Giant Fruit Cookie (Pizza)

My mom's favorite token of culinary wisdom is that a good cook is someone who can identify a good recipe -- she says that technical skills matter less than the ability to forecast how ingredients will taste together before they are actually combined. We try to keep this in mind, and we've tried to train ourselves to imagine how our dishes will taste before we begin creating them. Over time, we've become not entirely awful at guessing which dishes we'll love, and which are probably worth only a weeknight dinner or two.

That said, sometimes recipes really surprise us, and this one blew us away. We first tasted a fruit cookie pizza at a brunch during our Spring Fling, and loved the concept. I found a similar recipe on All Recipes that looked worth adapting, and decided to try it out on some friends last night. Honestly, I was so convinced that the cookie had failed up until the moment we tasted it. There were some breakage issues while transferring the cookie from the baking sheet to the serving plate, so I kept envisioning the cookie separating into pieces the moment we sliced it. The cream cheese "sauce" and toppings must have held it together, however, since it sliced beautifully and tasted amazing.

The sugar cookie base absorbed some of the flavor from the topping, yet each bite was uniquely delicious because of the variety of fruit. The cookie was moist with a great vanilla flavor, and the cream cheese sauce was just sweet enough to compliment the fruit without overpowering it. Everyone went back for seconds, and we scraped the plate clean with our forks. I'll post the fruit that we used, but you can feel free to use any that you like.


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 carton strawberries, sliced thinly
1 kiwi, sliced thinly
1 carton blackberries, halved
1 mango, sliced thinly

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth, then add egg. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, then beat into creamed mixture until just blended. Chill dough until it's easier to work with, about an hour, or longer if you want. Preheat oven to 350. Press dough into an ungreased pizza pan, or form into a circle 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick on a large nonstick or greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookie are golden brown. Cool cookie completely, and if the cookie was on a baking sheet, transfer carefully to serving plate (it's okay if it breaks a little, the topping will hold it together!)
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light. Spread on cooled crust, and arrange fruit on top of filling. Keep chilled, slice and serve.