Once January rolls around, and the holidays are over, and the quiet winter has settled in upon us, a little fun in the kitchen can be an ideal therapy, especially after a long, cold day. Turning pizza into a dessert using deliciously sweet ingredients is a charming and surprisingly stylish way to treat yourself — in more ways than one. Paired with an equally fun meal like this Aussie Burger, you’ll have the perfect balance for a playful yet gourmet evening.

A twist on two all-American favorites

Though quintessentially American and indisputably delicious, burgers and pizza aren’t exactly considered to be sophisticated cuisine. Cue the fun. With a little ingenuity, a basic burger gets a delicious international twist when topped with sweet, earthy beets and crispy bacon. Followed by a delightfully sweet pizza, you’ll be relaxed yet gratified, leaving behind the stagnant gloom of any long winter day.

Pizza for dessert? Yes!

I know what you’re thinking — pizza as a dessert seems a little peculiar.  But before you let any skepticism turn into doubt, allow me to dissuade you, and quickly. Making any pizza, including dessert, allows for infinite possibilities of flavor and texture, and these recipes provide it all and more as truly gourmet treats. With these distinctively tasty twists, I guarantee you’ll have as much fun creating as you will munching on these pizzas as the perfect and unexpected sweet finish to your meal.

Banana Chocolate Pizza

Brush melted butter on the pizza dough and sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Bake using the default PIZZA setting on your countertop oven, deselect the FROZEN and CONVECTION settings and press START/CANCEL to activate.

Remove the cooked crust from the oven and top with sliced bananas, drizzle with chocolate.

If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream.

Caramelized Pear with Walnut Pizza

Caramelized Pear with Walnut Pizza 3of3

Brush melted butter on the pizza dough and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Baked using the default PIZZA setting on your countertop oven, deselect the FROZEN and CONVECTION settings and press START/CANCEL to activate.

Caramelized Pear with Walnut Pizza 10f3Remove cooked crust from oven and spread ½ cup of mascarpone cheese sweetened with honey.  Sauté thinly sliced pears in butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar until caramelized. Top pizza with caramelized pears and toasted walnuts.

With a little creativity and dexterity, these dessert pizzas are as perfect for a crowd as they are for two. Make an artistic finish by drizzling chocolate or an elegant arrangement of pear slices as a simple way to make an impressive yet easy presentation.

And with limitless possibilities, they’re the perfect excuse to show off your creative gourmet savvy.

Step It Up: Make Your Own Dough

So, does making homemade pizza sound too easy? Well, no one can call it anything less than gourmet if you start by making your own dough. Fresh dough kicks every pizza up a notch, and it’s not difficult to make. Here’s how …

Pizza Dough Ingredients

Yields two 13″ pizza doughs

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1¾ teaspoons quick-rise instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Pizza Dough Instructions

  1. In a small bowl dissolve the honey in water. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let stand for 3 minutes. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal (if you choose to use it), and salt. Pour the water/yeast mixture into the flour and mix to form a ball. Transfer the contents onto a working surface and knead the dough for approximately 7 to 10 minutes or until you have formed a smooth and elastic dough.
  2. Grease the bottoms and sides of a clean medium-sized bowl with olive oil (approximately 1 teaspoon).
  3. Place the ball inside the bowl; turn it over to grease the underside. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and set aside. Allow the dough to rise approximately 30 minutes.
  4. After the dough has risen, divide it in half. Stretch the dough to fit a non-stick pizza pan and top with your favorite toppings.