Game Day: Pizza Cannonballs

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January 17, 2010 by skwishface

I’ve been on a healthy cooking kick lately. But it’s playoffs time. Superbowl approacheth. And on Game Day, eff healthy. Eff it in the ay.

The classic game-day snack around here is pizza. Just pick up the phone, order a buncha pies, spend way too much money on wedges of greasy goodness. I got to thinking about this, and I realized two very important truths.

1 – We’re on a budget, and can’t afford to order a dozen pizzas for our Superbowl party.
2 – I really like to say the word “balls”.

In order to satisfy both my Inner Responsible Adult and my Inner Giggling Twelve-Year-Old (one becomes Outer more often than the other – guess which one!), I developed a recipe that is cheap, portable, full of pizza deliciousness, doesn’t generate a teetering pile of cardboard boxes, and allows me to say “balls” to my heart’s content.

Make these for game day, and the men in your life will thank you. The Husband took one bite, and declared that he could eat these all day.

Pizza Cannonballs
1 batch of homemade pizza dough and sauce
16 oz. fresh mozzarella (one big hunk sliced into cubes, or those adorable little balls)
1 package pepperoni slices
olive oil
garlic salt

(for a printable version of this recipe, check this out)

Firstly, mix up the dough. Sexy stand mixer is technically not required.

Technically. .... But then again, neither is HAPPINESS.

Also prepare the sauce and let it simmer whilst the dough rises. Don’t take a picture. That would be silly. (sigh)

Now let us take a moment to admire the cheese. Before a few years ago, when I started watching Food Network for longer than it took to flip past the channel, I thought mozzarella cheese’s natural state was shredded in a bag. Turns out, fresh mozzarella comes in balls or logs of various sizes.

When I sent The Husband to the store for ingredients, I asked him to buy the mozzarella balls. He looked all over for balls, but couldn’t find any. The store had no balls.

So he came home with these:

Not balls! But still yummy.

Which I then cubed up into bite-size pieces. I cut way more pieces than I needed because I’ve met me. I’m a nibbler.

Nibble! Nibble nibble!

If you’re any kind of cheese fan, and you haven’t treated yourself to fresh mozzarella, please do. It’ll make you smile.

By now, the dough should be nicely risen. Grab a hunk of it and roll it out fairly thin. There’s lots of flour involved, here. Flour on the rolling pin and on whatever clean surface you’re using. Flour flour flour.

Thus.

Now grab your handy pizza cutter and slice the rolled-out dough into squares, roughly 3-4 inches to a side.

Thus, again.

You don’t have to use a pizza-cutter, but it sure makes life easier and it would feel left out if you didn’t. Ya know, since there won’t be a pizza pie to slice up at any point.

And now, we assemble! Commence photo montage in 3 … 2 ….1!

Each square gets about a tablespoon of sauce.

Trial and error taught me that this configuration works best. Pepperoni, cheese, pepperoni.

Then fold up the corners ....

... and twist! Pinch the seams closed to form a ball.

And you get to keep doing that, over and over, till all the dough is gone. Wee!

Place your balls seam-side-down on a baking sheet.

Or battle-scarred pizza pan.

Whatever you use, be sure to brush it all over with olive oil. Keeps your balls from sticking.

Then brush your balls with olive oil and sprinkle your balls with garlic salt. Because garlic salt will make your balls damn tasty. And everybody likes tasty balls.

Of pizza. Tasty balls of pizza.

Toss the whole shebang into the oven at 375 and bake for 30-ish minutes. I say “ish” because this baking time is tricky. You have to compromise between getting the dough cooked through, and not exploding the insides.

Hence the name "cannonballs".

Even if they do ‘splode, it just makes the most delicious mess to clean up.

Serve up your balls with a little extra sauce for dipping.

Or slathering. Drenching? Smearing? Whatevs.

And there you have delicious, succulent balls that fit perfectly in the palm of your hand.

Full of pizza!

Perfect for game day. Or any other day, really. Arbor Day. Thursday.

Enjoy!

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