Friday, December 30, 2011

Tiny Pizzas (Lilliputian Food Part 1)

I've had this strange fascination with tiny food (as in miniature versions of normal food) ever since I read an article about creating a counterpart to sliders by using little teeny weenies and making your own teeny buns for miniature hot dogs.  Although I don't like those little weiners (I think they're called Lil Smokies) I liked the idea.  After further research I learned that I could make tiny tacos, reubens, pizzas, and other Lilliputian foods that are perfect finger food for parties.  Someday I want to throw a party where all the food is miniaturized - I think that would be hilarious.

Do you have a New Years or football party in your near future?  I've never understood why so many people serve chili or regular pizza slices for football parties -messy, drippy food precariously transported from plate to mouth by a person whose eyes are glued to a TV screen.  I think the whole tradition must have been started by a carpet cleaning company.  In contrast, tiny food is securely transported with two fingers and whap! Into the mouth in its entirety.  Perfect, not to mention cute as the dickens. 

I thought I would start my erratic and occasional series on Lilliputian Food with tiny pizzas because everybody likes pizza and they're incredibly easy to make.

Although this recipe calls for using a store-bought crust, you could certainly use a refrigerated crust or make your own.  Just be sure to partially bake it first.  If you decide to use a store-bought crust, buy the thinnest one you can find so the tiny pizzas look right proportionally and the crust gets crisp.  I use sun-dried tomato pesto in place of pizza sauce because I like the additional boost of flavor but either one will work fine. The reason to chop the cheeses if they're in long shreds is because they're hard to drape on the tiny pizzas and make a mess.  Smaller pieces are much easier to handle.

You'll need a 2-inch round cookie cutter, which is easy to find at any kitchen gadget store or Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I bought a set of various sizes a while back and they come in handy.

Watch the pizzas closely because they bake fast - a minute or two will make a big difference once the cheese starts to melt because they're small and temperature is high.

* * click here for a printable recipe * *

Tiny Pizzas
Makes about 32 mini pizzas

2 large store-bought pre-baked thin crust pizza shells
Small jar of pizza sauce or sun-dried tomato pesto
Small package shredded pizza cheese blend – chopped in small pieces
Grated or shredded parmesan cheese – chopped into small pieces if needed
Pepperoni - optional
Pitted black or green olives – sliced in half lengthwise
Fresh basil – smallest whole leaves

Preheat the oven to 450d.

Cut rounds from pizza crust using a 2-inch round cutter, avoiding the thick crust edge. 

Top the pizza rounds with sauce and cover with pizza cheese blend. Top with pepperoni and an olive half.  As you can see, I made some with pepperoni and some without.  Choices, choices.

Place on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown, approximately 8 minutes. (Watch closely so the cheese doesn’t get too dark.)

Remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with parmesan. Place a very small basil leaf on each and plate for serving.

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