The Fourth of July has become one of the most festive and celebrated holidays of the year around the United States – and for good reason. On July 4th, 1776, America gained its independence from the British Empire and declared the thirteen colonies to be a new nation. In 2017, we celebrate this holiday with friends, family, fireworks and lots of red, white and blue. Here are five patriotic recipes that honor our great nation’s colors:

1) Fourth of July Cake Roll

Taste and Tell

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for the pan

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring

  • 1 teaspoon blue gel food coloring

  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • pinch of salt

  • 3 cups marshmallow crème

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 2-4 tablespoons milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Brush vegetable oil on the bottom on the sides of a half sheet pan (18”x13”)*.  Line with parchment paper, then brush vegetable oil on the parchment paper.  Sprinkle flour over the pan, then tap out the excess, coating the oil with the flour.

  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until the mixture is combined.  Pour half of the batter into another bowl (about 1 1/2 cups of batter).  Add the red food coloring to one bowl and the blue to the other.  Stir just until combined.

  3. Spread the red and blue batter in the pan in alternating stripes, 3 of each color.  (I transferred the batter to ziplock bags and then cut off the tip.  I think this made less of a mess for me, but you can also pour the batter!)  Each stripe will be about 2 inches wide. Don’t worry if they aren’t completely straight.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the top springs back when pressed, about 15 minutes.  Let the cake sit for 3 minutes, then loosen the edges  from the pan with a knife, if needed.  Generously dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar, then place a kitchen towel over the top. DO NOT use a terry cloth towel.  Place a cooling rack on top, then invert the cake over onto the towel and rack.  Remove the parchment paper, then roll the cake up with the towel, rolling the long end of the cake.  Let the cake cool completely, at least 1 1/2 hours.

  5. To make the frosting, beat the butter and the salt in a stand mixer until light and creamy, about 1 minute.  Add the marshmallow cream and vanilla and continue to beat for 2-3 minutes longer.  Add in the powdered sugar, then start adding the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach a spreadable consistency.

  6. Gently unroll the cake and spread half of the frosting over the entire surface of the cake, all the way to the edges.  Re-roll the cake (without the towel).  Trim the edges.  Using the remaining frosting, Frost the outside of the cake.

2) Patriotic Rice Krispie Stars

Blooming Homestead

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 tablespoons butter

  • 2 package (10 oz., about 40) Marshmallows OR 8 cups Miniature Marshmallows

  • 9 cups Rice Krispie cereal

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt Butter and marshmallows in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.

  2. Separate marshmallow mixture into 3 bowls and add food coloring for layers.

  3. Working one layer at a time, start pressing in the colored layers into 9×13 pan.

  4. Make sure there are no empty spaces or gaps.

  5. Allow a few minutes for each layer to set before adding on next layer.

  6. After top layer, allow entire treat to set up before using star shaped cookie cutters to cut out shapes.

3) Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Bites

The Kitchen is my Playground

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 large strawberries

  • 40 blueberries

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened

  • 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar

  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. almond extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place softened cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and almond extract in a small bowl; stir until well combined and smooth. Chill for about 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. While cream cheese mixture chills, rinse strawberries and pat dry with paper towels. Leaving leaves on, slice each strawberry in half lengthwise and set aside on a plate or serving platter with the cut side up. (If strawberry halves do not sit level on the platter, cut a very tiny slice from the rounded side of the berry half to create a flat spot for it to sit upon.)

  3. Spoon cream cheese mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. (If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a zip-top baggie. Cut off one of the bottom corners of the bag and use it to pipe through.) Pipe cream cheese mixture onto each of the strawberry halves.

  4. Top each strawberry half with two blueberries. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to about 3 hours.

4) Red, White and Blue Brownie Pizza

Jo Cooks

INGREDIENTS

For Brownie Crust:

  • 1 box brownie mix

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 egg

For Cream cheese frosting and toppings:

  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature (1 package)

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

  • 2 to 3 cups strawberries sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a pizza pan or a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In your mixer add all the brownie ingredients and mix just until everything is well blended. Spread the brownie mix over the parchment paper to form a circle that’s about 14 inches in diameter. Bake for 20 minutes. Let it cool completely.

  3. In your mixer add the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract and mix well until smooth.

  4. Using a spatula spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the brownie crust.

  5. Arrange berries over the cream cheese mixture.

  6. Slice and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

5) Red, White and Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles

The View From Great Island

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 heaping cup raspberries

  • 1 cup blueberries

  • 1 cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt

  • Popsicle Mold

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Using a small 4 cup food processor, or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Set aside.

  2. Do the same with the blueberries. (If your blueberries are super purple, add a little blue food coloring.)

  3. Put the yogurt and each of the berry purees in small measuring cups with spouts. The goal is to thin them just a bit so they are pourable. Use water for the yogurt and the raspberries, and, depending on the color of your blueberries, you can use water, or yogurt if you need to brighten up your ‘blue’. Keep these cups chilling in the refrigerator when you are not using them.

  4. To layer your pops, start by pouring a little of the blueberry in the bottom of each mold. The only tricky part to these popsicles is getting the layers in without too much spillage to mar your stripes. Use my photos as a rough guide for how much blue you want. Don’t get too fussy, it should look rustic!

  5. Put the mold in the freezer and freeze till firm, at least an hour, or more.

  6. Layer a little bit of yogurt into each mold for the next stripe. You will be able to see through the side of the mold to check your progress. At this point, cover the top of the mold with foil, and insert the popsicle sticks. Make sure to get the stick a little bit into the frozen layer so they will stand straight. Put back into the freezer until solid.

  7. Remove the foil at this stage, you won’t need it since the stick is in and you need to layer. Next comes your raspberry stripe, and so on until the molds are filled. Make sure to freeze each stripe until solid before adding the next. Don’t worry if the stripes are uneven, but do try to clean up any dribbles as you go. I used a popsicle stick to scrape down the insides of the mold after each stripe.

  8. Once filled and completely frozen solid, you can un-mold your pops. Fill the sink with hot water. Remove the foil, and immerse the mold just up to the lip, being careful not to let any water splash onto the top. Hold it for 30 seconds, remove, and try to pull the pops out. If they don’t slide out, immerse again for just a few seconds.

  9. I recommend keeping the popsicles in the mold until you are ready to serve, or, if you are working in batches, wrap each pop quickly in waxed paper or put into a baggie and put back in the freezer. I don’t recommend making these more than a day in advance.

With these five recipes on hand, you’ll be prepared for any Independence Day get together. Don’t forget your sunscreen and American pride!

Jennie G
CONTRIBUTOR