Saturday, July 2, 2011

4th of July desserts

I'm not really baking for 4th of July this year since I'm at my sister's for the holiday weekend and I'm not sure I really want to turn on the oven when it's triple digit temperatures outside.  In fact, I know I don't.

However, if you are baking for family gatherings, picnics, barbecues, etc, here are some ideas from what I've previously posted:

Red Velvet Cake - make this as a sheet cake, frost with cream cheese or vanilla frosting, and, using blueberries for the stars and raspberries for the stripes, make a flag cake.  Just be careful not to leave out in the sun as the frosting won't hold up well.  Put the blueberries and strawberries on at the last minute so the juices don't bleed onto the white frosting before you serve it.

4th of July desserts don't have to visually be red, white and blue to be holiday appropriate.  Instead, think broadly - what says "America" to you in terms of baked goods?  There are some desserts that really signify hometown American favorites such as:
Apple Pie
Chocolate Chip Cookies (invented from the Tollhouse Inn by Ruth Wakefield herself - Alton Brown's recipe is still my favorite)
Brownies (Shirley's Fudge Brownies are one of my favorites but there are too many to really link them all - just do a search on my blog and choose the one you visually like best :))

Or you can make "functionally" appropriate desserts, i.e. ones that are easy to make and there's enough for a large crowd like:
Diane's Double Chocolate Sheet Cake
Carrot Cake

Or basic crowd pleasers where you don't have to worry about whether people have nut allergies or (heaven forbid) don't like chocolate:
Best Vanilla Pound Cake
Lemon Bars

Cupcakes are always a popular dessert at group gatherings, especially ones with kids.  Some of my favorites are:
Banana Butterscotch Cupcakes
Fudge Ball Cupcakes

So let your baking imaginations run wild and see what you come up with. 

And, because I can never resist pictures of food, here's one I took at the last baseball game I went to (San Francisco Giants vs the Florida Marlins at AT&T Park) - that shrieks 4th of July to me since there's nothing more American than baseball (....cookies) :).

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