The dreamy dessert above was among the sweets I served at my son’s second birthday. Since the party was pizza themed, we made three types of fruit pizzas. But this was the star by far. It tasted like caramel apple cheesecake with crunchy honey roasted peanuts on top. Normally, one could make this “pizza” fairly easily. In the States, you can purchase sugar cookie dough for the base, honey roasted peanuts in a jar, and caramel sauce from the ice cream toppings aisle. You’ll find none of that in the supermarkets in Ischia. But I had to find a way to make this deliciousness once I fell in love with the photo of Fall Fruit Pizza on the Enjoy Life, It’s Delicious blog. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
So, I used my mom’s handy sugar cookie recipe for the base. Her’s is a really old one from a magazine. Really, any sugar cookie recipe would suffice. Then, I followed the instructions for the cream cheese icing that is on the Enjoy Life, It’s Delicious blog. (You can get cream cheese, which Italians call “Philadelphia” all over Italy, phew!) Then, I sought recipes for making my own honey roasted peanuts and caramel sauce.
I went with the Food Network’s Almost Famous Honey Roasted Peanuts. This was super easy to do (the real work was shucking the peanuts while Baby Boy wildly threw the shells all over the kitchen and playroom). And the results were astonishing. They were so good that I had to keep myself from eating them all before the party. Guests polished off the remaining honey roasted peanuts within a day of the party (we all live in the same house, so they could stretch it). Then, I chose Ree Drummond’s Easy Caramel Sauce, which is also on the Food Network site. It won because it was easy, and it lived up to its name. This came out well, but I wish it would have been slightly thicker. I think I need to simmer and stir just a bit longer next time around. Live and learn.
When we got closer to party time, I was busy assembling salads, so I instructed my sister-in-law on how to assemble the fruit pizzas, and she did the decorating with the various components. She’s the best baker I know. I think she created quite a vision in the fall fruit pizza above. I highly recommend this dessert, and I think making each ingredient from scratch turned out to be a delicious inconvenience. Thank God Italy has nothing to save a girl time.