Friday, March 18, 2011

Fruit Pizza

A simple yet delicious (and addicting) treat, Fruit Pizza, has been a family favorite for about as long as I can remember. Whether because it's an absolute cinch to prepare or because it's so dangerously delicious, this variation of Fruit Pizza is definitely my favorite (and the only one I really care for, honestly).

Normally, this recipe is spread on round cookie / pizza baking sheet. However, I was taking these to a party and thought it would be better served as individual "pizzas". The base of the pizza is a standard sugar cookie, with a cream cheese "sauce", bananas, whipped cream, strawberries and topped with granola. So YUM and so SIMPLE.

I think one of the things that makes me love to bake so much is the chemistry that takes place when the right ingredients are combined. I recently learned (via America's Test Kitchen) the way to make perfectly level / even cookies. The trick is to use the same measurement of baking soda and baking powder. It's so simple, yet many recipes do not include both in the ingredient list. The sugar cookie recipe I used included the soda, and so I added the same amount of powder. Voila! The cookies came out super level with no affect to the taste.

Fruit Pizza
Yield: 1 pizza pan or 12 3" individual cookies

1 Batch sugar cookies (homemade or store-bought)
4 oz. cream cheese
1 C. powdered sugar
2 bananas
Granola (optional)

Bake cookies; cool completely. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Spread on cookie(s). Slice bananas about 1/4" thick. Place on top of sugar. Cover bananas with whipped cream. Topped with sliced strawberries and granola.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day - Dog Cookies!

Happy Birthday, Sweet Paco! That's right - our little lucky charm turns two years old today. We are so blessed to have him in our lives!

Paco is ready to party with his St. Patty's Day hat!
For your viewing pleasure, here are both dogs donned in party hats. Note how thrilled the old lady is, while Paco seems to think it's fun. I guess it's always fun when it's your birthday! :-)
On to the cookies! This year for Paco's birthday, I decided to make shamrock shaped cookies for his "cake". (He also needed something to share with his friends in order to celebrate - duh.)
Cookies packaged for some doggie friends
While visiting Chicago with some good friends of ours, we took some time to do a little shopping in Lincoln Park. We happened upon the cutest little doggie boutique where I picked up a fun organic dog treat cookbook! They have several divisions within the cookbook (much like with any "normal" cookbook), one of which is a new treat for each month. For March, the authors included this spinach and Parmesan concoction that sent our pups' tails wagging.  
Since my shamrock cookie cutter is quite large, I used the bone shape that I have as well.

Make them for your pup or pups today! And you can thank me later.

Spinach and Parmesan Dog Cookies
1 C. Oat flour (I use regular rolled oats and chop them up in a food processor)
1 C. Brown rice flour
1.5 C. Packed fresh spinach
1/2 C. Grated Parmesan cheese
1 Egg
1/4 C. Water

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Puree the spinach leaves in a food processor until smooth. Combine all ingredients together and mix until dough forms.

Roll out on a lightly floured surfaced to 1/4" thickness. Use a shamrock, bone or other shape to cut out cookies. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet (you can put them quite close together as they don't spread much while baking).

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Transfer and let cool completely on a wire rack (my dogs really enjoyed them while they were still slightly warm - who doesn't enjoy a freshly baked, warm cookie?).

Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Source: Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook