The smell of food grilling, juicy watermelon slices, ice cold lemonade—these all scream summertime cookouts to me. You add the presence of family and friends, a dab of red, white and blue and moments of quiet reflection on the precious freedoms that we Americans daily enjoy and I am overwhelmed with the blessings of life in this great country.
Love. Pride. Gratefulness.
For our Memorial Day cookout, I decided to try a new dessert. Being the typical 2015 female, I scoured Pinterest for patriotic desserts. Don’t get me wrong. I still love and use my cookbooks, but when I need a specific recipe for an event, I need visual recipes. Pinterest, the King of eye-catching photos, fills the bill every time.
I wanted a light dessert with loads of fresh fruit. A fruit pizza would be perfect for our holiday cookout.
I quickly found one (original source) that was basically what I wanted and then I altered it to meet our lifestyle. We are not a gluten free family per se, but we have greatly reduced the amount of gluten that we consume. For now, our tummies are enjoying this change. We may jump on the gluten free bandwagon later.
(Disclosure: Some of the links below contain affiliate links. I may earn a little bit of money which helps keep this blog up and running. All opinions are 100% my own. )
The cookie crust turned out delicious in spite of my worries of working with gluten free flour and xanthan gum for the first time. I seriously could not tell a difference.
Sheesh. I had to remind myself that it didn’t have to be startlingly beautiful just to eat and nor did it have to be perfect in the eyes of Pinterest. Once I let go of both of these issues, I was thrilled with my circular stripes pattern and the single “strawberry star” in the center.
It was red, white and blue and that made me happy.
- Sugar Cookie Crust
- ½ c. organic butter, softened to room temperature
- ¾ c. organic cane sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1½ c. gluten free flour
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum, slightly heaped (this is to account for the extra ½ cup flour)
- 1½ tsp arrowroot starch/flour (*optional- used to help make the cookie REALLY soft)
- 1 (8 oz.) block of organic cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¼ c. organic butter, softened to room temperature
- 1½ c. organic powdered sugar (I cut back from the two cups recommended)
- 1-2 Tbsp. of organic heavy cream or milk
- 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
- Fresh organic fruit, washed and sliced if needed ( strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.)
- In mixer, beat butter until it is soft and creamy.
- Add sugar and mix until fluffy.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides when needed.
- In another bowl, whisk together soda, salt, flour, xanthan gum and arrowroot starch.
- While beating the butter mixture, slowly add the dry ingredients. Again, scrape down the sides as needed.
- ***Chill the dough for at least 30 MINUTES (or up to one full day). This prevents crust from flattening when baked.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Press dough onto a pizza pan (or into a circle on a cookie sheet)
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Do NOT overbake.
- Allow crust to cool completely. (pop it into the fridge if you have to speed things up)
- For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp of cream (or milk). Beat for two minutes.
- Add the vanilla and IF NEEDED, the other Tbsp of cream (or milk). Mix well.
- Spread frosting on the completely cooled crust and arrange fruit in desired pattern. Chill before serving.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for several days. (three would be the recommended limit.) However if your family and friends are anything like mine, this treat will not last long. It was gone by breakfast the next morning.
So what did you end up making for your Memorial Day festivities? Anything special? Do you try to serve something red, white and blue? Share your thoughts and recipes. I’d love to hear.