True story: Valentine’s Day is my most favorite holiday. Any excuse to go out of the way to show your family, friends or main squeeze you love and appreciate the heck out of them, I’m all about. And since cooking up a delicious dinner is one of the main ways I like to show people I care about them, what better way to do that than with a heart-shaped pizza dinner?
Pizza is one of my favorite things to make for guests, mostly because it’s so versatile. I also like that pizza dough can be made in advance. One batch of Gold Medal Classic Pizza Dough serves two perfectly and can be whipped up the day or night before. Just transfer it to an air-tight bag and stash in the fridge until it’s time to form the dough. My second choice for pizza dough is this easy Cornbread Pizza Dough recipe. It’s biscuit-like in texture and doesn’t require any rise time. You can literally stir the ingredients together, assemble the pizza, bake and serve it in less than 30 minutes. I normally make this dough for individual pizza serving situations, but by doubling the recipe, it makes a lovely sized pizza, fit for two.
Tip: Print out this handy recipe
to easily scale both of the crust recipes up or down, depending on your party-size!
When hosting a pizza party, I like to set out Muir Glen Pizza Sauce, Fresh Basil Pesto, and garlic-infused olive oil to serve as base options. When it comes to toppings, I start with a variety of cheeses. My favorites are fresh mozzarella, fontina, feta and grated Parmesan. Roasted mushrooms tossed with chopped fresh rosemary and balsamic vinegar are a fun toppings (and a great option for vegetarians). And meat-eaters will swoon when they spot pepperoni and salami slices, cut into heart shapes and Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers. For
an extra-memorable touch, put out some dessert-like toppings too like
strawberry jam, chocolate chips, brie, goat cheese and berries.
To form your pizza dough into a heart-shape, divide the dough for one pizza in half. Form each half into a ball and place right next to each other. Pull dough down and together to meet in a point. Slowly stretch the dough up and out to form the top of the heart. For the Gold Medal Classic Dough, I find that fingertips and stretching by hand works best!
For the cornbread crust, feel free to use a rolling pin to shape the dough. (Or use a heart-shaped cake pan, if you have one handy!)
If you have a pizza stone, it can make pizza-cooking speedy, but also limits you to one pizza at a time. For a group endeavor, place two pizzas on a large baking sheet. Cook the pizzas for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating them halfway through.
Need some ideas for what to top your pizzas with? Here are six ideas to get you started:
Chicken Parmesan Pizza: Cornbread Crust, Muir Glen Pizza Sauce, Mozzarella, Parmesan and Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers
White Pizza with Lemon-y Greens: Gold Medal Classic Pizza Dough, Garlic and Olive Oil, Feta, Goat Cheese, Provolone, Arugula Tossed with Fresh Lemon Juice and Olive Oil