Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Use fresh fruit to decorate a large sugar cookie to look like a beach ball.


If you ask me what I'd consider to be heaven on Earth, the one place I am happiest, the location I would most like to be everyday, I'd tell you without hesitation, the beach. Whether I am walking along the water's edge or sitting on the porch of an ocean front house, I am at peace. I can't spend a lot of time out in the blazing hot sun because I have very a fair complexion, but my pale skin doesn't keep me from enjoying every moment of tranquility at the beach.  An entire afternoon spent in a comfy chair on a covered porch just listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the sandy shore is my idea of time well spent.


It was only natural, that when I began working on summer themed recipes my mind turned to the beach. A few years ago, I entered a beach themed cake in Family Fun's Great Cake Contest. Although I think this cake would make a perfect centerpiece for a beach, pool or summer themed party, decorating it was a tremendous amount of work, so I decided to come up with a beach ball inspired dessert that would be much simpler to create.

When I came across the picture of my beach ball buddies cake last week, I was sitting at my computer eating a bowl of fruit, as I so often do in the summer, and noticed the beautiful rainbow of colors in my bowl. I began to think about all the fruit desserts that I enjoy, especially in the summer, and how I could transform one of those recipes into a beach ball.  The perfect solution was to create a fruit pizza and arrange the fruit to look like the panels of a beach ball.

Knowing it would take some time to decorate my fruit pizza, I decided to keep everything else about this dessert simple and quick. I baked up a large Pillsbury sugar cookie and topped it with a lemon cheesecake mousse made from Philadelphia Ready to Eat Cheesecake Filling, a jar of lemon curd, and some whipped topping.  The light lemon flavor is a perfect compliment to all of the fruit.  I chose a rainbow of fruits that I enjoy eating including blueberries, raspberries, apricots, bananas, kiwi, pineapple, and strawberries, but you can choose whatever fruits you prefer. 

Beach Ball Fruit Pizza (serves 12-16)

Ingredients:

non-stick baking spray
1 tube Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
1 cup Philadelphia Ready to Eat Cheesecake Filling*
1 cup lemon curd
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
fruit panels
     blue - 1 pint blueberries (or blackberries, purple grapes)
     red  - 1 pint raspberries (or red grapes, watermelon, strawberries, currants)
     yellow - pineapple (or yellow melon, yellow peaches)
     green - 2 kiwi (or honeydew melon)
     orange - 2 apricots (or cantaloupe, oranges, ripe peaches)
     white - 1 banana (or pears, apples) tossed with some lemon or lime juice
center circle panel
     red - 2-3 strawberries (you could use any color fruit here)
sand - optional
     ground up cookies, graham crackers, or cereal (I used rice krispies)

*If you can't find the Philadelphia Ready to Eat Cheesecake Filling, see alternatives at the end of the recipe.

Special Equipment Needed:

large cutting board, serving platter, or cake board

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


Lightly spray pizza pan with non-stick baking spray. Use a paper towel to dab off any excess spray.  Press cookie into an even layer in the pan. Bake for 14-16 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool completely.


While cookie is cooling, make lemon cheesecake mousse. In a mixing bowl, combine Philadelphia Ready to Eat Cheesecake Filling and lemon curd. Fold in whipped topping. 


My cookie puffed up past the edge of the pan, so I had to trim off the excess around the edge of the cookie. It made for a nice crunchy little snack.

Set the cookie upside down on a large cutting board or serving platter. If using, sprinkle ground up cookies, graham crackers, or cereal all around the cookie. Spread lemon cheesecake mousse in an even layer over entire surface of cookie using an offset spatula or rubber spatula.


Optional: I suggest you use an offset spatula or spoon to draw three of the curved panels, as well as, the center circular panel into the lemon mousse.  It was nice to have this as a guide as I added the fruit to the top of the pizza.

Dice about 3 large strawberries.  Fill in the center circle with the diced strawberries.  Arrange blueberries along two sides of one of the curved areas.


Fill in that section with blueberries.  Dice pineapple and fill in the section left of the blueberries.  Cut raspberries in half lengthwise and set cut side down in the section to the right of the blueberries. Dice the kiwi and the apricots, and fill in two more sections of the beach ball.

If you are using bananas, apples, or pears for the white section of the beach ball, you'll need to toss them with a bit of lemon or lime juice so that they will not turn too brown. I used one banana and about 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.  Once your beach ball fruit pizza is complete, chill it in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to six hours.  Display your beach ball prominently on your food table, so all of your guests can marvel at your edible art. Just before serving, cut the beach ball with a sharp knife into 12-16 slices. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

* I've had a few readers tell me they can't find the cheesecake filling, so here are two recipe suggestions that can be used instead. The recipe that will taste the most like a true cheesecake when mixed with the lemon curd would be from my Pastry Crowns filled with Cheesecake Mousse recipe here --->   http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/02/dessert-fit-for-king.html. You'll make a custard which is then mixed with cream cheese. It tastes so much like a baked cheese cake which is how the Philadelphia Ready to Eat Cheesecake Filling also tastes . After you make the mousse you can measure out a cup of it and mix it with the lemon curd and whipped topping or you can skip the whipped topping and just mix the lemon curd into the entire batch of mousse. If you have too much mousse, just eat it with a spoon! For a quicker and easier solution you can make a no-bake cheesecake filling which is a traditoinal topping for a fruit pizza. Use the no-bake cheesecake recipe from my Patriotic Cheesecakes Topped with Raspberry Gelee here ---> http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2012/06/patriotic-cheesecakes-topped-with.html. It is also very good, it just doesn't have that custard like taste of a baked cheesecake. Just mix lemon curd into the filling. You don't need the extra whipped topping.

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Thank you for visiting Hungry Happenings 
-Beth




57 comments:

  1. Very clever! I couldn't imagine from the title where you were going with this. Nice! :)

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  2. This would have been so perfect for my daughters beach bash birthdy party last weekend!

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  3. So fun! I love how you handled the perspective, it looks perfect. Plus, a good way to get my kids to eat some fruit!

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  4. Thanks everyone. Sorry I didn't post this before last weekend, Pam. Hope your daughter's beach bash party was a lot of fun.

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  5. That fruit pizza is brilliant ... I can't wait to try it for a pool party!

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  6. This looks amazing!! I may try this sometime soon!

    I've given you a blog award on my blog: http://aditl-dmj.blogspot.com/2011/07/award-giving-time-and-award-goes-to.html

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  7. Thanks Randi. I hope you have fun making this for your party.

    Anna, thanks so much for the blog award!

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  8. This is so cute! I saw the picture and had to come check it out :-) I thought I was being rerouted to my blog at first your name hungry happenings is shares a word with my blog!

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  9. What a fantastic idea!! This turned out so beautiful - I can't wait to make it myself! I've included in our roundup today of Pool Party Ideas

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  10. Look at all those gorgeous, healthful fruits!! What a clever idea! :-)

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  11. This is SO CUTE! Would be fun to make for a summer party!

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  12. I am just in awe at how beautiful this is. So creative. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cookie up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/07/sweets-for-saturday-25.html

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  13. I found you via Paisley Passions and was drawn in by the photo. This is so clever and such a nice break from too-sugary treats for the kiddos. I do hope you'll swing by Momtrends and link this:


    http://www.momtrends.com/2011/07/winning-cupcake-recipes/

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  14. Using fruit baskets to decorate for a party is a great way to spend less and get more.
    Nice Blog :)

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  15. Absolutely great to see such good instructions, thank you.

    Would it be too rude to plug my cake contest here?

    Kindest regards

    Sophie

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  16. It is so nice to hear from so many of you. I'm glad you like this recipe. I made some cakes this weekend and frosted them with the lemon cheesecake mousse. Yum!

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  17. YOUR ROCK!
    I am going to bed the happiest mom ever...for finding your blog!
    HOw do you come up with all of these amazing ideas?

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  18. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I looks easy to make and yummy to eat. I live in Hawaii and I am not a beach person at all. I hate getting baked alive by the hot sun, which is out everyday. I am a new fan following from the hop. I am following you via GFC and facebook.

    http://www.ourbananamoments.com
    http://www.facebook.com/ourbananamoments

    Marsha

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  19. This is amazing. I featured mostly Harry Potter links this week for Friday but, I am loving what you shared. FYI, if you link this or your fish up again, I wouldn't mind at all. Would like to feature them for next week features. Great stuff, thanks again for coming to my party at Bacon Time.

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  20. I know you didn't link them back up, but I don't care, it's my blog and I'll feature what I want, right lol
    So this cool cookie and your starfish will be featured this week at Bacon Time on friday morning. Thanks for sharing again, and hope to see you at this weeks party. PS, it's my birthday week so I have a fabulous give away going on at Somdday Crafts if your interested.

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  21. LOVE Fruit Pizza and SUPER LOVE your BEACH BALL take on it!!! Awesomely cute and creative!!!

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  22. OMG - that SOOOOOOO awesome. Love it! Can't wait to make this for our next pool party!

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  23. This is fabulous! It looks like a beautiful mosaic...

    xo xo
    rom a fellow beach lover,

    http://chocolateshoesandcoffee.blogspot.com/2011/07/summering-in-miami-and-keys.html

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  24. Thanks everyone. I sure hope you all are having a great summer and enjoying some time at the pool or beach. I'm heading to a pool party this weekend and am bringing the beach ball fruit pizza.

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  25. Hi! I have never seen anything like this. I love it, and will be pinning it to my fun with food page of pinterest. So fun and creative, thanks for such a fun idea!

    I would LOVE for you to link this up at my Link Party, Once Upon a Weekend on my blog Family Ever After. The party starts on Fridays and lasts all week.

    Here’s the link if you’re interested:www.familyeverafter.blogspot.com

    Also, if you have a list of favorite link parties, I’d love to be included on Fridays. Thanks a ton! Have an awesome day!!!

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  26. What a great idea and looks so yummy!!! But too pretty to eat also!
    Thanks for sharing.
    I love the cake too!
    ladeedacreations.com

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  27. What a great idea! I think even I could make this

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  28. Hi Beth,

    Fantastic creation! So colourful. I love it!! Can't wait to see more of your recipes on our food duels. Exciting masterpieces like this beach ball. Keep up the fab food designs...

    cheers,

    Christine


    PS: mini typo currents versus currants? :)

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  29. This just right for me!! Having my sons 1 year birthday party this Saturday at the grandmas pool and will make this!! Can't wait!!!

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  30. Beth!!
    This is just right for me!! Love fruit and love baking!! Will make this Saturday for my sons 1yr birthday pool party at grandmas. Can't wait!!!

    Julianna

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    Replies
    1. Have fun making your beach ball cookie and at your party. I love pool parties:)

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  31. Pinned this! SO excited to make it for my daughter's 2nd birthday party! THANKS so much for sharing!

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  32. Love! This is the cutest dessert ever! Going to attempt this for my son's 2nd birthday pool party!

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  33. I'm having a graduation luau for my daughter & have been looking for fruit tray ideas. I'm so happy I found this.. thank you.

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  34. measurements were totally off based. i ended up buying way too much and wasted over $50 worth of food. it did not even look like a beach ball but rather a fruit platter with fattening crap underneath. i am not pleased.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry you weren't successful in making a beach ball fruit pizza. Many of the readers have suggested just arranging the fruit on a platter to look like the beach ball, which could be done in order to eliminate the delicious, yet albeit fattening cheesecake topping. This is meant to be a dessert, and most desserts, sadly, are not low in calories. The measurements for the cheesecake topping are exact. The fruit amounts are not exact, but are based on what I had to buy in order to make the pizza. If you can get less fruit then you can estimate, or even count the number of raspberries and blueberries in the picture, so you can have more exact amounts. Of course, I eat fruit every day and certainly didn't mind having left overs.

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  35. What if you can't find the lemon curd? Is there anything that can be used in the place of that? Or can it just be excluded from the cream cheese and cool whip?

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    Replies
    1. You can simply use a flavored cream cheese, like Philadelphia's Strawberry Cream Cheese, or you can mix 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup whipped topping, and 1 teaspoon vanilla together to use instead.

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  36. Hi, Beth! Stopping by to let you know that I featured your awesome beach ball sugar cookie in a blog post today:
    http://www.chattingoverchocolate.com/2013/05/pool-party-pinspiration.html
    Thanks for all of the terrific ideas you continually share!! Have a fantastic day! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for featuring the beach ball fruit pizza! I'm happy you like it:)

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  37. This beach ball is my absolutely favorite summer idea! It looks so delicious! I just had to feature it with my round up of beach ball ideas! http://blovelyevents.com/2013/06/06/that-blow-up-ball-we-all-love-a-beach-ball/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Emily. I'm happy you like it and really appreciate you sharing it on your site.

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  38. Love it! I think I could make it and it would look good (unlike your other creations that I could never duplicate! LOL!

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    Replies
    1. I have faith that you could do anything! You are very creative.

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  39. This is like the perfect cookie for a party :) How fun! Pinned Beth!

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  40. This is like the perfect cookie for a party :) How fun! Pinned Beth!

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  41. Looks Great!!!! Instructions are very detailed. When it comes to serving , I would feel bad cutting into it. Have you tried arranging cookies together and then decorating for easier and mess free cutting??

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  42. Looks Great!!!! Instructions are very detailed. When it comes to serving , I would feel bad cutting into it. Have you tried arranging cookies together and then decorating for easier and mess free cutting??

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mila. I have not tried that, but it's a great suggestion. If you do it, let me know how it works for you.

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  43. I just found this through Pinterest and love it! I'm planning a pool party birthday for my little one, and love this idea over a traditional cake (especially since my daughter loves fruit and we don't eat a lot of sweets).

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Annabelle. I hope your daughter enjoys her fruit pizza for her birthday:)

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  44. I have been asked to make this for an upcoming "Beach themed" baby shower. I have made regular fruit pizzas before and wonder if I just "don't get this" one....1) with fruit pizza, (fruit going in circles) you get a little of each fruit. With this, it looks like you get all one fruit or maybe a little of the one next to it. 2) I found all of the fruit to be so juicy when cut, the pizza gets soaked with juice. I have not seen this reviewed on your beach ball pizza. I have learned to simply put each fruit in a paper towel to absorb the liquid from the fruits, before putting the fruit on the pizza. It adds another step. I do like the idea of putting the fruits in the beach ball shape, NOT on the cookie pizza, and serving it that way. Wish me luck! ;)

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    1. Yes, the only disadvantage to a decorated fruit pizza like this beach ball is that your slices pretty much have one or two types of fruit on them. I did find many people really liked this, while some missed the combination of flavors. I really haven't found the juice to be a big issue, but blotting it with paper towels will help if the fruit is really juicy. Have fun!

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