Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fruit Pizza

also known as "gigantic sugar cookie with cream cheese frosting and fruit ornamentation."

We were having one of our teen's families over to dinner after church. It was going to be casual--burgers, salad, potato wedges (though I had to do homemade burger patties, and homemade buns, and homemade potato wedges). I asked our guest of honor for suggestions for dessert. She immediately came up with "fruit pizza!" I didn't have much a fruit collection on hand, so initially I shied away from the idea. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was the perfect suggestion--mostly because I had never made a fruit pizza before and because, let's face it, this blog needs some serious attention. 

That last reason was my driving force behind taking every ounce of creative control with this pizza. I didn't want to buy a sugar cookie dough for the base--at least not on my first try. That would be cheating.  I found a variety of recipes smattering the internet so I took the parts and pieces of the ones I liked and came up with my personal version. 

The results were great!  Perfect texture and taste to the cookie "crust." The "frosting" was just the right amount of tang and sweetness. And the fruit was a lovely topping. (Though I really wish strawberries hadn't of been $2.50 a pound or I would have wanted those as a feature topper!) 

adapted from various recipes.
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 (8oz) package whipped topping (slightly less than a full pkg is fine)

Fruit pieces of your choice:
bananas (*dip in lemon juice to keep them from darkening)

In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in egg thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Stir into creamed mixture just until combined. Press dough into the bottom of an ungreased pizza pan or a small cookie sheet/jelly roll pan (10x13" approx.) Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. 

If dessert will not be eaten in the next few hours, cover the baked cookie and do not top. When ready to complete dessert, beat together cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl. Add in vanilla. Gently incorporate whipped topping.  Spread over the cookie base. Cut into slices before topping with fruit slices of your choice! 

helpful hints:
1. Chill the dough before spreading or add light sprinkles of flour to help with the spreading process
2. Use waxed paper to spread the majority of the dough then use floured fingers to press in appropriately.
3. Cut the crust with the cream cheese frosting before adding fruit.
4. Use a rolling pizza cutter!