Kids in the Kitchen

During the design process of Louanne’s Kitchen, I looked at hundreds of illustrations at iStockphoto.  I was trying to decide between two illustrations when my son walked by the computer, pointed to one of them, and asked “Mama how did you become a cartoon?”  Ah, that settled it, then.  Well done, Andrew.  I suppose it does look resemble me; well, the hairstyle is similar.  Anyway, from that point on, Andrew asked why didn’t he have a cartoon picture, as well as why wasn’t he in the picture with me.  He pointed out that he helps me cook, and to a 5-year old, being a helper is an important job.  I pacified him with the promise that I would add a picture of him the next time he helped me in the kitchen.  The perfect opportunity arrives a few weeks ago when he and my niece, Paige, made a cookie pizza.  I baked the sugar cookie base earlier in the day, so it would be cool and sturdy.  The kids made the “sauce” which was cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Toppings included vanilla and chocolate ice cream, sliced strawberries, hot fudge, whipped cream, and the most important topping of all, sprinkles. 

Sugar Cookie Crust
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Sauce
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Ice cream
Sliced strawberries or any fresh fruit
Hot fudge
Whipped cream
Using a stand mixer, beat butter for 2 minutes.  Add egg, vanilla, and Fiori di Sicilia to butter, beating well.  Mix flour and salt together in a small bowl, and gradually add to the butter mixture.  Remove dough from bowl, form into a large disc, and refrigerate for 2 hours.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a parchment lined pizza pan and using a large cookie scoop, portion out cookie dough in a circular pattern; press cookie mounds to resemble a pizza crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool completely, and slide cookie off pan by pulling the parchment. 
For the cream cheese sauce, use a hand mixer and beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add vanilla.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar until well-mixed.  Spread onto cooled cookie crust.  Arrange other toppings as desired.
*After Andrew and Paige spread on the sauce, I sliced individual pieces for everyone to top as they desired.
*If you use packaged sugar cookie dough, you will need two packages to get the same thickness as the homemade crust.

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