I was a meal planning ninja last week.
I was repurposing main ingredients into 3 different meals like a Food Network star.
It was a sight to behold and a taste to savor. I had the dishes to prove it.
It was in one of those moments of complete humility that I stumbled upon my greatest creation EVER.
On Saturday night I was transforming the last of the Italian sausage and tomato sauce I had reserved from an earlier meal into homemade pizza. I had enough ingredients to make one pizza, but enough pizza dough for two pizzas.
Huh. That was the start of a really delicious word problem.
Don’t worry, there’s no math on this blog. I didn’t even measure! Oh, wait. Estimation is still technically math. Sorry. Didn’t mean to get your hopes up.
I stretched the leftover pizza dough into a rectangle and then cut that into strips. They weren’t very pretty strips because I had no intention of writing about them. I was just making dinner and an improvised, spur-of-the-moment dessert. Letting dough go to waste would be criminal in this house.
I baked the strips on a greased cookie sheet for 8 minutes at 450 degrees fahrenheit. While that was happening, I melted an entire stick of butter in the microwave. It seemed like a prudent amount of butter.
On a plate I mixed approximately a cup of sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon. As soon as the sticks were done baking, I used tongs to dip them in a nice butter bath and then completely coated each stick in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
I took a bite of my creation and died.
I died a thousand deaths of happiness. (That doesn’t even make sense.)
Have you ever had a cinnamon sugar pretzel at Auntie Annie’s in the mall? It was like that, but angels started singing and I decided every calorie-laden bite was worth it for the mmm-mmm-mmmmm happening in my mouth.
It was also better because I wasn’t at the mall.
Back to my bite… once I had recovered my senses, I did something very uncharacteristic of me. Given my strong reaction to the situation, I might have been tempted to tell my family the dessert tasted like 3-day-old steamed broccoli and they wouldn’t like it. They might have believed me. I can be very convincing.
I didn’t do that though. Instead, I immediately ran into the office where my husband was
working diligently on our taxes playing computer games and yelled, “open your mouth!” I think it says something about our marriage when he doesn’t even question my directive, just immediately complies. I’m not sure what it says, but I’m pretty sure it’s profound.
I don’t want to brag, but I’ve tried a lot of different pizza doughs in my lifetime – especially during college. Yes, I know I’m not the first to come up with this cinnamon sugar pizza thing. One of those $5 pizza chains was promoting the heck out of it
years awhile ago. We don’t have tv service, so I can’t keep up with these developments. Next you’ll tell me they have a dipping glaze for their cinnamon sugar creations.
My point is, I don’t think all pizza doughs are conducive to the cinnamon sugar flavor combo. The knock-off Mellow Mushroom pizza crust recipe I’ve been using from Lark and Lola is flat-out amazing. The dough stays soft even after reheating and it’s ever so slightly sweetened with molasses, so it lends itself a little better to this kind of creation. If you too would like to die a thousand deaths of happiness, make these delicious morsels right now. Seriously. Right. Now.
Or better yet? Stumble upon your own creation and then tell me all about how you knocked it out of the ballpark!
Cinnamon Sugar Pizza Sticks
(dough recipe from Lark and Lola)
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 packets yeast
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 stick of butter – melted, more as needed
1 cup sugar, more as needed
1 tablespoon cinnamon, more as needed
(This recipe will make enough dough for approximately 2 pizzas. I’ve only ever made pizza sticks using half the dough, so you may need to adjust your topping ingredients accordingly if you are making the entire dough batch into cinnamon sugar pizza sticks. Peace out.)
1. Measure your warm water into a bowl. Ideally, the water should be around 115 degrees fahrenheit. Warm to the touch, but not hot. Pour in the molasses. Then sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Set in a warm place until yeast turns bubbly – approximately 10 – 15 minutes.
2. When yeast is bubbling or looking frothy, add in the tablespoon of olive oil.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the salt and flour.
4. Add the flour mixture to the liquid. Stir to combine. Work with your hands (or a stand mixer) for about 5 minutes or until the dough is combined and pliable. Add more flour if necessary. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on the dough ball, place back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and set in a warm place and wait for the dough to double in size – at least an hour. (It usually takes longer in my house.)
5. When dough has doubled in size, stretch it out until it’s between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick – this part depends on you. Slice the dough into strips. Lay flat on a greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake strips at 450 degrees fahrenheit for 6 – 8 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, melt a stick of butter in a bowl in the microwave.
8. On a plate or shallow bowl combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
9. When strips are done baking, dunk them in the butter and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
10. Cinnamon Sugar Pizza Strips are best served right away while they are fresh and warm. They do reheat nicely in the microwave though!