Fruit Pizza

Hello. How was your long 4th of July weekend? I hope it was filled with fireworks, fun in the sun, and good food. That about sums up ours.

Since we went to Georgia for Memorial Day weekend this year, we stayed home for July's big patriotic holiday. It was rather quiet around here, but there's something nice about a long weekend that moves at a slower pace.

Conservative Hubby golfed five days in a row, the last two of which were a tournament he plays in each year. That left plenty of time for Little Man and I to take walks, dig in the dirt, go swimming, and generally run around seeing what trouble we could get into. I took Little Man back to daycare this morning covered in scrapes and bruises from all of his debauchery outside (and looking rather tan despite liberal applications of SPF 50+). This, to me, is the sign of a good weekend.

On Saturday night we had some friends over for a low-key BBQ. Conservative Hubby requested a fruit pizza for dessert, so I went on the hunt for a recipe, as it had been a few years since I made one.

I decided I really wanted to find a fruit pizza that Little Man and I could eat too. Since most fruit pizzas have what is essentially a sugar cookie crust, I figured I just needed to find a decent gluten-free sugar cookie recipe.

Let me tell you, I spent a long time looking at and dismissing gluten-free sugar cookie recipes leading up to Saturday. For one reason or another, none of them seemed right to me. For one thing, as I've made clear here before, I'm a bit of a sugar cookie snob, so I was reluctant to try recipes that seemed incredibly different than my old standby or that included a ridiculous amount of random ingredients (because trust me, with gluten-free baking, sometimes the number of ingredients is downright insane). I was also being cautious because I really wanted to find a cookie that wasn't "good—for gluten-free." I wanted it to be just good. Good enough that no one else eating the fruit pizza would know it was gluten-free in the first place.

But after quite a bit of searching I realized I was going to drive myself mad trying to find the perfect recipe. So I just decided to try one that looked like it had potential—and if it didn't turn out how I wanted, I'd go buy premade sugar cookie dough to slap in the pan and bake at the last minute.

The recipe I tried is from The Gluten-Free Homemaker. One reason I picked it is because she says it's not an overly sweet sugar cookie. (The big fluffy grocery store bakery sugar cookies are so sweet my teeth literally hurt when I bite into them—not what I wanted for my fruit pizza crust or what I want when I make my own sugar cookies.) The other reason I decided to give this recipe a try is because it seemed pretty manageable and not that far of a cry from my usual sugar cookies, aside, of course, from the substitution of flours.

This recipe involves butter and coconut oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, a touch of milk, baking powder, then rice flour, potato flour, and a bit of xanthan gum to replace the wheat flour. I creamed the butter, coconut oil, and sugar, mixed in the vanilla and milk, then combined the dry ingredients in a separate bowl before adding them to the liquid mixture. Once everything was mixed together, I refrigerated the dough for an hour before spreading it in my pan to bake for about 15 minutes.

I had enough extra dough to make three cookies, which I baked beside the fruit pizza crust. I figured this would give me a chance to try the crust without cutting into my (hopefully) pretty fruit pizza.

The dough baked up well. Light, golden, looking very much like my sugar cookies I usually make. And although they of course didn't taste exactly like my go-to recipe, the cookies I ate were good. Nice, subtle flavor. Not too sweet, as advertised. I ate all three cookies just to be sure the crust would work (sometimes this baking stuff is hard work) and decided it would make a great fruit pizza base, no "for gluten-free" addendum required.
Just before the BBQ, I mixed 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1/2 cup powdered sugar for the "frosting" on the pizza. Some fruit pizza recipes use less sugar, some also use a bit of vanilla. There are plenty of variations out there. But I decided to go ahead and use the sugary version since the sugar cookies weren't all that sweet. Then I cut up some fruit to place atop the pizza and voila! it was ready to serve.

Conservative Hubby loved it. In fact, he said it was "unreal." So there's your assurance that this version is, in fact, worth serving to the masses.

P.S. The lady in charge of photos around here sure stinks at her job. She didn't even bother to snap a pic until after she cut into the pie and people had already eaten a few pieces. Oops. Might have to fire her. Then again, the pay is pretty lousy, so what do you expect?

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