Saturday, July 3, 2010

Inspiration: Fourth of July Desserts

Happy Independence Day!  The 4th of July is a wonderful holiday, complete with barbecues, swimming, hot weather, and fireworks.  My favorite memories of this holiday always revolve around fireworks and the food–we often ate ourselves silly on grilled meats, corn on the cob, pasta salads made with home grown tomatoes, and the desserts.  Oh, the desserts!  Cookies, pies, cakes, and best of all, ice cream! My mom would set up the ice cream maker in the morning and make peaches and cream ice cream with peaches gleaned from neighbors (that were usually traded for some of my dad's tomatoes) and come afternoon time, the freshly frozen soft treat would be ready for consumption.  My best friend Kellie jokes about how ice cream is the perfect dessert for such occasions, because it melts and fills in the little empty spaces in your stomach.  I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly!

To kick off the Fourth of July, I've compiled some of my favorite ideas for desserts, along with links to the recipes.  I still haven't decided what I'm making, but I think ice cream will definitely be on the menu!

Everyone loves about an Old Glory themed pie!  This beautiful and whimsical pie is made with cherries and blueberries:
Use small fondant cutters or a knife to create the stars and stripes!

Of course Martha has a whole slew of amazing looking desserts and recipes.  This one was one of my favorites.  Shortcake is always yummy!

You can always go the cake route for something a bit more traditional.  Dying cake batter in different colors and baking it together (a la the Rainbow Cake) is becoming very popular and it super easy to do.  I won't give a recipe to this one, since you can use whatever cake recipe you like (or cheat and use a box mix); all you need to do is portion it out and use food coloring to dye it according to your wishes.

Photo from Taste of

If you're trying to go for a healthier take on 4th of July dessert, you can always try this fruity dish.  You use a cookie cutter or knife to cut stars out of puff pastry, brush them with egg whites, then sprinkle sugar on top and bake them until golden.  Serve with them a bowl of fruit and a non-fat yogurt dip and you have a simple, easy, and healthy dessert!

Photo also from Taste of

I hope these ideas inspire you to make something new or spice up your traditional Fourth sweets.

Happy Fourth!

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