Recipe: Mouse’s Blackberry Cream Cheese Pizza

We all know how much mice love cheese, and the little mouse in Blackberry Banquet loves blackberries too. So I asked myself, if Mouse had opposable thumbs and could make himself a dessert, what would he have? Here’s what he told me:

Ooo! I love cheese, I really do! And berries are my favorite summer food to forage, so my most delicious dessert would be berry cream cheese pizza! I could nibble the entire thing in minutes, but I usually invite my forest friends to come into my burrow at the base of the tree and feast with me. But I don’t invite Bear—he eats too much and besides, he couldn’t possibly fit through the hole. If you want to squeak with delight, try this recipe!

Mouse’s Blackberry Cream Cheese Pizza
(makes one 7” x 11” pizza)
Here’s what you need to gather:
1 can of reduced fat crescent roll dough
1 package of reduced fat cream cheese (softened to room temp)
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups of fresh berries or *1 bag of frozen blackberries (thawed and drained)
½ cup of vanilla chips
½ teaspoon of canola oil

Here’s what you do with it:
1. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.

2. Spread the dough over a cookie sheet, pressing the seams together with your paws to form the crust.

3. Bake this for 10-15 minutes until it’s the color of my fur, a light golden brown.

4. Use oven mitts to protect your paws and remove the cookie sheet. Let it cool completely.

5. Mix together the cream cheese and sugar. Spread this all over the cooled crust.

6. Now gently place the berries onto the cream cheese. No nibbling!

7. One minute at a time, melt the vanilla chips and oil in the microwave, blending after each minute (this is hard work for a little mouse). Lightly drizzle over the pizza.

Chill and enjoy~ it’s so berry, berry good, it’s a mouse-ter-piece!

FRIDAY FUNNIES: Recipe with a Laugh

What’s a sailor’s favorite snack?
Chocolate ship cookies!
(from Greatest Goofiest Jokes, Sterling Publishing)

And what’s an author’s favorite food group? Chocolate, of course (do I really need to ask?).

Therefore, for the pleasure of sailors and authors everywhere (or sailors who write and writers who sail), here is one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes.

Chocolate Chip Malt Cookies

1 c. butter flavored shortening
1 ¼ c. light brown sugar
½ c. malted milk powder
2 tbsp. chocolate syrup
1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 egg
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Combine shortening, sugar, malt, chocolate syrup and vanilla; beat for 2 minutes. Add egg. Combine flour, baking soda and salt’ gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape into 2” balls and place 3” apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at for 12-14 minutes. Cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

And remember, calories don’t count—unless they’re in math class.

A Recipe for Success: Every Writer’s Secret

I have writer friend, Lee Wardlaw, who signs off her emails with “Behind every successful woman is a cat and a fridge full of chocolate.” Last January I attended a plotting workshop given by Robin LeFevers where she rewarded (okay, bribed) attendees with chocolate (she even thought to bring dark and light). My co-author, Ruth Musgrave, won’t even have coffee unless it’s a mocha. And it seems that every year I’ve attended the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, those folks at the Century Plaza Hotel send all thousand of us attendees into chocolate oblivion with a decadent chocolate work of art at the Golden Kite Awards luncheon.

So…the secret’s out. Writers love chocolate (okay, not a news flash if you’re a writer). They cherish it. They worship it. They can’t live without it. Ask the average writer what she would choose to be stranded on a desert island with—a pound of Scharffenberger’s dark chocolate or her spouse—and I guarantee every one of them will hesitate before answering.

In honor of my chocoholic colleagues, I’m sharing a recipe that I saw demonstrated by Chef Paula Deen, on the Food TV Network. It’s delicious, sinful and ohhh-sooo-good. It’s sure to inspire many late night writing sessions and bursts of creativity!

* Molten Lava Cake

6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate

2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Grease 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave, or in a double boiler. Add the flour and sugar to chocolate mixture. Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and orange liqueur. Divide the batter evenly among the custard cups. Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes. The edges should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates.

To create the ultimate sweet sensation, I serve it with a small scoop of Breyer’s ice cream on top.

Bon appetite!
* For those who are sensitive to chocolate (like me), proceed with caution 🙂
P.S. For a chocolate poem, skip on over to GottaBook and scroll down to Greg’s April 29 post.