I love dessert. If I had to choose between ordering an appetizer at a restaurant or waiting until the end of the meal for dessert, I will always choose dessert. My sweet tooth can pose some problems related to the amount of sugar, fat and calories I am consuming. Luckily, during a summer barbeque one year, I discovered the wonder and deliciousness that is the fruit pizza. One slice is usually enough for me, given the sweetness of the sugar-cookie crust, but the fruit topping is fresh and delicious and always a better choice than a piece of leftover chocolate cake. Plus, when you make your own you can choose your favorite fruits, and it’s usually a hit at parties because you brought the “healthy” dessert. Enjoy!
1 16.5-ounce package sliceable refrigerated sugar cookie dough
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups assorted fruit, such as fresh kiwi slices, strawberry slices, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and chopped pineapple, and canned mandarin oranges, drained
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-inch round baking sheet with cooking spray. Slice the cookie dough into ¼-inch slices and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Press the slices together to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake according to package directions (usually about 14 to 20 minutes). This will be the crust of the pizza; allow it to cool completely (about 30 minutes).
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Rinse fruit thoroughly and slice as needed. Arrange the fruit on top of the cream cheese mixture. My favorite fruit toppings are kiwi slices cut in halves or quarters, blueberries, sliced strawberries and mandarin oranges.
Place the fruit pizza in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Cut into wedges or squares.
Special Fourth of July Dessert
To create a special Fourth of July version of this delicious dessert, follow the directions above, but use a rectangular cookie sheet and only blueberries and strawberries. Place the blueberries in a square in the upper left-hand corner and sliced strawberries in rows on the remaining part of the pizza to create a fruit pizza version of the American flag. Your guests will be impressed with this patriotic dessert!