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Dessert pizzas

Dessert pizzas are sweet as can be...

Sourcing ingredients for dessert pizza really isn't that much of a stretch for apizza company. Dough is on hand, of course, and toppings can be as simple as apple-pie filling from a can and a healthy shake of confectioner's sugar.

Some pizza companys use the dessert pizza as a canvas for childhood decadence, wowing their customers with elaborate combinations of sweets.

And this, all atop the humble proprietary pizza dough. Indeed, one could make a sweet dough for the dessert pizza. A cookie dough, perhaps, or a brown-sugar glazed dough, but the norm seems to be to stay with the handily available, in-house pizza dough ... and let the toppings turn it to the sweet side of the menu.

The dessert pizza starts with thin-crust dough. Brown sugar and cinnamon are then added. It is baked for 10 minutes, then finished with white frosting. A 9-inch pie sells for a few dollars, and runs a low food and labor cost.

A trend with pizza... pizza companys seem to be incorporating dessert pizza into a special - a buffet item or a family package. I

Flying Pie Pizzaria in Boise, Idaho, takes its dessert pizzas very seriously - in a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory kind of way. For its popular Gourmet Night, held every Tuesday, this two-unit concept offers a buffet of gourmet pizzas, salads, breadsticks and dessert pizzas for $6.25 per person (less for kids).

Its repertoire boasts 15 dessert pizzas, two of which are featured each Tuesday night. Banana Cream Pie Pizza, Berry Good Dessert Pizza and Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie Madness, to name a few.

For the Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie Madness, the baked whole-wheat dough is spread with chocolate-fudge frosting. Fudge pudding is then spread atop the frosting. The pizza edge is decorated with crushed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Whipped cream is dolloped into the middle of the pie, then it's finished with sprinkles.

For Halloween, the Pumpkin Pie is featured on Gourmet Night. This simple dessert sports pumpkin-pie filling spread on the baked dough. Whipped cream finishes it.

And the Banana Cream Pie Pizza? The baked dough is topped with sliced bananas, then spread with banana pudding. Whipped cream is dolloped in the middle and Nilla Wafers decorate the edge. Drizzled Hershey's syrup finishes this pie.

At Cici's Pizza, a buffet concept with 560 units in 26 states, dessert pizza is a mainstay on the buffet line. Its apple crumb pizza starts with its proprietary pizza dough that is topped with a diced apple/cinnamon blend. A streusel topping - butter, cinnamon and sugar - is spread atop the apple mixture. It's then baked in the oven for 10 minutes. For added flavor, the pizza is then cut with a buttered pizza slicer.

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