Fruit pizza!!!

If there’s anyway to get me to eat fruits, it’s this way… I’ve seen it made at many gatherings (a crowd-pleaser for sure) and finally decided to make it tonight for me & one of my oldest friends on her less than 12 hour pitstop in Gainesville. You can easily hack this recipe by using premade sugar cookie dough, but I decided to make everything from scratch using this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 8 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • assorted sliced fresh fruit (of your choice!!!)

For the crust: in one bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg & vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cornstarch. Combine the wet & dry ingredients. Press dough into a 12 inch pizza pan as evenly as possible and chill for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 350*F for about 17-18 minutes or until browned. Let the crust cool.

For the frosting: beat the cream cheese & butter. Add the confectioners’ sugar and 1 Tablespoon milk. Add vanilla and 1 additional Tablespoon of milk (if needed). Spread in a thick layer over the cooled crust. Decorate with fruit!

The sugar crust is perfectly textured, as is the tangy/sweet cream cheese frosting. My decorations could use work but I guess it doesn’t matter how it looks when it’s happily in your stomach. >:)

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Red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies

To continue in the holiday spirit, I used more of the red food coloring to make these 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid or gel red food coloring
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Cheesecake Swirl
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine the butter, sugar & vanilla extract together. Add the cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and white vinegar in that order. Then mix in the eggs. Finally, fold in the flour. For the filling: combine all ingredients together with an electric mixer.

Pour almost all batter into a prepared 8×8 pan. Add dollops of the filling on top and cover the rest with the remaining batter. Use a knife to create swirls. Bake at 350*F for about 28 minutes.

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The brownies are more cake like with a cream filling and kind of tangy.

Red velvet crackle sandwich cookies

A med school friend & I made these for a holiday party today using exactly this recipe (modified by tinting the frosting green to be more festive).

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (we used Ghirardelli!)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon red liquid food coloring
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened!

Melt the chocolate & butter together in the microwave for a minute. Stir well! Add sugar, eggs, and food coloring. In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine wet & dry ingredients. Drop batter in balls (about a tablespoon size) into powdered sugar. Roll and press with the heel of palm onto a baking sheet. Bake cookies at 375*F for 10 minutes. Then, cool for at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling: use a mixer to blend 1 cup of powdered sugar with the 4 ounces of softened cream cheese. When the cookies are cooled, use a rubber spatula to spread filling in between 2 shells (on the flat part).