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“Here comes Peter Cottontail Hoppin’ down the bunny trail Hippity hoppin’, Easter’s on its way!” Sing with me. Well okay you just sing and I’ll listen while eating this awesome Deep Dish Chocolate Easter Cookie Pizza. Yes a cookie pizza! I mean how could I not go there? You all know pizza is my all time FAVORITE food EVER. So when the great folks from MARS were looking for creative ideas to implement their M&M’s® Pastel Plain candies and their MARS Spring Minis Mix into a fun Easter gift I ‘hopped’ at the opportunity to create something. So today you’re getting a Deep Dish Chocolate Easter Cookie Pizza + Easter Basket Tutorial!
Whether you’re new to the TKW Family or have been here since day one you know I have a Saturday ritual – 8am spinning, followed by grocery store shopping, a visit to the butcher shop and Sam’s Club. I can remember when I was wee little when the first Sam’s Club opened up by our house. When we first walked in it seemed like miles and miles of foods, products and just about everything you could ever want. Being a home chef and blogger you go through A LOT of food so what I love about Sam’s Club is not only can I buy in bulk but the prices are so reasonable and the quality is stellar!
Okay first off let’s dish about this display! OMG UBER adorable! Seriously I absolutely love the ‘personalities’ of the characters. Not only are they adorable.. they are delicious! So into my buggy went a bag of the M&M’s® Pastel Plain candies and a bag of the MARS Spring Minis Mix. You can’t go wrong with those combinations!
And did you see what all comes in that MARS Spring Minis Mix??? 5, yes 5, different candies! It’s like hitting the candy lottery!
Since I wanted to make a cookie pizza I grabbed my 12″ round springform pan. You can’t just put this on a baking sheet and shape the dough in a circle. This cookie doesn’t work like that. Actually most cookies don’t. Cookies tend to spread out, even a bit. And with a pizza, I wanted it to keep its shape.
The dough comes together pretty quickly and once you fold in the chopped candies you want to put the dough into the lined pan, press it down to level it out and then chill the dough in the pan. It’s important to chill the dough first as since you have chopped candies in the dough you want them to become super cold as you don’t want them to melt into some blob mess while it bakes. By chilling it, it allows for the to retain their shape. Also don’t chill the dough before putting it in the pan. Okay fine, you can but it’ll be more difficult to then smush the dough into the pan. Cold dough is harder to work with.
Into the oven the pizza cookie went and I got to working on creating the gift basket. I’m not a traditional Easter basket kinda girl when it comes to the baskets used. I go for baskets that are more practical and reusable.
When creating gift baskets think about re-usability. Sure the fuzzy bunny face basket is adorable and yes it’s one you can use year after year but it’s only used once a year which means you have to find a place to store it. And if you’re live like me, finding storage space is tough – yes, even in my house there is no space.
So that’s why I decided anytime I give out gift baskets I make sure the basket is something they can use. For this gift basket you’ll need the following items:
- A large pretty basket. I went with one that would fit a 9×13″ pan.
- Easter grass though if you have cats use the shredded paper cause lord knows cats LOOOOOOOOOVE that plastic grass.
- Three medium size plastic candy bags plus ribbon for ties
- A quart size mason jar with lid
- 1 1/2 cups good quality white chocolate chunks or chips
- 2-3 cups M&M’s® Pastel Plain candies (you really only need about a cup for the recipe but seriously more is ALWAYS better in a basket!)
- 2-3 cups MARS Spring Minis Mix – this is more than enough for the recipe plus enough to snack on and decorate the basket with
- A 12″ round springform pan
- A printable recipe sheet
Since I was going to not only give them the cookie pizza in their basket I decided to make the pizza in the pan I was giving them. This way they knew it was made for them AND they got to keep the pan. Plus I wanted to make sure they had all of the items to make another one (well minus the items that would need refrigerated) of these whenever the mood struck them. Don’t you just love getting and giving baskets like this? I know I do! While the cookie pizza was cooling I assembled the basket:
- Place the Easter grass into the basket – be sure to fill it up really good.
- In a large bowl whisk together all of the Cookie Pizza dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder, white sugar, brown sugar).
- Scoop the mixture into a clean quart jar and close the lid.
- In each of the plastic bags place the candies and chips tying each one with a pretty ribbon bow.
- Next place the items into the basket making sure to leave enough room for the cookie pizza.
- Once the cookie pizza and pan are in the basket, add some more MARS Spring Minis Mix into the grass.
- If you’re taking this to someone wrap it all up in cellophane. For me my guests were coming over so I left it unwrapped and presented it to them as-is.
So now we need to talk about taste… Okay seriously the cookie pizza crust is INSANE! By using the dark cocoa you get a really rich and decadent cocoa flavor that balances out amazingly well with the candies. Now before you get worried because you may not have dark cocoa, fret not. I made another one of these (you know because I always have to ensure that a substitution works) with dutch processed cocoa and yep.. equally as awesome! The crust is a tad lighter in color but the flavors are still really decadent. Because it’s baked in a pan the edges or “crust” get a bit more crisp though the insides, like pizza, is more tender. This was so good that Mr. Fantabulous went nuts over it.
One bit of warning, even though when you think of a 12″ pizza as a small pizza, make sure you cut this pizza in smaller slices. It’s THICK and it’s a lot of cookie. I ended up cutting mine in about 1″ pieces where the crust was 1″ then it tapered in like a regular pizza. Anything bigger and it’s going to be too much. This will certainly feed a crowd.
Now, remember me telling you that it was important to chill the dough before baking it because if you didn’t all of those candy pieces would melt?
Yeah, THIS is why you chill the dough! Just LOOK at those chunks of MARS Spring Minis Mix!!! You don’t understand just how happy I was when I sliced this and saw those! I literally giggled and was beaming!
So now I ask you, instead of the same ol’ Easter basket, why not create this edible basket for someone THAT is fully loaded with enough stuff to make a second pizza! I’m pretty sure this will give the Easter Bunny a run for his money. I know in my house these are the type of baskets I want to receive!
For a printable recipe to insert into your delicious Easter basket, click here!Print
Cookie Pizza Base
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 XL eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (or dutch processed if you can’t find dark)
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 20–25 MARS Spring Minis Mix chocolate pieces cut in half
White Chocolate Ganache Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 cup M&M’s® Pastel Plain candies
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add in the butter, white and brown sugars. Mix until creamy and fluffy; ~3-5 minutes.
- While the mixer is running in another bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- With the mixer running on low add in the eggs, one at a time incorporating before adding the next. When the last egg is added in increase the mixer to medium and mix for 1 minute.
- Shut the mixer off and put in half of the flour mixture.
- Turn the mixer on low just to combine, scraping down the sides.
- Shut the mixer off and add in the rest of the flour mixture.
- Mix just until combined scraping down the sides.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the MARS Spring Minis Mix chocolate pieces.
- Line the bottom of a 12″ Springform Pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the sides.
- Spread the dough out on the bottom of the pan and to the edges ensuring that it’s spread out evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
- minutes before making the cookie pizza crust, preheat the oven to 350, rack in the middle.
- Take the pan out of the fridge, unwrap and bake for 22-27 minutes or until the edges are done and the middle has just a slight give. Do not over bake.
- Remove the pan from oven and set on a cooling rack. Allow the cookie pizza crust to cool in the pan before unmolding.
- While the cookie pizza crust is cooling, make the ganache by placing the chocolate in a medium to large glass bowl and the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
- Bring the cream just to a boil and immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate.
- Allow to set for 1 minute then slowly stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes. The mixture should be set but still slightly pourable/spreadable.
- To unmold the crust run a thin blade around the inside of the pan. Unhinge the springform pan and place the crust on a serving platter.
- Spread the white chocolate ganache sauce over the top of the cookie as you would with pizza sauce.
- One by one place the M&M’s® Pastel Plain candies on top of the sauce.
- Allow to set completely before slicing.
I ordered my 12″ Springform Pan online. I love this pan because it’s a thicker metal and base. It allows for a more even baking.
If you only have a 10″ only use 3/4’s of the dough into the pan and save the rest for cookies OR just make a super deep dish though you’ll have to bake a bit longer.