Friday, March 23, 2012

Pepperoni Mozzarella Sticks

As I said in my Wednesday post on Asian Honey BBQ Wings, I am totally digging the March Madness action going on this weekend.  In case you missed it, the Sweet Sixteen started last night.  The thrills continued with a great upset and some final possession finishes.  You've gotta love it!  Unless your favorite team lost.  In that case, I feel your pain.  Maybe you don't love it if you have no interest in sports.  In that case, I don't follow.

Anyway, in my post on Wednesday I lamented the loss of college days when friends would gather at a sports bar to watch a big game.  Well, today one of my husband's coworkers invited us to a Sweet Sixteen watch party.  Sometimes whining pays off!  I've been working this afternoon on what I am going to bring to the party, so I thought I would share with you what you should bring to your next party--pepperoni mozzarella sticks.  If you aren't convinced by the name that these are awesome, there's nothing I can do for you.  But in case you need further information, I'm talking about melted mozzarella cheese wrapped up in pepperoni slices, wrapped up in a biscuit crust.  I don't care if you watch basketball or not.  You need to make these this weekend!

This isn't the kind of thing you eat and say, "hmm, I kind of liked that."  This is the kind of thing you eat and say, "holy crap this is awesome!"  That's what I said at least!  The base for this recipe is mozzarella sticks wrapped in a crust made from Bisquick, and comes from a Betty Crocker cookbook I got for my high school gradation.  I first made this a few years ago and it was a big hit.  But that cookbook found its way to the bottom of my cookbook pile (it's a big pile!) and I haven't made anything from it for a while.  

I actually busted this out again the other day when I realized I needed (okay, wanted) something to go with the wings I made.  I had some mozzarella cheese and pepperoni sitting around just waiting to be eaten, and I had some homemade buttermilk Bisquick leftover from when I made my sausage & cheddar biscuit balls.  I put it all together in my head and decided it was time to bring back the mozzarella sticks, but with the added deliciousness of pepperoni.
This was something I whipped up pretty quickly, and devoured just as quickly!  Since these are easy to make, they're great if you need a last minute party dish, but don't want to run to the store for chips and dip.  So if you also have a party tonight, there's still time!

Start by mixing Bisquick with milk.  As usual, I had to add a bit more flour to get the dough to come together.  Stupid humidity.  My wet dough and frizzy hair curse you!
Set it out onto a floured surface and knead it about 10 times.  Then roll it out to a 1/4-inch rectangle.
Cut the big rectangle into 8 equal-ish small rectangles.  Put on some cheese and some pepperoni.  Cheese sticks would be the easy way to go.  I had a block of mozzarella cheese so I cut it into 8 cheese stick-size pieces.  I used 4 pieces of pepperoni for each roll, but note that I used turkey pepperoni and they were pretty small pieces.
Now roll it up!  Seal the edges.  I had a few that I didn't seal well and the cheese will find its way out!  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Then brush a little melted butter on top of each stick.  Add some garlic powder if you want.  I omitted the garlic powder because my husband's not a fan.  I don't know how you can't like garlic!  Maybe he's a vampire.  He is pale...
Must stop typing inner dialog!  Must make pepperoni mozzarella sticks!  Serve these with pizza sauce for dipping.  Or, if you're like me and don't have pizza sauce, use some spaghetti sauce.  Either way, please make these for your next March Madness party, or any party.  Your friends will love you for it!

Pepperoni Mozzarella Sticks
2 1/4 cup Bisquick (or homemade Bisquick substitute)
2/3 cup skim milk
8 mozzarella cheese sticks or an 8 oz block of cheese
32 small slices turkey pepperoni
1 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pizza sauce for dipping
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Stir Bisquick and milk until soft dough forms; beat 30 seconds with spoon.  Place dough on floured work surface; gently roll in flour to coat.  Shape into a ball; knead 10 times.
Roll dough 1/4-inch thick.  Cut into eight 6x2-inch rectangles.  Roll each rectangle around 1 piece of cheese and 4 slices of pepperoni.  Pinch edge into roll to seal; seal ends.  Roll on surface to completely enclose cheese sticks.  Place seam sides down on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.  Mix butter and garlic powder; brush over warm cheese sticks before removing from cookie sheet.  Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping.

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker's Quick & Easy Cookbook

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