I like cold pizza. I might even like it better than warm pizza. Well… not better than warm Chicago deep dish pizza, but frankly there’s not much I like more than deep dish pizza. Except maybe ice cream. Or lobster. Oh, god, lobster. I love lobster. Lobster in the shell, lobster eggs benedict, lobster rolls.
… what was I talking about? Oh, right. Pizza.
When I eat cold pizza for breakfast, I do my best to rationalize why it’s okay that I’m eating dough and cheese and sauce cheese and meat and cheese at 8AM. I usually lose that fight with myself, but it doesn’t stop me from eating it anyway. I feel guilty, but I still do it. I did it again recently – plopped on my couch in sweatpants watching Friends reruns, eating a slice of cold bacon pizza. Halfway through my second slice I became determined to come up with a kind of pizza that I would be 100% okay with eating as the first meal of the day so that I can stop with the guilt trip.
I’ve seen plenty of people do the whole sugar cookie “crust”, Cool Whip “sauce” and fruit topped pizzas, but that’s dessert. As much as I would love some scientific study to come out proving that eating dessert for breakfast will increase your lifespan, we’re not there (yet). I liked the idea of fruit on top, but it took me a while to piece together what I wanted the rest of the ingredients to be.
One of my cube mates eats oatmeal most mornings – and as much as I love the smell of it, I just can’t eat it. It’s totally a texture thing because I can’t handle the mushiness. But what I can eat is oatmeal cookies because I love oatmeal cookies. They can be plain, filled with raisins, dotted with chocolate chips – I love it all. And the bigger the cookie, the better! I love gigantic cookies the size of my head. The other day I smelled his oatmeal and got a craving for a gigantic oatmeal cookie. And then it hit me – why couldn’t I make the “crust” of the pizza an enormous oatmeal cookie the size of my head? So that’s exactly what I did. And not just any giant cookie – a skillet cookie.
I love making cookies in a skillet. They’re thick, and soft, and huge, and completely delicious. Normally I make a chocolate chip cookie in the skillet, but it wasn’t difficult to switch it up to be oatmeal. This beast of a cookie is 1″ thick and the perfect base for what goes on top: quark.
You heard me – quark. I wrote this post about it and it’s essentially an even-better-for-you version of Greek yogurt. I opened a cup of the Pineapple Elli Quark and knew it would be perfect for my pizza “sauce”. I just plopped it right on top of the cookie and spread it around. The only downside is that it’s pretty thin and a little runny, so the fruit you place on top sort of sinks in. But if what you’re looking for is a healthy breakfast, then it’s just right. Alternatively (if you don’t mind adding a little sugar to your day), you can mix the quark with a little powdered sugar and cream cheese (I HIGHLY recommend Cabot Neufchatel Cheese as it’s 1/3 the fat of normal cream cheese) to give it a thicker, more frosting-y texture. I made it both ways and they’re both fantastic. I brought them into my office and they were gobbled right up. I even got a lovely thank you post-it note from two people! I also drizzled a little honey on top. You know, for good measure.
Aside from cutting up the fruit, this recipe really isn’t too much effort – and for what little it takes, you’ve got breakfast for the week! Here’s what I used on mine, if you need a starting point:
- 1 starfruit (just a single slice, and then I inhaled the rest of it)
- 1 strawberry, sliced to look like hearts
- 1 kiwi
- 3 grapes, halved (I had to eat one of the leftover slices – so disappointing)
- 15 blueberries
- 1 mandarin orange, peeled apart
- 5 raspberries
- 5 blackberries
Here’s a tip: Slice it up on day one, and then keep them in a closed container in the fridge. As far as fighting off the hounds that may try to steal it from you… that’s all on you.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat)
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- Optional: raisins, almonds, dried cranberries, etc.
- 6 ounces Elli Quark, any flavor (I loved using pineapple or vanilla bean)
- Optional: 4 ounces Neufchatel cheese and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Assorted fruits, sliced
- Honey, for drizzling
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until combined and smooth.
- Add egg, honey, and vanilla and beat until combined (it won't be smooth and that's okay).
- Add dry ingredients and beat on low to medium speed until combined. Dough will be very thick.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Remove dough from fridge and press dough into a cast iron skillet sprayed with non-stick spray. Try to make it as even as you can and press it up the sides just slightly. This will help contain your "sauce".
- Place skillet in the oven and bake for 18 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. The center should still be soft - that's what you want! If you cook it too long it will get tough and crumbly.
- Cool in skillet set on wire rack for 10 minutes. Once cool to the touch, lightly run a knife or spatula around the edge of the cookie and invert the skillet to release the cookie and place on wire rack to cool completely.
- For your "sauce" you have two options depending on your preference: If you'd like to keep it simple, you can just top it with the quark and leave it at that. This will result in a slightly runny texture and the fruit you place on top will sink into a bit. If presentation doesn't bother you, that's all you need to do! Alternatively, you can combine 6 ounces of the quark flavor of your choice, 4 ounces of Neufchatel cheese (or any kind of cream cheese) and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and whip until thick and creamy. Then you can spread this on top of the cookie for a sweeter, thicker and more stable base for the fruit toppings.
- Slice the fruits of your choice and arrange them on top in whatever way your little heart desires. Slice into 8 pieces and serve. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I received these Elli Quark products in exchange for helping promote their brand. All opinions are my own.