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National Chocolate Chip, Pizza Party, and Family Day!

AUTUMN TILSON

AUTUMN TILSON, STAFF

In these days of uncertainty we could all use something to celebrate, and what better to celebrate than this triple whammy of glorious holidays! Who doesn’t love chocolate chips and pizza parties and who better to share it with than your family?! Does anyone else recollect fondly the pizza parties you would compete your heart out to win in elementary school? 

In a burst of inspiration, I’ve decided to combine all three holidays into one sublime chocolate chip pizza party to share with my family! Now I’ve always enjoyed baking, but cookies have never been my thing. Perhaps it’s the tedium of scooping and shaping them. Or perhaps it brings back too many memories of baking and frosting and decorating thousands of holiday cookies every winter break my entire life. I’m not even exaggerating. One year there were so many we had to set up 8 shelves in the dining room to hold them all while they dried because we ran out of space on every flat surface in the kitchen. Our holidays cookies were well known throughout our neighborhood and beyond. Everyone got a plate!

But even though cookies aren’t my favorite thing to make, when I started thinking about how to combine these three amazing holidays, my mind went directly to those cookie cakes from the stalls in every suburban mall in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. A quick google search went on to show that the cookie cake has evolved in the breathtaking and inventive cookie pizza! What's the difference you may ask? Well it’s all in how you slice it! (insert canned laughter).

While the cookie cake typically has a ring of frosting around the edge and perhaps a message written on the center, the cookie pizza generally has a base of something sticky (sauce) like frosting, marshmallow fluff, chocolate, etc to get the toppings to stick. It is also perfect for groups of people with different tastes, because it allows you to decorate to your heart’s content with different toppings for everyone! 

Now there is no wrong cookie to make for a cookie pizza! Choose your favorite recipe or pre made cookie dough. Or even your favorite pre made cookies to decorate (just call them personal pan pizzas!). I’m a big fan of those tubes of pre made cookie dough. Why make it myself when I can let the professionals do it. And also who doesn’t love raw cookie dough?! (*Eat at your own risk, salmonella is a real thing people*). However, because I’m safe at home and I don’t have a tube of cookie dough on hand, I decided to make my own! Also cookie dough is ridiculously easy to make. This is the recipe I’ve chosen to make. Feel free to use whatever is your favorite.

Here’s what you’ll need:

 

OR

I enlisted the help of a friend who had cookie dough at his house to create a cookie pizza of his own with me over facetime so you can see different methods.

You’ll also need goodies to decorate your cookie pizza with. Here’s where it becomes a choose your own adventure! What do you and your family love? Do you love nut butter, cream cheese, frosting, chocolate spread? Use whatever makes you happy and that you have on hand. Because my family all like different toppings, I’m going to use a different base spread on each slice of my pizza so there’s something for everyone. 

Also this is the perfect time to rummage through the backs of your cupboards and see what goodies might be lurking. I found candy from the past six months of holidays lurking in mine. Maybe also check expiration dates before using mystery goodies. 

First things first, WASH YOUR HANDS! Sing through your favorite hand washing song for at least 20 seconds!

Next, preheat your oven to 350. Don’t forget to do this step now, otherwise you’ll have to wait while your oven preheats and your cookie dough gets warm. And now is also the time to line or grease your cookie sheet.

Now is the time to make (or unwrap) your cookie dough!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Using a spatula, hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract, then mix on high until combined.

  

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined.

Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined. Dough will be thick and soft.

Transfer the cookie dough to your sheet pan and flatten out with your fingers or a rubber spatula until the edges reach the sides (or just about to the sides). Keep in mind that the thicker your cookie crust the longer it will take to bake.You can also go with smaller pizza crusts for a more personal pie size.

 

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned on top. (If using pre made dough, follow the baking instructions on the package) If you want the cookie pizza a little crispier on the edges, bake for a couple extra minutes.

Allow the cookie pizza to cool on the pan set on a wire rack before slicing. Mine was too big to fit on the wire rack so I just slid the baking mat off the tray and onto my very cold countertop to cool.

  

Now that your cookie pizza crust is cool, it’s time to decorate! Start with your sticky base. I’m going to divide my cookie crust into tenths and do a different sauce on each part. 

 

Once you have your sauce on, go wild! Let people decorate their own to create unique personalized slices! Have fun!

 

Share and enjoy!

 

 

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