Christmas is almost here and before you know it, we’ll be leaping into 2014. I’ve been in total Christmas mode for weeks, but I’ve had New Year’s Eve on my radar for the last week. In our house, David and I don’t go out, but rather we plan a fun party at home with our kids. This usually means party foods, movies, games, and anything else that we can think of.
But, after the rush of Christmas, I’m pretty tired once New Year’s starts to roll around. With all the holiday cooking and baking I do, I’m not interested in complicated recipes that will have me spending hours in the kitchen. I want simple recipes and easy entertaining ideas….can you relate?
Today, I’m sharing an easy dessert idea that is perfect for New Years Eve or other fun occasions. I think Individual Dessert Pizzas are perfect for families with kids, but it can also be great for adults. They are a “do-it-yourself” type dessert where each person would make their own personal dessert pizza with the topping of their choice.
The star of my Individual Dessert Pizza is new Hershey’s™ Spreads, which comes in three awesome flavors: Chocolate, Chocolate with Hazelnut, and Chocolate with Almonds. I had such a hard time choosing which one to use on my dessert pizza…I wanted them all!
The “crust” of our Individual Dessert Pizzas is a giant sugar cookie. You can make your favorite homemade sugar cookie recipe or buy one that is already prepared. I used a refrigerated sugar cookie dough and found that 1/4 cup of cookie dough was the perfect amount to make a 5 1/2″ diameter sugar cookie crust. Roll your dough into a ball, place it on a baking sheet, and slightly flatten it with your hand. I was able to fit 3 on a large baking sheet and 30 ounces of cookie dough made 11-12 cookie “crusts”. I also recommend under-baking them just slightly (so they won’t be as likely to break when cutting into “pizza” wedges) and they can also be made a day or two in advance, if needed.
Because this is a DIY dessert, I set everything up to create a topping bar where my family would make their own creation.
In addition to the three varieties of Hershey’s™ Spreads, we kept with a Hershey’s theme and had Hershey’s Mini Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips, and Heath Bits ‘O Brickle English Toffee Bits for toppings — all of which are sold in the baking aisle.
We also had granola, pomegranate seeds, coconut, sliced almonds, and chopped walnuts. There are so many types of toppings you could do — fruit dessert pizzas would be great too. I’m already thinking a strawberry one in the summer will be great with the Hershey’s™ Spreads.
All of our toppings were placed into individual bowls and the bowls were placed in a large tray. As you can see in the photo below, I placed the Hershey’s™ Spreads on a wood box to give them a bit of height. Not only does it make it a bit more visually interesting, but it also made it easier to reach when more than one person was creating their pizza.
One of my favorite parts is seeing how different everyone’s dessert pizza looks. I love seeing the kids go crazy with their toppings and others taking a neat and organized approach. Each one is unique…and full of personal style. For mine, I used Hershey’s™ Spreads in Chocolate, coconut, granola, and pomegranate seeds. This was the first time I had paired pomegranate seeds with chocolate spread and it was really good!
I hope you give this easy entertaining idea a try. The Hershey’s™ Spreads work out to be the perfect base for almost any topping, so no matter who you have as a guest, it’s sure to be a hit with everyone.
I’d love to hear if you make your own individual dessert pizzas and what types of toppings you put on them — leave me a comment below! And here’s the complete “recipe” (not really a recipe, but all the ingredients and steps):
- 30 ounces sugar cookie dough
- Hershey's™ Spreads (your choice of flavors)
- Optional Toppings: Hershey’s® Mini Kisses (sold in the baking aisle), Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips, Heath Bits ‘O Brickle English Toffee Bits, coconut flakes, chopped nuts, granola, pomegranate seeds, sliced strawberries, blueberries, sliced bananas, crushed candy canes, etc.
- Before your party, prepare sugar cookie "crust": take ¼ cup of cookie dough, roll into round ball, place on baking sheet. Repeat 1-2 more times, depending on space on baking sheet (dough will likely flatten to 5½ - 6" diameter, so be sure there is enough room). Bake according to directions on sugar cookie package or recipe -- while additional bake time may be needed due to the large cookie size, it is best to undercook the "crusts" just a bit, so they won't crumble when cutting into wedges. Allow to cool completely.
- Spread Hershey's™ Spreads on sugar cookie "crust". Top with desired toppings. Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter, if you wish.
--Sugar cookie "crusts" can be made 1-2 days in advance.