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Party Plan: Happy Birthday Pizza Party

No matter how old your birthday boy or girl, chances are that pizza tops their favorite foods list. So why not plan a party full of their favorite toppings, extra cheese, and a few more Italian goodies?

Mama mia! This Italian-inspired birthday party is sure to satisfy everyone, including pizza-lovers and picky eaters, all while keeping your preparation time to a minimum. Just top Homemade Pizza Crust with Easy Tomato Sauce and set out a selection of meat, cheese, and vegetable toppings for guests to choose from. Whip up a batch of Cornmeal Breadsticks with extra pizza sauce for dipping, cut a slice of Fruit Pizza Dessert, and pour a round of Sparkling Italian Soda to keep the party going strong.

Homemade Pizza Crust

Homemade Pizza Crust

Thick crust or thin crust? Whatever your preference, we have the method to help you serve fresh homemade pizza tonight.

Cook time: 15-40 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: 1 pizza
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 ½ -3 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 package (2 ½ tsp.) regular or quick dry active yeast
  • 3 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)
Directions:
  1. Mix 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add 3 Tbsp. oil and the warm water.
  2. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl.
  3. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy.
  4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

For Thin Crusts: Heat oven to 425ºF. Grease 2 cookie sheets or 12-inch pizza pans with oil. Divide dough in half. Pat each half into 12-inch circle on cookie sheets. Partially bake 7 to 8 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Add toppings and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

For Thick Crusts: Grease 2 square pans, 8x8x2 inches, or 2 round pans, 9x1 1/2 inches, with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide dough in half. Pat each half in bottom of pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until almost double. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 375ºF. Partially bake 20 to 22 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Add toppings and bake about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

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Easy Tomato Pizza Sauce

Easy Tomato Pizza Sauce

Try adding fresh basil to this sauce for extra Italian street cred. Have leftover sauce? Freeze ½ cup portions and drizzle it over pasta, or spread on an English muffin for a quick lunch.

Cook time: X min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: X | Yields: X
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 can (28 oz) Muir Glen® organic whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (6 oz) Muir Glen® organic tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
Directions:
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  2. Cover and process until smooth.
  3. Transfer to storage container and cover; refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 4 months.

View Party Plan: Happy Birthday Pizza Party

Extra Easy Pizza Recipe

Extra Easy Pizza Recipe

Make a hot, fresh pizza in less time than it takes to order delivery.

Cook time: 12-15 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: (X)
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cups Original Bisquick® mix
  • 1/3 cup very hot water
  • 1 can (8 oz.) pizza sauce
  • 1 package (3 1/2 oz.) sliced pepperoni
  • ½ cup sliced fresh mushroom
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper
  • ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 oz.)
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Grease 12-inch pizza pan. Stir together Bisquick mix and very hot water; beat 20 strokes until soft dough forms.
  2. Press dough in pizza pan. Spread pizza sauce over dough. Top with remaining ingredients.
  3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

View Party Plan: Happy Birthday Pizza Party

Cornmeal Breadsticks

Cornmeal Breadsticks

Enjoy warm, restaurant-worthy breadsticks without leaving home.

Cook time: 12-16 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: 24
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 ¾ to 2 ¼ cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 package fast-acting dry yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, 1 cup cornmeal, the sugar, salt and yeast. In 1-quart saucepan, heat water and 1/4 cup butter until hot (120ºF to 130ºF). Add hot liquid to flour mixture; beat with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. With spoon, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup of the flour until dough pulls away from side of bowl.
  2. On floured work surface, knead in remaining 1/4 cup flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes. Grease large bowl with shortening or cooking spray. Place dough in bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place (80ºF to 85ºF) about 10 minutes or until light and doubled in size.
  3. Grease 2 large cookie sheets with shortening or cooking spray; sprinkle with cornmeal. Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into 10-inch rope; place on cookie sheets. Cover; let rise in warm place about 10 minutes or until light and doubled in size.
  4. Heat oven to 375ºF. Uncover dough. Carefully brush sticks with 2 Tbsp. melted butter; sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. cornmeal. Bake 12 to 16 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Serve warm or cool.

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Pizza Pinwheels

Pizza Pinwheels

Crescent dinner rolls make these pizza pinwheels a snap to assemble and a perfect size for dipping.

Cook time: 13-17 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: (X)
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 can (8 oz.) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pepperoni (about 1 1/2 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (2 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (from 8 oz. can)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Unroll dough and separate into 4 rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal.
  3. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, pepperoni, bell pepper and Italian cheese blend over each rectangle.
  4. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With a serrated knife, cut each roll into 6 slices; place cut side down on cookie sheet.
  5. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Meanwhile, heat pizza sauce. Immediately remove pinwheels from cookie sheet. Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping.

View Party Plan: Happy Birthday Pizza Party

Fruit Pizza Dessert

Fruit Pizza Dessert

If you’re a fan of pineapple on your pizza, just wait until you try this! Have your kids help out by selecting the fruit for this sweet-tooth pie and arrange the pieces in fun patterns and shapes.

Cook time: 10 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: X | Yields: X
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 pouch (17.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting (from 1 lb. container)
  • 3 ½ cups assorted fresh fruit, chopped into small chunks
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Lightly spray 14-inch pizza pan or 15x10 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, melted butter and egg until soft dough forms. Press dough into bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.
  3. In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gently stir frosting into whipped cream. Spread over cookie pizza. Arrange fruit on top.

View Party Plan: Happy Birthday Pizza Party

Sparkling Italian Soda

Sparkling Italian Soda

These fruity sodas are a great way to experiment with flavored syrups. Encourage your guests to create and share their own signature flavor combinations.

Cook time: 0 min | Prep time: (X) min | Serves: (X) | Yields: (X)
 
Ingredients:
  • 6 bottles (12.7 oz. each) assorted flavored syrup for beverages (raspberry, peach, hazelnut)
  • 10 to 12 bottles (1 liter each) club soda
  • Sliced strawberries, peaches, limes, lemons and raspberries
Directions:
  1. Fill tall glasses with ice. Add 2 to 3 Tbsp. flavored syrup to each glass.
  2. Fill glasses with club soda
  3. Garnish with fruit

View Party Plan: Happy Birthday Pizza Party

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