Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Iron Cupcake Round Two: The Calzone Cuppie

After I made the first entry for this month's Iron Cupcake:Savory, I just couldn't stop brainstorming ideas. I wanted to come up with some kind of cupcake you really could eat for dinner and get away with it. Then, one morning I woke up from a dream with this cupcake idea. (Yes, that's right, I'm dreaming of cupcakes now. It has become that much of a problem.) The idea was a calzone cupcake. Really it all started when my hubby made cinnamon rolls from scratch (yes you read that right, too.) and let them rise and baked them in my muffin/cupcake tins. We started thinking about all the yeast dough possibilites and finally the calzone cupcake was mentioned. I didn't think any more about it until I had the dream, and then I became a crazy woman obsessed until I made them. So, here it is. Truly a cupcake for dinner:

The Calzone Cuppie
(makes 12 )


1 batch pizza dough***
2 cups tomato sauce (prepared or homemade)
2 cups mozzerella cheese or italian cheese blend
fresh basil (about 12 sprigs)

12 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

***About the pizza dough. Let me digress for a minute. If you can make this from scratch, GREAT! We make ours from scratch and love this recipe. Pizza dough is very simple to make, but is very time consuming. If you are not up to making your own, here are my two favorite suggestions.
1. Trader Joes ready made pizza dough. If you have a Trader Joe's in your area. GO GET THIS DOUGH! It's yummy, good, fresh, and a great price. Here it runs $1.29 a package. For this recipe I'd get two packages.
2. Find an independent family owned pizzeria in your area and purchase some of their dough. Most of them will let you do this. I was terrified the first time I tried this out and was sure they would laugh me out the door and I would have to leave with the shame and humility of being known as the crazy lady who can't make her own pizza dough. So, when I went, I made sure to get there first thing after they opened hoping to eliminate as many witnesses as possible to my upcoming moment of embarassement. To my shock and amazement, after I asked to purchase some dough, they just ran back to the kitchen, brought me back a bag and asked for five bucks. I was giddy! In fact, I pretty much threw the money at them and ran out before they could change their minds. I've gone countless times since and never once have I been told no or laughed at. So, my suggestion to you is, if you want to make pizza, but not the dough, try this.

Okay, back to the recipe.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Grease or spray muffin tin and set aside.

Now for the tricky part, the dough. At first I took my dough and rolled it out onto a well floured surface, planning to cut out perfect circles. For some reason, I just couldn't get it to work. In fact, I was so engrossed in my pizza dough I stopped shooting altogether. Finally, I figured out the best way to do this is to break off handful size pieces of the dough and then roll or stretch these out to the size you need to fill your muffin tin. It doesn't need to be perfect, you will be folding them over onto themselves later to seal them.

When you have stretched your dough, lay them into the muffin tin and place a tablespoon of sauce into the cupped dough. Top with a tablespoon of cheese, a fresh leaf of basil and a pepperoni. Layer with another teaspoon of sauce and then fold the dough over onto itself and seal as best as you can. Repeat with until you have filled the muffin tins.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Cups will become golden brown and some sauce and cheese will escape. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
While baking, prepare the topping. In your mixer, combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, salt, parmesan and garlic. Beat with paddle mixer for about 2 minutes until well combined and creamy. Place in a pastry bag and pipe onto calzone cups. Garnish with chopped black olives, grape tomatoes and drizzle with more tomato sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Let me just tell you. These are beyond fantastic. In fact they are be-tastic! These were so delicious and yes, I actually served them for dinner! In fact, all the final pictures I shot while we were about to dig in! Jon said they were the best cupcakes I have ever made! I thought that was pretty funny, considering they are truly streching the definition. Hey, I'll take the compliments anywhere I can get them!!

They got two thumbs up from my girls. Well make that two fingers and two thumbs up. We will make these again and again and I'm actually planning a party now where these are the main course and THEN just to keep everyone even more confused, I'll end the night with a dessert pizza!

Again, the voting will open soon for this month's cupcakes and I'll let you know when to go vote. The winners of Iron Cupcake this month will be awarded with these prizes:

Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS,, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson,, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books,; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, .

I hope you like them and don't forget to vote!


Anna said...

whoa...i am totally gonna make these. Yumm!!

Anna said...

Oh...and I went to one of our local pizzeria's here and tried to get dough. The 1st time I went - success. The 2nd time, they said no way, don't come back. I tucked my tail and left, so you need to share where you get yours cuz I'm not gonna lie - I'm not gonna make my own.

y0hmama said... these i may actually have to try :) while dorking off on my blog summer saw the "cupcake" pic and shouted - STOP! NUMMY CUPCAKES! poor girl is going to end up just like her mother.

amylouwho said...

seriously, Vanessa.

did you hear that? That was me falling off my chair! I want YOU to make these for ME!

They look delicious!

Vanessa Contessa said...

you come to cali or if I ever finally get back to VA, I'll make these just for you. Your cupcake affirmations keep me going.

Terresa said...

These look too delish!

PS: Have I posted this already? If so, just slap you have a published cook book out there somewhere? If not, you should. Amazing grace!!

Camille said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Camille said...

I was in my kitchen, eating a not so yummy cupcake leftover from Alyssa's cupcake birthday party, and thinking, "I wonder if Vanessa will make a cupcake book with all of her yummy recipes in it?" It would be so cool! Have you thought of this? Actually knowing you, you probably have thought of this!

Lyndsey said...

Those sound good! I just can't get into this month's challenge-everything I think of is sugary! :) I made some Grape Crush cupcakes yesterday inspired by your Orange Cream Soda Cupcakes...I posted a link to your site from mine I love your pictures and your cupcakes sound awesome!

The Webb Family said...


Oh and I'm sure you already have it, but left me know if you need my address for the Party Invites!

Ha ha!

Matthew Kadey MSc., RD said...

Wow, great minds think a like :) I just made a muffin tin calzone with meat sauce:

I have some leftover dough so I will try these out as well.