Tuesday, June 3, 2008

pizza cookies... a harbinger of summer

Every summer growing up there were certain desserts we could look forward to: push pops, homemade orange juice popsicles, HoHo cake, and homemade pizza cookie ice cream sandwiches.

Lest you think, "pizza + cookie = ick," let me clarify: there's no pizza in a pizza cookie. They are an oversized peanut butter-oatmeal-M&M cookie baked on a pizza tray (or cookie sheet) and sliced in wedges to resemble pizza. The recipe makes a ton, so we'd make one full-sized pizza cookie and turn the rest into 2-3" cookies which we'd match up by size and fill with ice cream. They'd sit, wrapped in tinfoil in the freezer, througout the summer. YUM.

I made these for our neighbors' Memorial Day BBQ, in anticipation of summer. I held back a couple dozen to make into ice cream sandwiches. Josh didn't realize what I'd done until he saw me with an empty pint of Haagen-Dazs last night, then opened the freezer and gave me an, "Oh no you di'n't!"

Pizza Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cut light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups raw quick oats
2 cups plain M&Ms

Beat butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; add to pb/sugar mixture and mix well. Stir in oats and 1 cup M&Ms (if you are making a pizza cookie) or 2 cups M&Ms (if you are making individual cookies).

To make pizza cookie: place half of dough on a greased and foiled pizza pan (I'm sure a parchment-lined baking sheet would work, too). Spread to within 1" of the edge, forming a round pizza shape. Repeat. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of M&Ms. Bake at 325F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. To serve, cut into pizza-shaped wedges. Goes great with ice cream!

To make regular cookies: scoop dough into whatever sized cookie you want and place 2" apart on a parchment- or silpat-lined cookie sheet. Bake about 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned, at 325F. (I actually didn't pay attention and baked at 350F; it still took 12-14 minutes.) Watch them carefully as they can go from underdone to overdone very quickly. Cool on wire racks. If desired, match up like-sized cookies, fill with your favorite ice cream, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze... then enjoy any time!

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