Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween Pumpkin Pizza Recipe...

Grab your aprons! We're going to make Pumpkin Pizza for Halloween... It's a fun spinoff of pumpkin pie and very "kid friendly!" Kids, let's head for the kitchen!

I'm going to lay this out for you by letting you know several things:
* What kids will learn making Pumpkin Pizza
* What you need (gather these things and utensils before you start... well, at least before the kids hit the kitchen!
* Ingredients
* Recipe
* Directions
* Guaranteed FUN!

Making a Pumpkin Pizza is not all about Halloween! This cooking exercise in the kitchen can help kids:
* Learn more about foods and how different foods can be used... for instance, pumpkin isn't just for carving... and it isn't just for pies!
* If you have more than one child cooking, they will learn about "taking turns."
* Kids will be developing their imaginations without even being aware of it!
* Learning patience while the pizza cooks and cools.

Gather these utensils in advance:
* Cookie Sheet
* Aluminum Foil
* Spatula (maybe 2)
* Large Mixing Bowl
* Rolling Pin
* Cooling Rack
* Large Round Serving Plate

* 1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
* 1 cup canned pumpkin
* 8-ounce package of low-fat cream cheese
* 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* Black & Green decorator frosting
* Candy Corn
* Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have cream cheese at room temperature for easier mixing.
2. Cover a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Grease foil well with cooking spray.
3. Roll out cookie dough into a 12-inch circle... no, it doesn't have to be "perfect"... let the kids do it!
4. Bake in pre-heated 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until just lightly browned.
5. Let the kids know that they always need an "adult helper" in putting things in and out of the oven. Remember you are HELPING them...
6. Place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack to cool.
7. Begin cleaning up the mess and washing the dishes while the pizza is baking... yep, let the kids do it! This is a very important part of "organizing" and learning ALL about cooking.
8. While the cookie pizza is cooling... In mixing bowl cream the cream cheese... this may be a step for the "adult sous chef" to show the kids how to use a hand mixer and talk about safety in the kitchen.
9. Blend in canned pumpkin and let the kids stir it into the cream cheese... if a spatula doesn't work for them... give them an old-fashioned wooden spoon!
10. Add the powdered sugar... step back... if you add it all at once there will be clouds in the kitchen! This is a great place to demonstrate patience by adding little bits of powdered sugar at a time.
11. Stir in the light brown sugar along with the pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Be sure to let the kids do the measuring! It's a good time to show them how to level off spoonfuls... but don't forget... our grandmothers and great-grandmothers didn't use measuring spoons very much... it was a pinch here and a pinch there and a handful here... so don't worry if they don't get it perfect.
12. When the pumpkin pizza is cool, peel off the aluminum foil and place it on the large, round serving plate.
13. Spread the pumpkin mixture on the pizza... decorate as desired with the decorator cake icing, outlining a mouth and eyes and using the green icing for a stem. The candy corn can be used to fill in for teeth in the mouth.

Serve while warm... like pumpkin pie... you could even add a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream!

MOST OF ALL... have fun! Please write me and tell us all how your pumpkin pizza turns out!

Happy Cooking,
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach & "Adult Sous Chef"