Friday, February 20, 2015

SUSIE'S SUGAR COOKIE FRUIT TART (formerly and affectionately known as Fruit Pizza)

If you add fruit to a dessert, it makes it healthy....right?  Makes sense to me and so that is how it shall be...bippity, boppity, boo!

My daughter just turned 27 years old last week and we celebrated with a shopping trip and overnight stay in Houston. 

One of my favorite pictures from that birthday trip!

I always cook for my babies, (my kids no matter their age), for their birthdays so we kept the celebration going and ended it last night with this delightful little piece of dessert heaven. This would be such a fun dessert to make with little ones.  They could mash the cookie dough into the pan, spread the frosting and place their fruit in any design they would like!  How fun for them and it lets them be creative.  My grandson was more into running and dropping my tomatoes on the floor. LoL!!  I stopped and got a picture because he is only going to be little once and I love seeing him happy!  Actually, in all fairness, I think that at the time of decorating the cookie, he was totally immersed in the show Rio and this boy gets in a zone when a beloved movie like Horton Hears A Who or Madagascar or Toy Story is on the big screen! Ha!

Do not underestimate my ability to find a way to share a pic or 2 or 3 of my grandbaby! LoL!

The name, Fruit Pizza, just does not do this dish justice.  I mean it has a sugar cookie crust, so already that is a pretty awesome dessert, then you add a cream cheese frosting, topped with lots of fresh, lovely fruit, and, at last, drizzled with a fruit juice glaze and to me that is more than it's name implies.  What would be a good name....large fruit tart...mmm no...or fruit about Sugar Cookie Fruit Tart....and let's name it after the sweet lady I got the recipe from...Susie.  Susie's Sugar Cookie Fruit Tart...I think that sounds so much better!  (excuse me while I go and change the name!)

I first tasted this dessert at my friend Kelly's house.  Her mother-in-law had made it.  It was so delicious, and I asked her for the recipe.  She was very kind to share it with me.  She passed away a few years ago, but I always think of her when I make this dish, so it's like a part of her still lives in my heart.  I feel like that with several dishes that I make.  I have my Sock It To Me Cake that  reminds me of my grandmother who passed when I was 10 years old and my Aunt Telle. Both of those amazing ladies were a big part of my younger years and they gave me many good memories of that time in my life.  My favorite Potato Salad reminds me of my sweet friend, Dot, who left us on Thanksgiving Day last year. Her laugh and how she made you feel were the things that made her so special. The recipe for Cream of Potato-Broccoli soup reminds me of Glen, who was a neighbor and like a grandfather to my son Christopher.  He actually passed away at the ballpark while he was attending his grandchildren's ballgame.  So sad, but he left behind a wonderful legacy to all he knew. Those are just a few recipes, and I have many like that. I will blog them soon because I have been surrounded by wonderful cooks and bakers who have left a little piece of them behind in the recipes they have shared with me.

I want you to know that it is perfectly fine to use store bought, refrigerated cookie dough.  You may have to let it warm a little bit to be able to press it down in the pan, but it will be delicious and a time saver!

Because this recipe has fresh fruit, it should be assembled the day you are planning on serving it. However, the cookie crust can be made a day or two in advance.  I tossed around ideas of what shape and/or size to make.  I thought it would be really cute to make large individual cookies, but I was short on time and decorating each cookie was a little more time consuming.  I tossed around the idea of a round pizza baking stone, a round cake pan, and finally decided upon a 15 X 10 rectangular jelly roll pan.  Before you put the sugar cookie dough in the pan, spray it with Baker's Joy and dust it with a little granulated sugar, then gently press the dough to the outer edges.  It will feel very thin but it will rise in the oven and not be overly thick, which is how you want it to be. 

When it comes to fruit, you can use any fruit you like.  It's best to use fruit that you can slice through such as blueberries, raspberries and not crispier ones like apples or cantaloupe.  Also, you need the canned fruit for their juice(I used pineapple and mandarin oranges).  Make sure they are well drained and save the juice for the drizzle.  You do not want the juices to sit on top of the cream cheese or the cookie crust and make it soggy.  The original recipe even called for Kiwi fruit, which are really good and pretty on this,  but there weren't any that looked good at my store where I shop.

Oh and I doubled the cream cheese mixture...because, in my little world, you can never have enough cream cheese mixed with pure sugar :

I let my daughter do her own creating and decorating!  (Well I might have made a few suggestions...ha!)  Looks so pretty!

SUSIE'S SUGAR COOKIE FRUIT TART (formerly and affectionately known as Fruit Pizza)

1/2 cup Salted Butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1egg, room temperature (I place an egg in hot water to bring it to room temp)
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1-1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
(1) 8 ounce package Cream Cheese
1/2 cup of Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pint Blueberries
1 pint Raspberries
1 quart Strawberries
3-4 Bananas
(1) 16-ounce can Mandarin Oranges (save the juice)
(1) 8-ounce can Pineapple Tidbits (save the juice)
(4) Kiwi Fruit can be substituted in place of any of the berries or bananas
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the salt and the egg and beat until well incorporated.  Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the mixture and then add half of the flour.  Mix until it is well incorporated and then add the remaining flour. 

Grease your baking pan or pizza pan and sprinkle with enough sugar to cover.  Shake off excess sugar.

Place cookie dough on pan and using your fingers, press until the cookie dough covers the pan from end to end, corner to corner.

Place in a 350 degree oven for 9-11 minutes.  I watch this very carefully.  I take it out when the corners and edges are golden brown.

Let it cool.

In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Spread on top of the sugar cookie bottom.  I leave just a little rim around the edge without frosting.

Slice your fruit and use a circular design for a round pan or really any design you would like.  This is the fun creative! 

Combine the pineapple and mandarin orange juices with the 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small microwave safe bowl.   Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stopping to stir after 1 minute and then each one minute after.  Spoon on top of fruit to seal.


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