When it comes to creating your July 4th BBQ menu, one of the best parts of the food spread is the dessert. That's because it's so easy to make the desserts look patriotic. A little bit of red, white, and blue can be achieved in all sorts of easy and fun ways—no classes in baking artistry required -- and often with the help of strawberries and blueberries. To help you craft your Independence Day dessert menu, start here with these simple recipes.
One of the easiest recipes and designs is to make a cake! Nothing is more patriotic on the 4th of July than a flag cake, as it can act as a decoration on the table before the slice it up. Grab a yellow cake mix, as that tends to work better with the fruit flavors. But if you want to mix it up, try it with chocolate cake!
1 package yellow cake mix
1 container of whipped topping (Or make your own with this recipe)
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and drained
2 pints strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1. Bake the cake according to the directions on the cake box mix.
2. After the cake itself is done, top it with the white whipped topping
3. Time to start decorating the cake! Use the blueberries to make the 'stars' on the flag (props to you, if you put on 50!). Then, use the strawberries to create the 13 red stripes.
White Chocolate Strawberries
Even easier than cake? Dipping strawberries in chocolate! Plus, this recipe is as easy as it is flexible, in that, if you're having a small crowd, or a big one, you can choose how many strawberries to dip and serve! The creator of this recipe also suggests using wax (or parchment) paper, and prefers using Candiquick for the white chocolate. You can also turn this into to fun activities to do with kids earlier in the day and once the chocolate has set, serve in the late afternoon.
2 pints strawberries
12 ounce bag white chocolate
1. Start by melting the white chocolate, according to the instructions on the bag. (Typically, you'll want to turn your microwave to medium heat, and then melt for 30 seconds, stir, melt again until it reaches the desired amount of melt).
2. Dip each strawberry in the chocolate, and then lightly dip in the blue sugar.
3. Set each strawberry on the wax or parchment paper, so they have a place to cool and harden.
4. Repeat until you have enough for your Fourth of July celebration.
5. Keep cool until ready to be served!
If you and your family and friends are a fan of sugar cookies, then this is a great recipe to have. While the bars are wonderful alone, they're a lot more patriotic looking when topped with the colorful fruit!
Cookie bar ingredients
1 1/2 cups soft butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
5 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Cream cheese frosting ingredients
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup soft butter
5-6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-3 teaspoons milk, if needed
1. Start by making the cookie bars. To do this, cream together both the sugar and butter.
2. To the same bowl, add in and beat the eggs, almond extract, and vanilla.
3. Stir in all the dry ingredients till mixed.
4. Press the dough down onto a jelly roll pan with sides (that's been pre-greased).
5. Bake the cookies at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or till very lightly browned. Put to the side, and allow the cookies to cool.
6. While the cookies cool, make the cream cheese frosting. Start by combining and beating the butter and cream cheese until it achieves a smooth consistency.
7. Add in the powdered sugar, as well as milk and vanilla; beat until the mixture is good consistency for spreading.
8. Top each of the sugar cookies over the cooled crust. Allow it to set, and then cut the cookies into squares.
9. Decorate each of the cookie bars with fresh fruit, like strawberries or raspberries, as well as blueberries, and blackberries.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not blogging about food, she's working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products. Some of her writing can be found at Examiner.com.
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