|DESSERT...Chocolate Chip Cookies!|
Almond-Flax-Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust
Makes 1 10-inch round pizza (approximately 2 servings)
1/4 cup golden flax seed meal (organic golden flax is milder in taste than brown)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Dash cayenne pepper, optional
Pizza sauce, pesto sauce, etc.
Cheese: shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced or diced fresh mozzarella, etc.
**Pre-cooked vegetables of choice: onions, green peppers, mushrooms, spinach, etc.
**Pre-cooked meat of choice: sausage, ground beef topping, etc.
Other: artichokes, olives, pepperoni, etc.
**Tip: Fresh vegetable and meat toppings should be pre-cooked and drained to prevent crust from becoming soggy
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together; add wet ingredients and mix well. Let the dough sit for approximately 5 minutes to thicken.
Spread dough on a lightly oiled large pizza pan or cookie sheet lined with greased parchment paper (you can also use Reynolds non-stick foil, lightly brushed with olive oil). Using a lightly oiled rubber spatula, press the dough out to desired shape and thickness (I usually make it about 1/4" thick -- *see note below). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through (check crust after 15 minutes and remove from oven when it looks and feels done). Spread with a thin layer of sauce, cheese and desired toppings (fresh vegetable and meat toppings should be pre-cooked to prevent soggy crust); place back into the oven to bake an additional 5-10 minutes to melt cheese. If desired, run under the broiler for a few minutes to lightly brown the toppings and make the cheese bubbly (be careful not to burn it).
*Note: For a crust that is flat, smooth and even in thickness, lightly spray a 2nd sheet of parchment paper with olive oil spray and place it on top (oiled side down) of the ball of pizza dough that is centered in the middle of your prepared pizza pan or baking sheet. Using either your hands or the flat edge of an object (I use a big container of black pepper) press the dough smooth by swiping it the direction you want the pizza crust to go. When it is the desired thickness and shape, carefully peel off the top layer of parchment paper...and "Voila"...perfectly flat, smooth, thin pizza crust! If you don't have parchment paper, pressing the dough out with a lightly oiled rubber spatula works just fine, too.
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (toasted, if desired)
3/4 cup 70% or 85% cacao chocolate bar (3.5 ounces), chopped (use 70% for sweeter chips) -- I used Green & Black's 70%
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and Swerve sweetener (or other granular sweetener). Make a well in the center of the bowl and add softened butter, ricotta, egg and vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon, cream and mix dry and wet ingredients together until the dough is mixed and blended well. Using a rubber spatula, fold in walnuts and chocolate chips/chunks and mix just until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls (or lightly roll into balls) onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet; very lightly tamp down (do not flatten) -- the cookies do not spread much while they bake. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cookies are very soft when hot and will firm up as they cool. Let sit 10-15 minutes and then, using a spatula, transfer to a rack to completely cool. Makes about 20 cookies.