Crockpot Pizza

Looking for something a bit different, while also super familiar? Throw some pizza in a crockpot! It requires minimal extra effort, doesn’t heat up your kitchen like the oven might, and still creates a good crusty…crust. I was actually a bit impressed how firm the crust got, after the very soft lovely bread I cooked in a crockpot 2 years ago. In this case, I used hearth bread pizza dough – specifically, half a recipe of it. I actually used a full batch the first time I tried this, knowing in advance it would probably be too much, and, indeed, it was a tremendous breadwad that reminded me of the coma Dominos’ pasta in a breadbowl used to put one in. A half recipe is still a bunch of crust, but a reasonable amount, not a life-wrecking carb overload. You can use your pizza dough of choice, but aim for about a 1 pound ball of dough.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pizza dough of choice, such as 1/2 recipe of Hearth Bread Pizza Dough, or store-bought frozen dough
  • approximately 5 ounces pizza sauce (about 1/3 a 14 ounce jar of pizza sauce)
  • approximately 3 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • toppings of choice

Prepare the dough according to recipe/package directions through the first rise. Deflate the dough and place in on a large piece of parchment paper. Shape into a rough oval, approximately 1″ larger than your crockpot all the way around.

Gently transfer the dough into the crockpot using the parchment.

Spread your sauce over the dough, leaving a clear space around the edge, then top with cheese and any additional toppings.

An excessive amount of chicken, to clear out the fridge.

Fold the outer ring of dough over to create a raised crust. Cover, shutting paper towel in the crockpot lid to catch any liquid that condenses inside, to prevent it from falling back on the pizza.

Turn heat on to high, and cook approximately 3 hours – even my double-dough one was cooked through fine at 3, but I don’t think it’ll be ruined if you can’t get it out until 3 1/2.

Remove the parchment from the crockpot, slice, and serve.

Browned up all nice, and not actually as hugely bready as that looks from that angle.

Crockpot Pizza

  • 1 pound pizza dough of choice
  • approximately 5 ounces pizza sauce
  • approximately 3 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • toppings of choice

Prepare the dough according to recipe/package directions through the first rise. Deflate the dough and place in on a large piece of parchment paper. Shape into a rough oval, approximately 1″ larger than your crockpot all the way around. Gently transfer the dough into the crockpot using the parchment. Spread your sauce over the dough, leaving a clear space around the edge, then top with cheese and any additional toppings. Fold the outer ring of dough over to create a raised crust. Cover, shutting paper towel in the crockpot lid. Turn heat on to high, and cook 3 – 3 1/2 hours. Remove the parchment from the crockpot, slice, and serve.

 

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Rhubarb Custard Cake

Recently at work I hosted a rhubarb canning program. While the rhubarb processed in the hot water bath canner, we all ate this cake, and were very happy about it!

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling and more for ‘flouring’
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • zest from one lemon
  • 13 ounces rhubarb stalks, cut in half or thirds lengthwise if thick, then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces

Grease a 9″ springform and ‘flour’ the pan using sugar – sprinkle extra sugar into the pan and shake/turn the pan to coat all over inside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, and 1 1/2 cups sugar by hand until pale and thick, about 1 minute, and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, sour cream, vanilla, and zest.

Whisk the butter mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.

Add the flour mixture and gently fold in until smooth.

Pour into the pan, then chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Gently place the rhubarb on the surface of the batter, layering at much as needed to get it all on top. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over the top.

Bake until golden on top, and a bit browned at the edges, about 45 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan, remove the wall of the pan, and let cool completely on the rack until ready to eat.

Rhubarb Custard Cake

Just barely adapted from Bon Appetit.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling and more for ‘flouring’
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • zest from one lemon
  • 13 ounces rhubarb stalks, cut in half or thirds lengthwise if thick, then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces

Grease a 9″ springform and ‘flour’ the pan using sugar – sprinkle extra sugar into the pan and shake/turn the pan to coat all over inside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, and 1 1/2 cups sugar by hand until pale and thick, about 1 minute, and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, sour cream, vanilla, and zest.

Whisk the butter mixture into the egg mixture until just combined. Add the flour mixture and gently fold in until smooth. Pour into the pan, then chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Gently place the rhubarb on the surface of the batter, layering at much as needed to get it all on top. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over the top. Bake until golden on top, and a bit browned at the edges, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan, remove the wall of the pan, and let cool completely on the rack until ready to eat.

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Milano Cheesecake

I’m pleased with how this idea turned out. It looks pretty, tastes great, and has the option for some variety, depending on which type of Milano cookies you use. For mine, I did the ‘wall’ mostly milk chocolate, and the base dulce de leche, and it’s delightful with a drizzle of caramel sauce! The cheesecake itself is smooth, creamy, and simple. Perfect!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages Milano cookies, variety of choice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wrap an 8″ springform pan in several layers of foil and set aside. Grab two cookies from one package and all the cookies from the other, and chop a small slice off one end of each, to give a flat surface that they’ll later stand up on.

checking size

Toss the chopped off slivers into a medium bowl. Crush the remaining Milanos – you could use a food processor, but because I already had the cutting board out, I just minced them. Put the cookie crumbs to the medium bowl, then add the brown sugar and butter and stir together.

Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake 10 minutes. Pull the baked crust out of the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Set the crust aside to cool while you make the filling.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth.

Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each, until well combined.

Place the springform in a larger dish, such as a 9×13″ casserole. Carefully stand the remaining Milanos on their cut ends, lining the inside of the pan.

Gently pour the cheesecake filling into the pan, avoiding jostling the Milanos.

Add water to the outside pan, making sure to stay at least an inch below the top of the springform, or however much lower is necessarily to safely transfer the pans to the oven.

only spilled some before it was heated, good enough

Bake 1 hour, or until the edges seem somewhat firmer than the center when you jiggle the pan. Crack the oven door open, turn off the heat, and let cool 90 minutes, then remove from the water bath and refrigerate 6 hours, up to overnight.

For the most part you don’t even really need to run a knife around the inside of the walls before popping off the wall to serve, but it can’t hurt in case the cookies shifted and allowed filling to touch the wall as you moved the cake into the oven. Pop off the wall of the pan, slice between cookies, and enjoy!

Milano Cheesecake

  • 2 packages Milano cookies, variety of choice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wrap an 8″ springform pan in several layers of foil and set aside. Grab two cookies from one package and all the cookies from the other, and chop a small slice off one end of each, to give a flat surface that they’ll later stand up on. Toss the chopped off slivers into a medium bowl. Crush the remaining Milanos. Put the cookie crumbs to the medium bowl, then add the brown sugar and butter and stir together. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake 10 minutes. Pull the baked crust out of the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Set the crust aside to cool while you make the filling.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each, until well combined.

Place the springform in a larger dish, such as a 9×13″ casserole. Carefully stand the remaining Milanos on their cut ends, lining the inside of the pan. Gently pour the cheesecake filling into the pan, avoiding jostling the Milanos. Add water to the outside pan, making sure to stay at least an inch below the top of the springform, or however much lower is necessarily to safely transfer the pans to the oven. Bake 1 hour, or until the edges seem somewhat firmer than the center when you jiggle the pan. Crack the oven door open, turn off the heat, and let cool 90 minutes, then remove from the water bath and refrigerate 6 hours, up to overnight.

Run a knife along the inside wall of the pan, remove the wall, slice between cookies, and enjoy!

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Orange Grape-Nut Muffins

Like 2 weeks ago, I’m still slowly working my way through a box of Grape-Nuts at work. These muffins are kind of mild but tasty, and a lasting sort of filling. A good thing to have for breakfast/snack on a travel day, perhaps. The Grape-Nuts stay firmer than the rest of the muffin, for texture, but aren’t still rock hard bits of gravel.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup Grape-Nuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (Seems super hot for muffins, but they didn’t burn!) Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin. (The photos here show a doubled recipe.)

In a large bowl, sift the flour before measuring out the two cups. Add the baking powder and sugar and sift again to combine.

I do actually sift when old recipes call for it, because when you do it before measuring, it impacts the amount you wind up scooping up.

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the eggs, juice, zest, and melted butter. Stir the juice mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until no dry flour remains.

Add the Grape-Nuts and stir until just evenly combined.

Scoop into the prepared muffin tin, filling about 3/4 full.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test.

Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

2 disappeared before I could even get a photo!

The Park District board was a fan of these!

Orange Grape-Nut Muffins

Slightly adapted from the General Foods Cook Book.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup Grape-Nuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, sift the flour before measuring out the two cups. Add the baking powder and sugar and sift again to combine. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the eggs, juice, zest, and melted butter. Stir the juice mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until no dry flour remains. Add the Grape-Nuts and stir until just evenly combined.

Scoop into the prepared muffin tin and bake 20-25 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

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Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are super good, but I kind of wish I had seen this blog from King Arthur Flour a week earlier, because maybe if I had frozen some of the dough, I wouldn’t have eaten 39 cookies myself in Very Few Days. Because, um, I sure did eat all of these quite rapidly. The last few of them as sandwiches with a not-quite-right attempt at this malted caramel marshmallow recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch, then set aside.

No surprises what a bowl of white powders looks like…

If you have a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the bowl, otherwise, pour the melted butter into your large bowl then stir in the brown sugar.

Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 3 days. (This is pretty quick to throw together in the morning, making for fairly quick cookies after work!)

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets.

Scoop dough in roughly 2 tablespoon balls of dough – I used a medium cookie scoop. Place on your lined sheets. You can press extra chocolate chips into the surface, if desired, for looks, but this felt like already a decent amount of chocolate to me. (Who am I??)

Bake 11-12 minutes, until golden at the edges.

Cool 3 or 4 minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to complete cooling, and scoop and bake more cookies, until all the dough is used up.

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Cookies and Cups.

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch, then set aside.

If you have a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the bowl, otherwise, pour the melted butter into your large bowl then stir in the brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then fold in the chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 3 days.

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets.

Scoop dough in roughly 2 tablespoon balls of dough and place on the lined sheets. Bake 11-12 minutes, until golden at the edges. Cool 3 or 4 minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to complete cooling, and scoop and bake more cookies, until all the dough is used up.

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Grape-Nuts Brown Betty

A few weeks ago at work I held an event where I cooked a dozen gross looking recipes from the 1930s and people tasted them to see if they were better than they sounded/get an idea of what they were eating at the time. One of the cookbooks I used was from the General Foods company, now Kraft-Heinz, who made Grape-Nuts. The book had a number of recipes that use them, and for that event I made Grape-Nuts Stuffed Eggplant (has ham, and I hate eggplant and ham, so, ick) and Grape-Nuts Raisin Pie (decent!).

I still have most of a box of Grape-Nuts left, so when I wanted to have our middle school volunteers cook something probably tasty to celebrate their last day volunteering with us, I went with Grape-Nuts Brown Betty, which was a hit both with the kids and the adults who got the leftovers.

This disappeared promptly.

Ingredients:

Grape-Nuts Brown Betty:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup Grape-Nuts
  • 3 large apples, pared and thinly sliced (I had the middle schoolers use a mandolin, with the thick plates, and this time no one was horribly wounded)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Yankee Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • dash of salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, beat 4 tablespoons of the butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar gradually and cream well.

It was this kid’s first time ever using a mixer!

Add the flour, sifted with the salt, and mix well, then stir in the Grape-Nuts. Set aside.

Stir together the apple slices, sugar, and cinnamon. Layer the apple slices in the pie dish, eating any extra if they are higher than the sides of the dish, and pouring any excess cinnamon sugar back over the apples in the pie dish. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and scatter across the tops of the apples.

Evenly sprinkle the flour mixture over the apples. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until apples are tender.

When the Brown Betty is roughly half cooked, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt for the sauce in a saucepan. Add the water and whisk to combine. Add the butter and place over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, and cook until the vinegar smell has gone away. Remove from the heat and serve warm, over the warm Brown Betty.

The sauce is also recommended with spice puddings, and with an optional 1/2 cup raisins cooked in it. That didn’t appeal to the middle school students, or me, at least not on the Brown Betty!

Grape-Nuts Brown Betty

Adapted from the 1932 General Foods Cookbook.

Grape-Nuts Brown Betty:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup Grape-Nuts
  • 3 large apples, pared and thinly sliced (I had the middle schoolers use a mandolin, with the thick plates, and this time no one was horribly wounded)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Yankee Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • dash of salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, beat 4 tablespoons of the butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar gradually and cream well. Add the flour, sifted with the salt, and mix well, then stir in the Grape-Nuts. Set aside.

Stir together the apple slices, sugar, and cinnamon. Layer the apple slices in the pie dish, eating any extra if they are higher than the sides of the dish, and pouring any excess cinnamon sugar back over the apples in the pie dish. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and scatter across the tops of the apples.

Evenly sprinkle the flour mixture over the apples. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until apples are tender.

When the Brown Betty is roughly half cooked, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt for the sauce in a saucepan. Add the water and whisk to combine. Add the butter and place over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, and cook until the vinegar smell has gone away. Remove from the heat and serve warm, over the warm Brown Betty.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

100 years ago when I worked at a museum in Wyoming, I went through all the museum’s cookbooks, and snagged a couple recipes. This is one of those! It’s a moist, filling, delicious oatmeal cake I’d definitely eat again!

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (the used Oleo, I voted no…leo)
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 12 ounce package chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used peanut butter chips/more chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the oats.

Let stand for 10 minutes.

Add the sugars and butter, stirring until the butter has melted.

Add the eggs and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients and half the chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed.

Gently transfer the batter to the prepared pan, then sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and nuts (or peanut butter chips) over the top.

Bake 40 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

Adapted from A Book of Favorite Recipes.

  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 12 ounce package chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the oats. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add the sugars and butter, stirring until the butter has melted. Add the eggs and mix well, then add the dry ingredients and half the chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed. Gently transfer the batter to the prepared pan, then sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and nuts over the top. Bake 40 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.

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