Saucy Spider with Parmesan Pizza Sticks

Saucy Spider with Parmesan Pizza SticksFor many years now, I have hosted a Halloween party for my grandchildren.  Traditionally, I serve mummy hot dogs and my “famous” brain jello.  It looks gory, but the kids love that aspect of it and raspberries never tasted so good!  When I saw this pizza spider on, I knew I had to add it to my menu.  The dough is surprisingly easy to make and you can involve the kids in shaping the spider.  If you’re intimidated about making your own pizza dough, don’t be.  It is the easiest thing in the world.  The main thing you have to be concerned about is the water temperature.  It must be on the hot side of warm, about 110 degrees Farenheit.  Otherwise you will kill the yeast and the bread will not rise.  The rest is like making a batch of cookies or a cake.  I just allow the faucet to run until the water is very warm.  Then you mix it up and allow it to rise while you go do something else.  Easy.  But if you are still wary, go ahead and buy 2 rolls of frozen dough.  I made this early this year in order to post it in time for Halloween, and believe you me, that spider was devoured in short order.  Happy Halloween!
Saucy Spider Prep

Cut the leg portions into equal pieces, then roll them all the same length.

Saucy Spider

When attaching the legs, slightly lift the body and slide one tip underneath.  Then curl the legs around the spider.

Saucy Spider Eyes

Slice the olives and place them on the spider.  For they eyes, be sure to push them in as the dough will expand during the baking process and may slide off.  If they do, just reattach them with a dab of corn syrup.

Saucy Spider (2)

Wowzers!  See all of that cheese that fell off of the spider?  Those will be your treat the spider is baked.  They will become baked cheese chips and are to die for!  You don’t have to tell anybody you enjoyed them all yourself.

Pizza Spider

And there you have it.  Dig in!

Parmesan Cheese Sticks


Saucy Spider with Parmesan Pizza Sticks
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
For convenience, you can purchase frozen pizza dough from your Italian specialty food store. Just be sure to thaw it first.
  • 2 balls pizza dough (recipe below)
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter or garlic olive oil
  • ½ cup(s) fresh grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz)
  • 2 Tablespoon(s) finely grated Parmesan (1 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 large pitted black or Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • Pizza Dough
  • 2 cups warm water, 110 degrees F.
  • 1 pkg. (2 taspoons) dry yeast
  • 4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tableslpoons olive oil (I used garlic olive oil, but that is optional)
  1. About 2 hours before serving, make the pizza dough. Dissolve the yeast in ½ cup of the warm water. Allow it to bloom for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the remaining 1-1/2 cups warm water, 2 cups of the flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and olve oil. Mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Continue adding the flour, ½ cup at a time until it is no longer sticky. Knead dough for 10-15 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Loosely cover with a clean linen towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  2. Punch down dough and cut in half.
  3. Heat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Make the spider: Cut 1 ball of dough in half. Shape one half into a 5-in. ball to make the spider body. Cut a 1½-in. strip from the remaining half and shape into a 2½-in. ball to make the head. Cut the remaining dough into 8 strips and roll each strip into a 6-in. rope to make the legs.
  5. Arrange the body, legs and head on one of the prepared baking sheets to resemble a spider, gently pressing all of the pieces of dough together. Brush the entire spider with half of the melteed butter or olive oil. Or you can use 1 beaten egg. Sprinkle the legs with half of the Parmesan cheeses and garlic salt. Place the olive slices on the top of the head for eyes and on the bottom for pincers. If the "eyes" fall of during baking, just glue them back on with a little bit of corn syrup. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes (covering the legs with foil if browning too quickly).
  6. Meanwhile, make the spider leg sticks: Cut the remaining ball of dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ¾-in.-thick rope. Cut each rope into various lengths for individual portions. Place on the second baking sheet. Brush with the remaining butter or oil and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses and garlic salt. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Just before serving, warm the marinara sauce. Using a knife, hollow out the body of the spider and fill with the warm sauce. Serve with the leg sticks.

Et cetera:  I found this pizza dough recipe in my mother’s recipe files.  I have found some of my best recipes in those files. Thanks, Mama Moye!


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