half and Vegan pepperonis and mixed veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for the other half. My youngest is a veggie-holic! :)

Not the nicest pic you'll ever see but, when working with kiddos, you go with the flow! :) Then you add your cheese, which for us was of course Daiya cheese (coming from the farm girl, you need to trust me when I say you'll never know it was Vegan cheese!)

I always give any open dough a quick wash. Whether you use eggs and water, or what. Always kind of coat that open dough, so it bakes up nice and golden brown. I just used a little olive oil (spray). You can even use the pizza sauce if you want. We popped ours into the oven per the directions for the pizza dough which was 400 degree F for about 10 minutes or so. I would recommend going by your crust directions as well, if it's denser, it's going to take a bit more time. If all your Pizza Muffins are huge again, give it more time. Just read your directions and bake them accordingly. Remove when they're nice and gold brown on the outer edges and the cheese is gooey and yummy looking. For the record, "gooey" and "yummy" are professional baking terms! :)

Notice the gross larger cookie pan underneath on the bottom there.....this is how a Blue Color mom cheats! I need to clean the oven or a new one is really what I need but, it not only stops the muffins from cooking faster on the bottom but, it also stops any spillover from soiling the oven. I know, you all are wondering how on earth I came up with that huh? I'm not sure, alien abduction maybe?! :P

Once golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove and plate them up. I added extra cheese on top while they were still warm to bring it on home as my boys LOVE their cheese!
Again, a pretty simple trick all our mothers knew and you probably do too. If the crust is a bit harder than you like or you have a sensory kiddo who will only eat "soft things", then by all means break out some butter, margarine or whatever and kind of spread it along the outer edges while it's still warm. This will soften the "crunchy bits", as my son calls them.

Now, again, this whole meal was made Vegan style but, it is easily made to a "normal" Pizza Muffin for anyone. Let me tell you, this will fill you up too! The boys' half brother, couldn't even polish off 3 of these! He's a teenager, otherwise known as the endless, black hole of all food!!

As a side note, my toddler loves to have ketchup or some kind of sauce to dip things in so, I cut his muffins up and let him dip the pieces into some leftover pizza sauce. For some reason that's just how my boys roll. :)

They were delicious. Again, nothing you've probably never thought of but, the whole idea was to use what I had in my kitchen, get my boys involved and to make a meal that was filling, cheap and easy for anyone to do.

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  1. YUMMY!!! Can't wait to try these!


  2. My boys loved them and so did the rest of the family. Hope you like them just as much as they did!