We are all acquainted with the heavenly aroma of a spicy tomato, cheese and pepperoni pizza baking in the oven.
It is so loved that each and every child, teen or adult is credited with consuming 23 pounds of the Italian delicacy each year. And the average family eats pizza at home about 30 times each year, either called in to the nearest pizza establishment, frozen from the supermarket or homemade in their own oven, it has been noted.
It's hard to imagine, but the diameter of the world's largest pizza is 122 feet. And did you know that you are not to thaw a frozen pizza pie at all before baking or the crust will end up soggy? So to those 93 percent of Americans who eat pizza at least once a month, I say happy eating of the yummiest food ever invented.
TIME FOR DESSERT — This pizza is made lower in calories, but the frosting and candy on top add to the calorie count. The decorations can be omitted and the small amount of fudge sauce called for in the recipe can be spread on instead if desired. This pizza was made as part of the 4-H Iron Chef Clinic last year when the subject was chocolate. This year it is sandwiches, and the contest will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 16 at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.
-- Esther McCoy
Kids between ages 3 and 11 chose pizza over any other food, and about 350 slices are consumed every second in the United States by pizza lovers of all ages.
This information came from the "Agriculture in the Classroom" studies for pupils from third to fifth grade and is part of a Farm Bureau classroom study.
Now, we fast forward to another kind of pizza, one that is served for dessert but resembles the Italian variety in shape. The dough can be made with a brownie mix; a tube of refrigerated sugar cookie dough; a homemade powdered sugar, butter and flour pizza crust; or the yeast dough type.
This kind of dessert can be served for a teen-age party or a ladies luncheon or for any reason for friends to get together.
This is a recipe from Dawn Hall's "Busy People's Low-Fat Recipes Cookbook." She says it is wonderful for birthday parties instead of cake, and the calorie count is merely 198 calories for an eighth of the pizza.
10.25-ounce package fudge brownie mix, dry, do not make as directed
3 tablespoons applesauce
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup fat-free hot fudge sundae topping
2 tablespoons tiny M&M's, toffee bits or shaved white chocolate, if decorations are desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with non-fat cooking spray. Set aside. Mix brownie mix, applesauce, egg whites and water together with a spoon for about 1 minute in a medium-sized bowl. Spread in the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Frost with hot fudge sundae sauce while still warm. Sprinkle with any desired decoration bits or leave it plain. Cut into eight pizza slices and enjoy.
This pizza has a tender, buttery crust and is topped with apple pie filling and sprinkled with cheddar cheese, brown sugar and flour streusel.
Apple Pizza Pie
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
Two 21-ounce cans apple pie filling
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter or margarine and confectioners' sugar. Add 1 cup flour and mix gently just until dough comes together. Pat evenly onto a 12-inch pizza pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and spread with apple pie filling. In a medium bowl, mix together cheese, 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over apple filling and return to the oven for 25 to 30 minutes longer.
The "Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes" giant cookbook containing 1,485 favorites from all over the United States, has this recipe for a pizza that is covered with fresh fruit and mandarin oranges. This can be made in the morning and then the fruit added an hour before it is to be served.
This recipe book will be sold at the Taste of Home Cooking School at the Serbian American Cultural Center in Weirton on April 2 with doors opening at 5 p.m.
This large and enlightening hard-cover book will be on sale at the cooking show for $25, a savings of $10 from the advertised price. Tickets are now on sale at the Herald-Star for the cooking show at $10 each.
Fruit Pizza Supreme
16 1/2-ounce tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
Two 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8-ounce carton whipped topping
1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
11-ounce can mandarin oranges, well drained
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
Pat cookie dough onto the bottom of an ungreased 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and spread over the crust. Arrange fruit on the top. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and pineapple juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool; drizzle over fruit. Refrigerate until chilled. Makes 20 servings.
This pizza has a buttery crust with a topping of cherry pie filling and a streusel topping. It is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
Cheery Cherry Pizza
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 can cherry pie filling
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with a bit of the cherry sauce
1/8 teaspoon almond flavoring
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Beat in the egg yolk. Add flour and beat until combined. Mixture will be crumbly. Work dough mixture with the hands just until it holds together in a round ball. Press the mixture on a round pizza pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until it is firm but not golden brown. Mix the cherry pie filling with the cornstarch that has been combined well with about 2 tablespoons of the cherry sauce from the can. Add the almond flavoring. Spread on the partially baked dough. Combine the 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar and butter and work with the hands until it is crumbly. Sprinkle the combined streusel crumb topping on the cherries and bake for 25 to 30 minutes more.
Note: It can be sprinkled with confectioners' sugar just before serving. Makes eight to nine wedges.
Another note: Some cherry pie filling cans are smaller than others. If the cherries look sparse on the crust, open another can and add half of it or enough to suit your taste.
This is my idea of a pizza when I don't want to bother with making a crust and filling. You have to understand that I am a great fan of peanut butter and will find any excuse to use it. And see the play on words for the pizza name? It's fast and I usually use that brand name for peanut butter, as Jiffy is my favorite. This is just for one person, so if anyone else in the family wants some, add more Italian bread slices to the broiler and increase the peanut butter and apples.
Esther's Jiffy Pizza
2 medium slices of very crusty Italian bread
2 tablespoons peanut butter (Can be crunchy or smooth)
Half an apple (I use whatever kind is in the refrigerator.)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Put the bread in the oven broiler to toast on one side. Remove it and spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on the untoasted side of each slice. Cut the apple into thin slices and arrange them in a single layer on the peanut butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture that has been combined. Put the tiny pizzas back under the broiler, on low if you have such a temperature, or just lower the shelves down two notches otherwise. You don't want the sugar to get bubbly too soon. The apples need to heat up, too. Let them broil until you see the apples sizzling a bit, and the sugar mixture is melted. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
Note: As I said, this is something I made up when I was hungry for something with peanut butter but not just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It hasn't been approved by Betty Crocker or anything like that.
(McCoy can be contacted at emccoy@herald-staron line.com.)