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Bonnie Aeschliman: Pretty, easy, tasty fruit pizza

  • Published Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at 5:53 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at 5:53 a.m.

FRESH FRUIT PIZZA

This is one of those easy but gorgeous desserts — everyone will think you worked for hours!

Makes 10-12 servings.

1 16-ounce package refrigerated sugar-cookie dough

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Assorted fresh seasonal fruit such as strawberries, blueberries and peaches

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut cookie dough l/4-inch thick and place close together in a well-buttered 12-inch pizza pan. Press cookie dough together to close all open spaces and to cover pan completely.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. While still warm, loosen cookie edges with a thin metal spatula to make serving easier. Cool.

Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla. Spread mixture evenly over cookie crust. Arrange fruit in an attractive pattern over top.

Dust with powdered sugar.

Note: If you desire a shiny glaze, melt jelly in small saucepan over low heat. Brush melted jelly lightly over fruit to glaze. Chill. Cut into wedges to serve.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — Aug. 15, 2012

When Florida granddaughters Stephanie and Hayden come for their annual summer visit, my goal is to make memories for them. They are teenagers now, and I thought it might be more challenging to entertain them this year. But, actually, it has become easier.

Both girls have made local friends during the years through a church youth group, with which they have participated in various mission trips. It is amazing how energized teenagers become when working with others to accomplish a goal. Are these the same girls that need to be reminded to hang up towels and to make up their beds when at my house? Something happens when working with other teenagers on a common project. The work ethic makes a 180-degree turn — they volunteer to climb the ladder and scrape the peeling paint. And they don’t even care that their fingernail polish peels off and nails break. They are having fun.

Because of friendships made, we had slumber parties with giggling and talking girls awake most of the night. There were movie nights and even a surprise birthday party for Hayden at my cooking school. Older sister Stephanie decorated it for a Sweet 16 birthday party. In lieu of a traditional birthday cake, I made Baked Alaska — most of our guests never had experienced that and were amazed that the ice cream did not melt as the meringue browned in the oven. Being the teacher, I had to discuss the merits of the meringue and why the meringue browned and the ice cream stayed frozen.

Both Hayden and Stephanie loved hanging out with me at my business. During cooking classes, they were very capable assistants and were quite helpful. Other times, they enjoyed cooking or baking in my kitchen and required little supervision from me. One of their favorite things was baking a fruit pizza. It is easy, delicious, looks stunning and is versatile. You can use almost any fruit as the topping. If using fresh peaches, be sure to dip in Fruit-Fresh or sweetened lemon juice to preserve fresh color.

Bonnie Aeschliman is a certified culinary professional who owns Cooking at Bonnie’s Place in Wichita. For more information, call 316-425-5224 or visit cookingatbonnies.com. To submit a question to Bonnie, e-mail her at bonnie@cookingatbonnies.com.

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