The Very Tasty Caterpillar

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Caterpillar Shaped Pizza
What's your Take?

Your child can't help the famously ravenous caterpillar turn into a butterfly, but she can help him metamorphose into a pizza! Shaping and topping dough are perfect jobs for a (supervised) young chef.

What you'll need

  • Store-bought pizza dough (half a bag)
  • 2 white button mushrooms, sliced
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Toppings, such as peppers, carrots, olives, fresh basil, and pepperoni
  • Sauce of your choice (we used both pesto and tomato)
  • Mozzarella (we cut deli-style slices into disks with a biscuit cutter)

How to make it

  1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet so that it extends slightly beyond each end. If needed, let the dough rise according to the package directions. Divide the dough into 15 one-inch balls and combine 3 balls to make the head. Have your child dust her hands with flour, then let her arrange the balls on the cookie sheet and flatten them slightly with her palms.

  2. Press the mushroom slices under the dough for legs, as shown. Brush the dough and mushrooms with olive oil, then bake until the dough is starting to crisp around the edges, about 10 minutes.

  3. While the dough bakes, create the caterpillar features from your choice of toppings. We used green peppers and carrots.

  4. Paint the surface

    Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Using the parchment paper as a carrier, lift the caterpillar off the cookie sheet and set it on a wire rack. When it's cool enough for your child to touch, let her paint the surface with sauce and arrange the Mozzarella and toppings. Again using the parchment, set the caterpillar back on the cookie sheet and bake it until the cheese is just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Let it cool slightly, slice, and serve.

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