I loooove dessert. There is a problem with dessert, however, and that is, if dessert is available, I will eat it. All. Of it. So although I love dessert, and I love making desserts, I rarely do make them--usually just for birthdays and when we have company to help us eat them. That's why I jumped at the chance to bring a dessert for the teacher appreciation luncheon at my kids' school this morning.
The other problem with dessert, or specifically with making dessert, is it's so hard to decide what to make. So many good choices out there. So I put it to my Facebook friends. The contenders? Candy Apple Cheesecake, Fruit Pizza, or Caramel Almond Poke Cake. After the voting opened, I decided red velvet apple cake pops would also be a fine choice, but not wanting to confuse the constituency, I did not put that one out there.
What would you choose?
The winner was this ooey gooey Caramel Almond Poke Cake from Betty Crocker.
Mmmm... It looks so yum, doesn't it? And, to tell the truth, this is the recipe I wanted to win.
That's not what I made, however. I made mini fruit pizzas. Why, you ask? Because one of my voters just happened to be one of the to-be-appreciated, and as such, her vote was worth 100,000. She voted for fruit pizza.
But you know me, I can't just make a fruit pizza and call it good. I've got to make it cute and individually sized, 'cause that's how I roll. You know, built in portion control. Although built in portion control doesn't do a whole lot of good when you eat 5 of 'em. *Sigh*
ANYhoo! For the base/crust, I started with Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Cookie mix. Because I got it practically for free (2 cents!) when it went on clearance last fall, and I thought the tartness of the lemon would complement the sweetness of the frosting/sauce. I have it on good authority that Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Cookie mix is available again in a store near you now, but if you can't find it or don't want to bother looking, here's what you can do:
- Follow this recipe using Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
- Follow this recipe from scratch, omitting the glaze
- Use Pillsbury sugar cookie dough (you know, the stuff in the tube)
- Use your own favorite sugar cookie recipe
- Use your own favorite sugar cookie recipe, but replace 1/4 c of the liquid with 1/4 c of pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
Bake the cookies according to your recipe and allow to cool.
For the frosting/sauce beat 8 oz of cream cheese or neufchatel until creamy, adding 1/4 c granulated sugar, if desired. Then fold in an 8 oz container of cool whip.
Place the cream cheese mixture in a zipper-lock bag, snip off a corner, and pipe the frosting on to the cookies.
Top with diced fresh and/or canned fruit. I used blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, and peaches. Grapes, raspberries, pineapple, and mandarin oranges would also be good.
And that's it! Enjoy!
Oh, and the other advantage of individual-sized servings? No one notices if you swipe one...or five... before serving ;)