About 3 p.m. on Fourth of July, we got our power back on. Hallafreakinlooyah! I didn’t have much time before the party at 5:30 so I cut a few corners and made a simple fruit pizza using mostly boxed ingredients. I know, I know, it’s terrible violation of good taste but my back was against the wall, people! Work with me. And I was determined to not go down in flames for the third year in a row.
Why a fruit pizza? Because our hosts recently installed an outdoor pizza oven in their backyard that can cook a pizza at something like 900 degrees in 3 minutes, and I thought riffing off that idea might win me a few points for cleverness since I sure wasn’t winning for baking talent.
To make, combine one 1 pound bag of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (save your commentary!), 1 stick of melted butter and 1 egg to a bowl. Mix until it forms a dough and press onto a pizza sheet. Bake at 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat on high speed 1 cup whipping cream until it forms sturdy peaks, about 5-7 minutes. Fold in 1/2 cup cream cheese frosting. I had to use store bought cream cheese frosting because of time constraints, but I recommend homemade; the store bought stuff had a slightly tinny, artificial flavor I wasn’t crazy about, and I’m a sucker for good cream cheese frosting!
Next, I called in Jake, who has a much steadier hand than I, to decorate the pizza. “Make a star,” I said. “And it has to be perfect. We have to win! Win, I say! No pressure, or anything.”
“Please stop saying that,” he said.
Sooner or later, the star began to take shape.
Next, I went and bought a pizza box to help bring home my clever theme. I decorated that sucker with all sorts of inane commentary and stars and flags and stuff out of a blind desperation to win. (Now if I could only direct this fervent ambition to my career.)
Sooner or later, it was time for the unveiling of the cakes…
Next to it is Thom’s cake. He opted not to use any fondant this year. Something about how some of my blog readers dissed fondant’s “artificial” flavor last year. (Little do they know that my fruit pizza came from a bag!)
This was by far the best cream cheese frosting I’ve ever had. It beat the pants off my processed stuff (which I didn’t bother to vocalize lest it sway the judge’s opinions). And Thom’s cake resembled the Pentagon once it was cut into, giving him brownie points for patriotism via an homage to national security.
But in the end, I think my dessert was the crowd favorite …my pre-fab dessert with the artificial frosting that my husband decorated for me. It was a hollow victory. But I’ll take it.
Because I’m cut throat like that.