When I was a kid we would sometimes make Fruit Pizza, which was basically a “crust” made out of a tube of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough rolled into a round pizza pan, topped with “sauce” made out of a sweetened cream cheese mixture, topped with cut fruit. It was fun and pretty and yummy. The only trouble was that it was sometimes hard to slice, and serve and limiting in transporting it.
This is what fruit pizza looked like when I was a kid.
I haven’t thought of Fruit Pizza or made one in years, until I had a fruit pizza cookie this summer during a road trip from Crumb’l Cookies. My girls had been talking about Crumb’l Cookies and begging us to go. They rotate flavors weekly and our favorite flavor of that week was the Fruit Pizza Cookie. We decided to make some at home, since splitting it 5 ways didn’t allow us to each have very much.
I decided to search for a chewy soft sugar cookie recipe, since my Timeless Sugar Cookies that are my go-to sugar cookies are a little on the thin and firm side. I found this recipe from Joy of Cooking and adapted it a bit. It has lemon zest- which I love and think it goes well with the fruit, but each time I have made them (twice now) people have noted the lemon. So, if you don’t want the lemon, you can omit it.
The Sauce layer is simply a block of softened cream cheese mixed with sugar and vanilla extract.
The Fruit can be whatever seasonal fruit you like, diced/sliced & prepared.
Growing up, some people would make a glaze or a little melted jam to drizzle on top. To keep it simple, but give it that added sweetness, I have been sprinkling them with Turbinado sugar. It is a nice finish to the cookie.
Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies (adapted from Joy of Cooking) [the “pizza crust”]
Makes 18 medium sized cookies
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 Tbsp.), softened
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. coarse salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon (~1 Tbsp.) or less if you don’t want the lemony taste)
Preheat oven to 350˚. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl combined softened butter and sugar. Mix until light and fluffy.
Add egg and mix until fully combined.
Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix just until combined.
Add vanilla and lemon zest. Fully incorporate.
Using a 2 inch cookie scoop, scoop dough (or hand roll into 2 inch balls), placing them 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheets. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate trays and flatten the cookies with either the back of a metal spoon or the bottom of a glass. Bake for 4 to 6 more minutes until cookies are a little golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing them from the sheet.
While the cookies cool, make frosting and prepare the fruit.
Cream Cheese Frosting [the “pizza sauce”]
8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix together the ingredients until smooth and fully incorporated.
Fruit [the “pizza toppings”]
Using seasonal fruit, wash and slice/dice fruit to top the cookies. Berries, peaches, pineapple, (banana- though they need to be added at the last minute), canned mandarin oranges are all good options.
Assemble: Frost the cookie with the frosting and top with arranged fruit so that there is a piece of fruit with each bite! Sprinkle a little turbinado (raw) sugar on top of the cookies if you think the fruit might be tart!
During these Peach and Blueberry Days they are especially yummy with that lovely combination!