Easy dinners that even the pickiest of eaters will love! Cookie Dough Waffles with Chocolate Whipped Cream

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Fun Foods on a Stick

Delicious handheld foods are fun for kids and great for parties, too.
Cuisines across the globe have skewered dishes. There is a wide range of skewers you can use—from bamboo and pop sticks to sugar cane and candy sticks—to add to the fun. Try these Pizza Skewers for a silly twist on Friday-night fare (adults will enjoy the garlic dipping sauce), make your own marshmallows and serve them on bamboo sticks, or try waffles-on-a-stick that are dipped in chocolate for a real splurge.

Pizza Skewers with Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

Makes 8 mini pizzas
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: Approx. 20 minutes

8 pop sticks
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons store-bought pizza sauce, divided
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup toppings of your choice (optional), such as diced green bell peppers, diced yellow onions, cooked and crumbled Italian sausage, sliced black olives or sliced button mushrooms

Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1-2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a nonstick baking sheet.
2. On a clean work surface dusted with flour, roll dough into a 12-inch square, roughly ½ inch thick. (Flour as needed to prevent sticking.)
3. Spread 1 cup of the pizza sauce over dough and top with 1½ cups of cheese and half of the additional toppings (if using).
4. Carefully roll dough and toppings from one end to the other, forming a log. Cut log into 8 equal (1-inch) rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes.
5. While rounds are baking, toss remaining sauce, cheese and toppings (if using) in a bowl.
6. Remove rounds from oven and top each with a small amount of cheese mixture. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is golden.
7. Make the sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Strain through a mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding the solids. Place remaining drawn butter and garlic in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
8. Thread rounds onto pop sticks and serve warm, with garlic butter and dipping sauce.

Homemade Marshmallows

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes plus 3 hours to refrigerate
Cook time: 15 minutes
Note: Serve with chocolate fondue for an irresistible treat.

4 bamboo sticks
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons (2 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup water, divided
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ egg whites
Powdered sugar, as needed

1. Line a baking sheet or dish with parchment paper. Stir gelatin into 1/3 cup water.
2. Place sugar, 1/3 cup water and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, and cook until sugar dissolves and temperature reaches 240° F.
3. Carefully pour sugar mixture into gelatin mixture, stirring constantly. Let sit 5 minutes.
4. Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour sugar-gelatin mixture into egg whites in a slow, steady stream. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
5. Pour mixture into 8- x 8-inch baking pan or dish and refrigerate until stiffened, about 3 hours.
6. Turn marshmallow out onto a surface and sprinkle with powdered sugar; peel off parchment. Cut into cubes and place 4 onto each bamboo stick. Serve.

Fudge Puppies with Chocolate and Toppings

Serves 4
Prep time: 30 minutes to freeze
Cook time: 15 minutes

4 wooden sticks
2 frozen Belgian waffles, toasted and halved
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Insert a wooden stick into each half-waffle and freeze about 30 minutes.
2. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip frozen waffle sticks in melted chocolate, creating a thin, even layer. Place on baking sheet and let chocolate set before serving.

Note: Before chocolate sets completely, you can dip Fudge Puppies in chopped peanuts, sprinkles or homemade whipped cream.

Written and photographed Matt Armendariz

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