Monday, November 1, 2010

Individual Biscuit Pizzas

I came home from trick or treating with my five year old niece this past Halloween with a little grumble in my belly.  It didn't matter that I had eaten a bowl of homemade chili and enjoyed quite a few panko and potato chip crusted chicken tenders.  It then occurred to me that I needed something to bring for lunch at work tomorrow.  Remembering that I had the ingredients necessary for biscuit pizzas, I figured it would be the least labor intensive and most tasty choice.

I first learned how to make these in 6th grade home economics class.  A simple recipe that even a middle school child could make without burning something down.  In the years since, I have lost the original recipe that was given to us by our teacher and have tried to improvise ever since.  It's never come out the same, no matter what tweaks I have made to the recipe and the process in how I make them.  I would have to say that this batch is the closest I have come to getting it right.

The pizzas army, ready for the oven
You start off with ready made biscuits.  I use the Pillsbury Grands flaky biscuits, which worked in my favor with the new method in how I made the pizzas this time around.  I followed the directions on the label, which required me to cook the biscuits in the oven for 14-17 minutes on 350 degrees.  I cooked the biscuits for about 12 minutes before I took them out of the oven and removed a thin layer on the top, which provided a flat surface for the pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings.  In previous attempts, I would struggle with slanted tops and trying to make sure that everything didn't end up on the baking sheet.  I then used pizza sauce from the jar (hey, I didn't say my cooking was fancy), mozzarella cheese, and alternated between pepperoni and black olives.  On some pizzas, I felt ambitious and put both toppings.  


After throwing them back into the oven for another 5-6 minutes to warm the sauce up and melt the cheese, they came out looking like this.

I'll admit, it's not my best presentation.  But when it all goes into your stomach, does it really matter?  I decided to take the tops that I removed from the original biscuits to make pizza tops.  They did not come out as I had expected, but I'm sure with practice, I'll get it one of these days.  For my first time, they were pretty decent.  I took the tops and repeated the process that I used with the biscuit pizza.  This time, however, I put the toppings on over the sauce and under the cheese.  Try something new, you know?  

Yes, there are only 6 tops...I got a little hungry
while I was making this feast
I got worried that the tops would burn if I left them in for 5-6 minutes since they are much thinner and can dry out a lot quicker.  In hindsight, I probably could have left them in for that time instead of taking them out 3 minutes early.  The cheese wasn't fully melted so when I bit into one, I could taste the shredded pieces instead of ooey gooeyness.  I'm sure when I pop them into the toaster oven to heat them up, the cheese will melt up real nice.

The Not-So-Delicious Pizza Tops
Not only did it serve as a late night snack for me, I am now armed for lunch for the next couple of days.  It's a fun dinner or snack to make, especially with kids since it can be tough to have everyone agree on what toppings to get.  Get creative!  My one regret was not having any pineapple on hand - pepperoni and pineapple is amazing.

Individual Biscuit Pizzas:

* 1 canister of ready made biscuits (like Pillsbury Grands)
* 1 jar of pizza sauce of your choice
* 1 bag of mozzarella cheese
* toppings of your choice

Bake biscuits until almost fully cooked.  Take them out 2-4 minutes before recommended cooking time.  Remove a small layer from top of biscuit to make flat surface.  If you want to skip this step, make sure the biscuit dough is pressed flat before putting into the oven.  Spread desired amount of pizza sauce evenly on each individual biscuit. Sprinkle shredded cheese and top with pepperoni, peppers, olives, etc.  Put biscuits back in over for 5-6 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Remove and allow cool.  Pizza Tops should just follow the steps above using the tops removed from the biscuits.  Have fun with it.  Be creative! There is no right or wrong way to make these.

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