Every Fourth of July I see a picture of the flag cake with berries lined up perfectly and I cringe a little inside. Why? Two reasons… I used to awe at it but now I am a little tired of the same idea every year being on the magazine covers. The other reason is I feel guilty because I’ve never made it and that makes me feel just plain un-American. Am I alone on this one? How about some additional ideas for the free and brave to try besides the cute flag cake? I’ve put together some flagalicious ideas that you can enjoy with any meal that you are serving this Fourth of July! If you do nothing else, this one is so incredibly easy that you wow your family and guests without even trying. Simple Sippers Just pour some red juice (cranberry juice, cherry Kool-aid, whatever) into a clear glass and toss in some frozen blueberries or blackberries. Don’t have red juice and blue berries? How about blue Kool-aid and red berries? A refreshing idea!
Lemon, Blueberry and Cranberry Scones This idea takes a little more effort but can be made tonight and shared tomorrow. Remember our Citrus Blueberry Scones? Just substitute the orange juice & zest for the zest and juice of three lemons to the dough and then add some Craisins to the mix. For the frosting, use the zest and juice from a lemon instead of an orange as well. Yummers! A perfect treat to enjoy while you sit on the curb to watch that small town Independence Day parade!
I love treats that look difficult to make but are actually easy breezy to create like this one! Stars with the Works I happened to have these stacking star cookie cutters from a Christmas kit. I chose three that would stack well.
You can use any cookie cutter that you like if you don’t have star cutters. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and defrost a box of puff pastry for 40 minutes. After puff pastry is defrosted, lay it out onto the counter. Cut out an even amount stars of each size.
Place them on a cookie sheet coated with baking spray.
It is recommended that you keep stars of the same size on the same baking sheet so that the smaller ones don’t burn while the larger ones take longer to bake. Bake the stars until they are puffed up and turn a light golden brown. Kids will love watching these “grow!” I must admit that I love watching them bake too! 🙂 While your stars bake you can make the whipped cream! Cool your whisk and bowl in the fridge for about 1/2 hour. Keeping the heavy cream cool helps when making whipped cream.
Pour one pint of heavy whipping cream into bowl. Whip… ease into higher speeds if you are using a hand mixer or a standing mixer so that it doesn’t splatter all over your kitchen. Been there. Done that. Delicious and sometimes funny but not fun to clean up! After you have stiff peaks, add one teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Stir a bit more and it’s ready! Don’t mix too long or you will be on your way to overly sweet homemade butter.
Place some of your whipped cream into a decorating bag and cut about 1/2 inch off of the end for a tip.
Place the largest star on a plate and cover with whipped cream.
Add fresh raspberries and squirt a little more whipped cream in the middle so that you can stack the middle star on top.
Than you guessed it! More whipped cream.
Then blackberries (or blueberries if you prefer). Top with another small dollop of whipped cream and add the tiniest star on top
Hmmm… it needs something. What to do?
There we go! It just needed some “POW!” POWdered sugar, that is.
Yeah, baby! Makes me want to sing the National Anthem! Join me, won’t you? I feel American once again. S’more Kits Last but not least, an idea to help add one final spark to your Fourth. If you will be finding yourself beside a firepit (hopefully not in the same location as the fireworks!) then your family and friends will enjoy eating s’mores out of their own personal little s’more kit. We have these for our guests every summer night at The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast and they love the mini-surprise of having their own prepared packet.
I hope you enjoy these ideas or that they help spark some fun ideas of your own. Have a very, very happy and safe Fourth of July!