Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cookie Pizza

After yesterday's lengthy demo of gum paste button flowers, I want to show you something easy that provides relatively instant gratification. I've had a few requests for this one, and I'm happy to oblige! When I was 9, I asked my mom to make me a cookie pizza for my birthday instead of a cake (can you imagine?). It sure is cold in my neck of the woods today; not a bad day to pop one of these things in the oven for an afternoon snack!

First, get your hands on a 12" pizza pan. I've had mine since one "accidentally" made its way home with me during my stint as a pizza-by-the-slice counter person, circa 1990. I suppose I should return it…

Next, get your "pizza dough" together; it's basically an oatmeal cookie recipe. Beat together 1 stick of softened butter (zap it unwrapped in the microwave for a few seconds if you're just getting it out of the fridge), 3/4 cup of brown sugar (packed), 1 egg, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract until light and fluffy. In another bowl, mix 3/4 cup of flour, a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp of baking powder, and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture, and then add 1 cup of rolled oats.

This step is optional if you have an aversion to coconut: put 1/2 cup of shredded coconut into a sandwich bag along with a few drops of yellow liquid food coloring. Zip the bag and squish the color around to coat the coconut. There's your "cheese"!

Now, preheat the oven to 350. Grease your 12" pizza pan and spread the dough evenly in it; leave a margin of 3/4" or so around the edges of the pan so the pizza has room to grow. Sprinkle one cup of chocolate chips over the dough, along with any other "toppings" you want to use, like 1/2 cup of walnuts and the yellow coconut. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. While the pizza is cooling, top it with 1/2 cup of M&Ms or any other chocolate candies; the ones in the photo were some sort of Cadbury candy in Christmas colors. You could tailor-make this cookie pizza to any holiday, event or sports team, depending on the colors of candy you use; lots of candy stores carry every shade of M&Ms imaginable. Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter and serve.

This pizza is especially a hit with teenagers or, well, anyone with taste buds. Tutti, mangia!

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