Weekend Cooking: Pizza Skewers Take Two

Last weekend, I was bested by a can of pizza dough, some cheese, sauce, and chopped peppers while attempting a recipe from a whimsical cookbook in which each of the 80 ‘party-perfect’ recipes are impaled or skewered in some fashion.  I refused to give up on the Pizza Skewers was back in the kitchen this morning with fresh ingredients and an iron will.

While a kind reader suggested Trader Joe's dough, I never made it there and was stuck with Pillsbury.

During the week, I modified the recipe and decided to implement the following:

  • divide the pizza dough in half before doing anything (‘back-up dough’ in the event I messed up the first batch)
  • don’t roll the dough out too thinly (the recipe says a 12-inch square, 1 inch thick)
  • use a 6-inch square of dough (the 12-inch square made the dough log too big)
  • cut down even further on sauce, cheese, and filling (it was too messy last time even though I used LESS than the recipe called for)
  • bake the dough for longer–17 or 18 minutes–instead of 12 minutes

With these modifications, I set out to create Pizza Skewers that resembled those in Matt’s book.  Unfortunately, Take II.i was another miserable failure.  While I kept the dough thicker, didn’t overfill the pizza roll, and baked it for longer, the dough unraveled during baking and made a big mess on the baking sheet.

Oh, come ON! I messed them up again. Argh. Also? Horrible lighting in my kitchen today because it's so cloudy.

I was undaunted for I had set aside half of the dough at the start for just such an event!  I rolled out the ‘back-up dough’ (Pizza Skewers Part II.ii) to a 6-inch square and added a tablespoon of sauce and few pinches of cheese and pepperoni.  I tried to keep the sauce and filling away from the perimeter of the dough.

The dough is thicker and the square is smaller than last week's attempt.

I rolled up the latest incarnation, making sure to pinch the ends of the log shut and to carefully seal the dough flap to prevent the dough pinwheels from unraveling during baking.  This dough roll was much smaller than the other attempts and I had a good feeling about it.

Last week's roll was the size of a burrito, this week's was a bit bigger than a taquito.

I sliced the log into equal pieces, arranged them on a parchment lined baking sheet, and baked the pizza pinwheels for 18 minutes, pulling them out at 15 minutes to add more cheese and pepperoni per Matt’s recipe.  The end result?  A reasonably decent facsimile of Matt’s Pizza Skewers.  They don’t look exactly like his, but they are far better than my two other attempts.

They still aren't quite like Matt's photos but are presentable this week.

So, would I recommend Pizza Skewers for your next party?  No, but I will say that they are cute once you finesse the recipe. I have a feeling the dessert recipe for next weekend is going to be much better!

Honestly, I’m going to continue using a pizza appetizer idea I saw in Real Simple magazine 5 or 10 years ago.  (Order a pizza from a pizza shop, have them cook it 1/2 way and don’t let them slice it.  Bring it home, use a biscuit cutter to cut out little pizza rounds, add your own toppings, and bake for 5-10 minutes.  They are such a HIT at my parties.)  That said, I am going to claim victory on Pizza Skewers.

I am victorious! Ant says they taste great! Just call me Nat from COOK, Line, and Sinker. Ha.

As always, thanks to Candace over at Beth Fish Reads for hosting Weekend Cooking.

Many thanks to Eric at Quirk Books for sending out On A Stick, allowing me to showcase my lackluster cooking skills!


  • At 2011.09.24 14:21, Dishy said:

    Love the new hook. Cook, line & sinker. Too cute!

    I am glad you tried these again w/ success. You are far more patient (or determined?) than me. If I follow a recipe and can’t get it to work the first time, it gets BANNED. I like concept cookbooks (like this one) but rarely use them. They make for a fun read, but for the most part I stick w/ simple stuff even my kids can make. As for your pizza apps – such a great idea, Nat! Now there’s a book I’d pay for. Quality party ideas that are easy to do!

    • At 2011.09.24 14:23, Nan said:

      Fun, fun, fun!!

      • At 2011.09.24 14:53, Beth F said:

        Woooooooo Hooooooo & *high five*! I’d say you did it!!! Fun and I think it’s great you tried again. We’re having grilled pizza tonight and if Mr. BFR weren’t so looking forward to my usual creations, I’d turn my dough into those little wheels. Too cute.

        • At 2011.09.24 15:14, Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said:

          They look great! My kids would have eaten your first tries as well!

          • At 2011.09.24 16:29, Sandy said:

            I give you loads of credit for persisting. I am pretty good in the kitchen but if something flops the first time, it is history! Boy these sure do look good though…
            Sandy´s last blog post ..Does the Noise In My Head Bother You? – Steven Tyler (Audio)

            • At 2011.09.24 16:44, TheBookGirl said:

              You really succeeded to me this time; I think this attempt looks so cute!
              You are certainly entitled to claim victory on this round of pizza skewers 🙂

              • At 2011.09.24 16:46, TheBookGirl said:

                You really suceeded to me this time; I think this attempt looks so cute!

                You are certainly entitled to claim victory on this round of pizza skewers 🙂

                sorry if this prints twice wasn’t sure first went through
                TheBookGirl´s last blog post ..Weekend Cooking (13): Review and Giveaway

                • At 2011.09.24 16:51, JoAnn said:

                  You stuck with this a lot longer than I would have – they look great!!
                  JoAnn´s last blog post ..Weekend Cooking: Raw Apple Cake

                  • At 2011.09.24 17:55, Belle Wong said:

                    I definitely think it’s a victory. They do look very cute – and it was so smart of you to have that batch of “backup dough”! Your pizza appetizer idea, though, sounds far more practical for parties (easier, too!).
                    Belle Wong´s last blog post ..Kitchen Mishaps, Kitchen Wisdom

                    • At 2011.09.24 19:14, Joy Weese Moll said:

                      Those are really cute. And I applaud your persistence and experimentation.
                      Joy Weese Moll´s last blog post ..Book Club Recipe

                      • At 2011.09.24 19:19, Gwen said:

                        Soooo cool that you tried again and they look much more scrumptious!
                        Gwen´s last blog post ..The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

                        • At 2011.09.25 16:51, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

                          I think your pizza pops look good and sound delicious! I love the idea for the pizza appetizers too.
                          bermudaonion (Kathy)´s last blog post ..SIBA 2011 – Part 1

                          • At 2011.09.25 20:57, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

                            I think they have all been pretty cute but I’m glad the last batch was finally successful. Good thing you saved half the dough! I think my brother would have been all over the ones that unraveled. He loves when cheese (or pretty much anything) gets a bit burned and all crispy.

                            Now I just really want some pizza…shoot!
                            Jess – A Book Hoarder´s last blog post ..Sonoma County Book Festival

                            • At 2011.09.25 23:25, Steph said:

                              OK, clearly you have done your due diligence here and I think this is a flawed recipe! It seems way too finicky for me to ever try it, but I am sure you will find other foods that are better suited to being eaten off of sticks!
                              Steph´s last blog post ..Reason # 12094735 that I love my husband

                              • At 2011.09.26 07:28, Heather said:

                                Pizza on a stick. cool. They do look rather tasty the second time. Glad that you had the gumption to keep going with the recipe. I don’t knot that I would have.
                                Heather´s last blog post ..Eden Mills Writer’s Festival 2011 – A Stroll Down Publisher’s Way

                                • At 2011.09.26 15:37, Kathleen said:

                                  Kudos to you for sticking with it and managing to make something that looks really good. I would probably just order a pizza and put the slices out but that is not nearly as fun!
                                  Kathleen´s last blog post ..A Little Bit of Non-Fiction but Good Fiction on the Way

                                  • At 2011.09.27 08:03, rhapsodyinbooks said:

                                    I would also call this a victory! Now, can we have some cake pops as chasers to those pizza skewers?! :–)
                                    rhapsodyinbooks´s last blog post ..Review of “Dark Water” by Laura McNeal

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