Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rachel's Recipe Box


Apple Cinnamon Streusel Pizza with Brown Butter Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Crust

 An apple dessert pizza… with cookie crust?! I’m going to deem this a tasty creation that can be enjoyed for breakfast, snack and dessert. It has everything you’d want at any of those times! 
Fall has just seemed to swoop right in, you agree? I’m mostly OK with this. I like the change of seasons; the change of weather; the change of food, you too?
I’m ready for football, for open windows, cool breezes, sweatshirts, slippers and fresh apples. I completely look forward to fall apples (and apple cider donuts!) But where to start? There have been so many apple ideas floating around in my head. I’d really love a piece of apple pie right about now but I couldn’t get the idea of an apple pizza out of my brain.
So why not combine the two? Yes, yes I did. The “crust” is a cinnamon sugar crust with nutty brown butter that barely made it into the oven because I kept sampling. The pizza “sauce” is made with cream cheese, Greek yogurt and brown sugar and I wanted to eat it with a spoon. Of course the apples are there, but the crown of it all is a crispy, brown sugar and cinnamon streusel topping that puts the pizza over the edge!
Who need pepperoni pizza anyway! From here forward, all I want on my pizza is apple pie.
Cinnamon Streusel Apple Pizza with Brown Butter Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Crust
For the cookie crust:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
14 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the streusel:
3 Tbs. butter, room temperature
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
For the apples:
4 large Granny Smith Apples
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt, optional
For the sauce:
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1/4 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Prep:
Brown the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir the butter occasionally until brown flecks appear on the bottom of the pan and the butter smells very nutty. Watch closely at this point to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat when the butter reaches a golden brown color. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and refrigerate until it reaches a softened consistency, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the streusel ingredients together until well mixed. Crumble the mixture onto a Silpat liner or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once the streusel is cool, break it up into small pieces.
While the streusel bakes, prepare the apples by coring each apple, cutting into fourths, slicing lengthwise, and then dicing into 1/4-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine the apple pieces, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt and stir well to coat all of the apple pieces. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
To continue the cookie crust: In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown butter (that has returned to a “softened state in the refrigerator) with the sugar and brown sugar and cream until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on medium until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. The dough should be a little crumbly.
Turn the dough out onto a Silpat-lined cookie sheet or pizza stone and roll into a 9-inch round circle. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-9 minutes. The center should still be a bit underdone. Remove and let the crust cool.
While the crust cools, mix the sauce ingredients together with a wire whisk until smooth. Spread in an even layer on the cooled crust.
Spread the apple pieces in an even layer on top of the sauce. And then top with the streusel pieces.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Slice and serve. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Notes:
If you prefer to peel the apples, do so before coring them.
I used Granny Smith apples because they are my favorite, especially for apple desserts. If you prefer a sweeter apple, feel free to use a different variety, or a combination.
The salt in the apples is optional – I have always liked salt with my Granny Smith apples so I always add it when I bake with them. You can leave it out if you wish.
xo
Rach

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