Pizzas come baked on stones, licked by grill fire, or toasted on thick French bread. This week, change it up by baking bite-sized bundles of pizza in a muffin tin. The metal cups of the tin cradle the dough, holding their shape and crisping the crust to a rich golden-brown hue.
Pizza bombs are destined to be a meal plan favorite for pint-sized and full-sized family members alike. Chewy, Parmesan-flecked dough surrounds tangy pizza sauce, spicy pepperoni, and a gooey knob of melted cheese perfect for Pizza Friday, after-school snacks, or absolutely no reason at all.
Muffin Tin Pizza Bombs: Watch the Video
Behold the Power of Pizza Dough
Turning that classic pizza pie into these pockets could not be simpler. Divide your pizza dough (store-bought or homemade both work well) into 12 pieces, then roll each piece into a flat, circular disk. Spoon a small amount of sauce into the center, resisting the temptation to add a generous dollop. (The key to keeping the pizza bomb locked and loaded is leaving a clean border of dough around the perimeter; a saucy edge means the dough will not stick together into a closed bundle, whereas a tight seal means the gooey cheese filling stays put during baking.)
Tuck in your toppings — go classic with a pair of pepperoni slices and a cube of mozzarella — before closing the pocket of dough. Set seam-side down into a standard muffin tin and bake until brown.
Cooking These with Kids
Building and baking pizzas are ideal for helping kids get comfortable in the kitchen. Hand them a teaspoon for scooping sauce, watch them swirl it around. Ask them to count how many pieces of pepperoni are needed, or help them with their scissor skills by snipping mozzarella into cubes with kid-sized kitchen shears. Kids' small hands are the perfect size for shaping these bite-sized bundles. With their help, building a double batch to stash in the freezer for a quick after-school snack or a playful take on Pizza Friday is fast and fun.
Muffin Tin Pizza Bombs
Makes 12 pizza bombs
pizza dough, at room temperature for 1 hour
marinara sauce, divided, plus more for serving
low-moisture mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 pieces
(1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons
Italian seasoning, divided
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
Divide pizza dough into 12 equal portions (about 1 1/4 ounces each). Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into a ball, then use your fingers to flatten and stretch into a 3- to 4-inch round. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
Place 1/2 teaspoon of the marinara sauce in the center of each dough round (no need to spread the sauce), then top each with a piece of mozzarella cheese and 2 slices of pepperoni. Fold the edges of the dough up and round the filling, then pinch them together, forming a small bundle.
Stir the butter, garlic, and salt together in a small bowl. Dip the pizza bombs, one at a time, into the butter mixture, and turn to coat. Place seam-side down into each muffin well. Sprinkle the top of each pizza bomb with 1/4 teaspoon Parmesan cheese and a pinch of Italian seasoning.
Bake until golden-brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Serve with warm marinara sauce.
Make ahead: To freeze, assemble pizza bombs, including dipping and sprinkling, but place the bundles on a parchment-lined baking sheet instead of in muffin cups. Freeze until solid, then transfer pizza bombs to a gallon-sized freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Bake from frozen at 375°F until golden-brown and hot, 20 to 25 minutes
Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.