Sunday, March 6, 2011

Toaster Heaven...I mean Pizza

Originally posted 11/5/10

Good morning!  Happy Friday!  I was recently thinking about how much my Fridays have changed since my college days.  I attended the prestigious California State University at Chico….We are very well known for our fine educational programs.  I stood out in the fields of mathematics, science and philosophy.  My days and nights in the library, or my time discussing quantum physics, left me no time for a social life.  Plus, I was a vegan, who ate nothing but grains and vegetables.
Did you buy any of that?  Yes, I went to Chico, and yes, I did graduate with a Bachelors Degree, but the rest probably couldn’t be further from the truth.  I majored in communications, and I avoided the library like the plague.  And the biggest lie……I was not a healthy eater.  My diet consisted of fast food, boxed wine and a little something called Toaster Pizzas….
Toaster Pizzas were a magical thing found in the frozen aisle.  They resemble Toaster Strudels, but they were filled with delicious pizza fillings.  You know….a rectangular pocket of heaven?  I ate them by the dozen.  Lunch?  Toaster Pizza.  Dinner?  Toaster Pizza.  Late night snack after a slice of pizza and perhaps a burrito?  Toaster Pizza.  And to make them even worse for me…..I dipped them in ranch dressing.  It really is a wonder that I am still alive.  To be fair, I did share with my BF Lindsey, although I don’t know if she put away as many as me. 
Sadly, Toaster Pizzas are no longer available.  I found myself craving them not too long ago, so I recreated them.  They are super easy and beyond delicious.  They are so easy that I hesitate to even call this a recipe…..I don’t use the toaster, unfortunately, but I do use Puff Pastry.  I would probably eat my arm if it was wrapped in puff pastry. 
To make these little pockets of heaven, you will need puff pastry (found by the frozen desserts), pizza sauce, mozzarella (I used fresh, how fancy am I?), flour (not shown) and any pizza toppings you want. 
Start by flouring your work surface.  Puff pastry will stick like nobody’s business.  I defrosted mine on the counter for about 40 minutes.  Just follow the directions on the package.
Lay out your puff pastry and cut it into rectangles, or really any shape you want.  I stuck with rectangles because that was the shape of my beloved Toaster Pizzas.  You can roll out the pastry to make it bigger, or cut small shapes for appetizers.
After putting sauce, cheese, and your toppings on half of your rectangles, you will need to prick the tops with a fork.  This is called “docking” if you are a fancy-pants chef.  This will keep the tops from poofing up too much.  The bottoms won’t poof due to the sauce, cheese, etc.  BTW-If you really pile on the pizza toppings, you will need to press your tops out so they are a little bit bigger then your bottoms….Otherwise they won’t stretch over the bottoms.
After you put the pizza’s top on, seal the edges with a fork.  These will bake, on a greased baking sheet, at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  The tops will get nice and golden brown.  Let them cool before diggin’ in….I swear the insides get as hot as lava.
The puff pastry gives these a buttery, flaky crust, and the fresh mozzarella is so much better then the processed cheese I was used to.  I have to say, these are so much better then the boxed kind that I ate in college.  While I still crave many of the foods I ate in college, my tastes have matured a bit;)  Actually, I no longer crave boxed wine……

“Toaster Pizzas”
 Frozen puff pastry-17.3 ounce box
Pizza sauce
Pizza toppings of your choice
Flour for work surface

Sprinkle flour on your work surface.  Lay out puff pastry.  Cut into equal rectangles so you have tops and bottoms.  Top “bottoms” with pizza toppings.  Top with pastry that has been docked.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Makes 6.

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