Friday, January 1, 2010

Great Football Snack

Happy New Year! In my house, we're big fans of college football, so New Year's Day is always filled with lots of bowl games and TV watching. And, that, of course, means snacks. Our tradition (if you want to call it that) on New Year's Day is to not really eat a full meal, but rather to graze and snack our way through the day. Since I'm usually somewhat tired of cooking after the holidays, this suits me just fine. Today, in addition to chips and such, we'll be having nachos and the appetizer pictured above, Pizza Pinwheels. Let me just say that if you're looking for a football snack that will absolutely be gobbled up, these pinwheels are just the ticket. My kids BEG me to make these for just about every occasion you can imagine. I won't lie -- they do take a bit of time to put together, but they are soooo worth it. If you have a lot of people to serve, you will want to double the recipe for sure.

Pizza Pinwheels

1/2 cup pepperoni, finely diced
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 cup pizza sauce (from a can or bottle)
1 egg, separated
Parmesan cheese
1 tube refrigerated crescent roll dough*

In a bowl, combine the pepperoni, cheese, Italian seasoning, and egg yolk. Stir in the pizza sauce. Filling should be just moist enough to hold together; if not, add a little more pizza sauce.
Separate tube of crescent rolls into four rectangles; seal perforations. Flatten each rectangle a bit with your fingers.

Spread pepperoni mixture over each rectangle to within 1/4 inch of edges. Roll each rectangle up jelly-roll style, starting with a short end. Pinch seams to seal. Cut each roll into six slices. Place slices on a well-greased baking sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg white, then sprinkle tops of slices with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm. (Makes 2 dozen appetizers.)

*Crescent roll dough now comes in a version specifically for recipes. It's one big dough sheet, instead of a perforated sheet that is intended to be separated into individual triangles. If you can find the dough sheet, definitely buy it. Using the sheet makes this recipe about 10 times easier! If you are using the dough sheet, follow the same general instructions as above, but work with the entire sheet as one, spreading the filling to the edges, then rolling up from a long side and cutting the roll into 24 individual slices.

Also, it goes without saying that you can add other things to the pinwheel filling if desired, such as finely chopped black olives or mushrooms. Just be careful that the filling doesn't get too chunky, though, or you'll have a difficult time rolling up the dough and cutting the slices. In this case, less is more.

I am a HUGE appetizer fan, so look for more yummy appetizer recipes on this blog coming up in the new year!

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