Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Brownie Pizza


At some point over the holidays, I was talking with the Fox about different ways to prepare fruit, and I brought up the brownie pizza. I had seen a recipe where the base is essentially a giant chocolate cookie, then it’s garnished with sweetened cream cheese and toppings of your choice – you could go with candy and sprinkles, but in this case I said it would be topped with fruit. The Fox’s eyes lit up and he said he would definitely eat it! So when I got home, I set about looking for the recipe, and for the life of me, I could not find it. Is it a bookmark that got deleted? A page torn out of a magazine that got misplaced? I couldn’t tell you. Luckily, I found an equivalent recipe in Coup de Pouce. (It should be said that you can use any basic cookie as the dough, like a sugar cookie or a chocolate chip cookie, and you can even buy the dough premade and top with whatever you want, including whipped cream, nuts, and jam.) 

I made this once in January, and my iPhone ate those pictures. I wasn’t willing to let it go, however, so I made it again. I deviated from the recipe for the topping, using only cream cheese instead of mixing in yogurt, and that’s what I’m writing below (I think that otherwise, the topping would be too soft and there would be too much of it). The second time, I used mini chocolate chips instead of chocolate curls, and pomegranate arils instead of sliced bananas. This would also be great with blackberries and blueberries, and I can totally picture a tropical fruit version – just go with what you want! 

For the brownie base 
¾ cup lactose-free butter, at room temperature 
½ cup sugar 
½ cup brown sugar 
2 eggs 
2 tsp. vanilla 
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat) 
2/3 cup (85 g) cocoa powder, sifted 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1 pinch of salt 
2 oz. chopped chocolate (I recommend miniature chocolate chips; this is a heaping ¼ cup) 

For the toppings 
8 oz. lactose-free cream cheese, at room temperature 
¼ cup sugar 
1 tsp. vanilla 
4 cups sliced fruit of your choice 
mint leaves and chocolate shavings, to garnish (optional) 

For the brownie base 
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Cover a large baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, with an electric beater, beat the butter with the sugar and brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, one by one, beating after each addition. 

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat until just incorporated. Add the chopped chocolate and mix one last time. 

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and, using your hands (run them under water if necessary), shape it into an 11-inch disk. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the cookie is firm to the touch and no longer shiny. Let cool completely. 

For the toppings 
Meanwhile, in a clean bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. 

When ready to serve, spread the cream cheese mixture over the cookie. (I garnished slices one at a time, and while the Little Prince liked the topping even though he doesn’t normally like cream cheese, the Fox did not want it.) Top with fruit, mint, and chocolate, if using.

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