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Pepperoni Twists

I received a call for a donation into the school bake sale.  I thought why not make something different then the usual “sweet”.  So I came up with this and it was a hit with the kids.  I made my own dough, but you can certainly buy pizza dough from Trader Joe’s or ask your favorite pizza place to sell you some.  I also used a canned sauce, but of course homemade is always a better option.  Wrap them up and they’re ready for sale.  These make a great snack for anyone.

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Pepperoni Twists

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast

1 tsp. sugar

1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

Olive oil

3 cups all purpose flour

1 package pepperoni

1 jar of your favorite sauce

2 cups mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. melted butter

Method

Start by making the dough.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar and warm water.  Stir gently to dissolve.  Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, this takes 5-10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Add the flour a little at a time mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated.  When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine and get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together.  If it’s crumbly add more water, if it’s sticky, add more flour, just 1 tablespoon at a time.  Mix until the dough forms a ball, this will take about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times, kneading until it’s smooth and elastic.  Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it in the bowl to coat it with the oil.  Cover it with plastic wrap and/or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot.  I like to put mine on the unlit stove where it will get some warmth from the pilot light.  Let it rest until doubled in size, this takes about an hour.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Once the dough has doubled (it will look spongy), turn it onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead it a few times and roll it into a log.  Cut the log into 6 equal pieces.  Roll one of the pieces into an oblong shape about 1/8″ thick (try for a rectangle the size of a piece of paper).  Spread some sauce on the rolled dough and place some pepperoni about (as much as you like), sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

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Roll another piece of dough to the same dimensions.  Place it on top of the prepared pizza.  Roll the sandwich slightly to press the ingredients together.

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Cut the dough using a pizza cutter to make 8 pieces.

IMG_4003Twist the ends of each strip in the opposite direction and place them on the prepared baking sheet.  Brush them with the melted butter and sprinkle the with parmesan cheese.

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Bake for about 9-12 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to a cooling rack and enjoy!  Repeat the rolling, assembly and twisting process 2 more times to use all the dough.  Yield is 24 twists.

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Caramel Chex Mix

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WARNING!  You may want to triple this recipe – it has been known to be highly addictive!

Caramel Chex Mix

Ingredients

6 cups Chex cereal – Use your favorite

1 stick butter

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup roasted peanuts

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Method

In a sauce pan melt the butter, add the brown sugar and corn syrup, stir and heat on medium-high until you see small bubbles forming.

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At this point, stir in the baking soda and remove the pan from the heat.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, mix the chex cereal and peanuts together.  Pour the hot mixture over the cereal.  DO NOT STIR.

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Place the bowl in the microwave for one minute.  Remove after one minute and stir to combine.  Put back in the microwave for another minute, take out and stir again.  Repeat one more time (3 times total).  Lay the mixture on wax paper – I use Super Parchment – which is a reusable teflon coated sheet similar to Silpat.  If using wax paper you may want to butter or spray with cooking spray to avoid sticking.

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Let them cool for about 20 minutes or so and then store in a covered container.  Enjoy!

Joan Pope’s Caramel Corn

Back in the late 80’s I worked with a woman named Joan Pope.  She used to bring this caramel corn to work.  We always called it Joan Pope’s Caramel Corn, don’t know where it originated, but this is how I know it.  I just recently found the recipe and made it for a baseball kick-off party we hosted.  There was none left at the end of the night!  My friend who is on a gluten-free diet discovered she can eat it too!  Yay!  I’ll be making it again soon.

Caramel Corn

Preheat oven to 250°.

Corn pops

Ingredients

1 – 8 oz. bag of corn puff popcorn

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. baking soda

In a sauce pan melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup over low heat until combined.  Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stir constantly.

Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and baking soda.

Put corn pops into a large bowl and pour mixture over corn pops.  Stir to coat.  Place pops on a large cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, stir and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.  Repeat a total of 3 times.

Let cool and store in a covered container.  Enjoy!