Kim's kitchen

Make this cookie pizza monster

Posted 2/21/23

“Pizza is not a dinner food,” my father, Jack I. Simons, decreed. “Pizza is a snack!”

As anyone who knew my father can tell you, he was an honorable man—and one of …

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Kim's kitchen

Make this cookie pizza monster


“Pizza is not a dinner food,” my father, Jack I. Simons, decreed. “Pizza is a snack!”

As anyone who knew my father can tell you, he was an honorable man—and one of the more opinionated folks you could ever meet. Once he’d made up his mind, it was awfully difficult to move him.

So, imagine my surprise when we started chatting about pizza one day.

“Dad,” I started, “have you ever thought about what pizza is made of?”

“Well,” he replied, “you have dough, tomatoes, cheese—”

“Exactly!” I said. “Dough, like bread. And tomato sauce, like with spaghetti.”

At this point, he looked straight at me. Was I on thin ice? All I can tell you is that his piercing brown eyes above his bushy mustache froze me for a second. But I decided to go for broke anyway.

 “And when you have pizza for a snack,” I offered, “what kind of pizza do you like?”

“A garbage pie—”

“Right!” I exclaimed. “A garbage pie with spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni and peppers. In other words, with a garbage pie, you have your bread, your meat and your veggies—just like at dinner!”

“You know,” he said, nodding his head slightly, “you’re right!”

And just like that, pizza became a dinner in the Simons home. My mom preferred her pizza plain, while my dad enjoyed his garbage pie with gusto.

 Me? I liked mine with anchovies, spinach and mushrooms, though I later learned that I had a gluten allergy and now have to seek out alternate crusts.

For me, pizza is as American as apple pie, baseball, and hot dogs. Yes, my husband—who cares about such things—will tell you that the concept of flatbreads dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. He’ll also pull up things like this from, written by Gayle Turim.

“[T]he modern birthplace of pizza is southwestern Italy’s Campania region, home to the city of Naples… These Neapolitans required inexpensive food that could be consumed quickly. Pizza—flatbreads with various toppings, eaten for any meal and sold by street vendors or informal restaurants—met this need.”

But he’ll also be happy to inform you that—while he very much enjoyed the vast majority of the food on a band trip to Tirano, Italy in 2016—the pizza there didn’t compare to what we can get here.

Hence, I’ll plant my flag on American pizza!

As you might expect, this love for pizza has been passed on down the generations. My daughter and her husband like their pizza pies plain; my grandsons Riley and Dean enjoy it with pepperoni. (My grandson Kol is about four months old, so we’ll have to wait and see what his preference will be.)

Interestingly, the concept for this month’s project came from grandson Dean, who is eight years old. Dean is very creative, especially when it comes to thinking up monsters—he was named after a character on TV’s Supernatural, after all—and we once chalked a detailed picture of his bubble monster concept on my mother’s driveway.

More recently, he came up with the idea of a pizza monster, and worked up a prototype. I thought it was hilarious, and a great idea to adapt into a cookie project that parents and kids can enjoy making together while the snow flies outside.

As always, I encourage you to use your imagination. What I’ve detailed here is a way, not the way, so use your imagination and create cookie pizza monsters that best reflect how you would prefer them to look while stalking other unsuspecting food in your pantry.

And yes, feel free to have pizza for dinner. After all, Jack Simons said it was okay.

Kim M. Simons is an artist, food artist and cake artist. She and her team—the Bah Hum Bakers—were champions on Food Network’s “Holiday Wars” in 2019. Kim is available to teach painting, cake-, cookie- and other art-related classes to individuals and/or groups. Get in touch with Kim at or call 201/655-1158.

Cookie pizza monster steps

  1. Brush pizza-slice-shaped cookie with clear corn syrup (I prefer Karo) so fondant will stick.
  2. Roll out white fondant, press gently onto cookie, and trim any excess.
  3. Shape the surface, and scoop out the mouth using ball and cake tools. Add details.
  4. Roll out black fondant, and add to pizza slice for mouth. Roll green fondant into a thin cylinder and outline mouth.
  5. Roll white fondant into two balls for eyes. Attach eyeballs to face with corn syrup.
  6. Roll green fondant into two small cylinders for eyebrows. Attach eyeballs to face with corn syrup.
  7. Roll two smaller balls of black fondant for irises. Attach to white balls with corn syrup.
  8. Roll and flatten red fondant for tongue. Attach to face with corn syrup. Shape with cake tool.
  9. Roll out and cut small red fondant circles (the “pepperoni”). Attach to face with corn syrup. Detail with cake tool.
  10. Roll out thin pink strips of fondant for gums inside upper mouth, and trim with scissors.
  11. Roll out thin strips of white fondant to a point for teeth and add to mouth.
  12. Paint pizza monster with edible colors.
pizza, snack, desert


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