I’m not saying that you have to watch the Super Bowl. I’m not even saying that you have to watch the commercials during the Super Bowl. I am saying this, though: You gotta eat. And as long as other people in your life may perhaps enjoy a Super Bowl or two (right?), it might make sense to talk about some gluten-free finger food. You in?
I really never intentionally keep anything from you. Okay, except when I’m writing a new cookbook and I have to stay mum because, well, it’s not done yet. Or all that stuff about my truly dysfunctional family (not the lovely-husband-&-kids one, but the other one) since that’s just not at all funny or delicious. But sometimes I get on a kick and want to make something over and over again in my kitchen, & just … never tell you about it. This is one of those times. I’m in love with this dough, and I barely ever even mention it to you. So let’s talk dough.
There are all kinds of wraps we can use to make finger food. We can use pizza dough. Or won ton wrappers/skins. Or even Parmigiano Pie Crust (oh man that would be fab). But my favorite for pizza bites? Empanada dough. I love this easy-to-roll-out dough, and I use it a whole lot. Not to mention that it comes together very quickly, and really shines in simple recipes like this one since the dough itself has such nice depth of flavor.
These pizza bites are really simple to put together. Please do read the recipe instructions all the way through quite carefully before you begin, though. I switched up the rolling-out directions so that it is easier than ever to roll the dough out thinly without much worry or swearing (not that you would ever do that, but better safe than sorry).
By the way, I’d totally be into watching football on TV if you could see their faces! If I can’t see your face, I can’t really root for your success. So if you need me, totally check the kitchen. I’ll just stick to the snacks. Where will you be during the Super Bowl? I want to be sure I can find you.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
Prepare the empanada dough according to the recipe directions through Step 3. After the dough rests at room temperature for an hour, roll it out into a large rectangle that is about 1/4-inch thick. You may find that it useful to roll out the dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper, or you may find that the parchment paper simply gets in the way. With a pastry wheel (a pizza wheel or sharp knife will do, too) cut the rolled-out dough into 36 rectangles about 3-inches long x 1 1/2-inches wide. Gather and reroll scraps as necessary. Next, on a clean surface, roll each rectangle out again along its length until it is the size of a standard 3-inch x 5-inch index card. This is the quickest & easiest way to achieve a thin and pliable dough.
Place the rectangles of dough on the prepared baking sheet. Place about 1 teaspoon of tomato sauce on one half of each rectangle, leaving at least a 3 cm of the edge of the dough bare. Place 3 to 4 pieces of chopped cheese (less if the cheese is cut into a larger dice) on top of the sauce. Do not overfill. Fold the clean half of the rectangle over the sauce and cheese, and press the edges together firmly to seal.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, then quickly and carefully turn over each of the pizza bites. Return the baking sheet to the oven, and bake for another 7 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the pizza bites are uniformly golden brown all over. Serve warm.
This recipe can be easily doubled for a crowd. The bites can also be wrapped tightly in freezer-safe wrap, and frozen until ready to use. Defrost in the microwave or in a 250°F oven until warmed throughout.