Desserts are an integral part of every holiday party. Capping a great meal with something sweet is almost a religion or many of us - myself included. In fact, I often hit the dessert table first - just for a look see - when I go to a party. Just to scope out the action, if you will.
I'm a plan ahead kind of gal is what I'm saying.
Often, people try to make desserts that are less sugary and fattening, and those desserts are often met with a limited amount of success. After all, when faced with the choice of a bowl of healthy and nutritious fruit, or a chocolate chip cookie/ice cream sandwich - most of us choose the junk.
Making those desserts is also considerably less enjoyable when you've made something sticky or messy - and, after enjoying it, you find that you've got to clean the pan. One of my most favorite and most requested summer dessert dishes beautifully solves both of those dilemmas.
Introducing the Fruit Pizza.
Begin by covering a baking pan with parchment paper. Using this kitchen miracle means a no stick clean up, and it also means that you can pick the pizza straight off the pan, move it to a decorative plate, and have no pans to clean. That's a score in my book. Break up sugar cookie dough and place it on the parchment paper. Use your fingers to spread the dough out to completely cover the paper. Bake this layer at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool.
While it is cooling, mix a block of softened cream cheese with 1/3 cup sugar and 1 t vanilla. Spread the mixture onto the top of the baked cookie crust. Arrange sliced fruits over the top. Stir 1/2 cup apple jelly until smooth and spread the fruits with the jelly.
Serve quickly, as the fruits will begin to release water and the crust will become soggy after time.
You can use virtually any fruit that you like, but my favorite design for July 4th festivities is to create a flag using sliced strawberries and blueberies. This is one of those sneaky desserts that will make you feel like the best mom ever - while your family is busy inhaling it, you can feel confident that they are busily ingesting lots and lots of fruit.
It's not sneaky if it's good for them, is it?
What are your favorite fruits to use in dessert?