Wednesday, June 28, 2017

3 America-Themed Desserts for the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one of the best holidays of the year, and it’s no wonder. Other than the mere principle of the United States gaining its independence, July 4th brings bright fireworks, backyard barbecues and everything America-themed. Here are three fun and easy recipes to bring the red, white and blue to the dessert table at your upcoming Independence Day party!

July 4th Sprinkle Cookies

Sprinkle a little extra patriotism into your Fourth of July party with these super-easy vanilla cookies.
These treats are made from cake mix and should only take about an hour from start to finish, and they stay soft and fresh for up to three days!

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon imitation rum extract (or almond extract)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon of each color of sprinkles/jimmies (red, white and blue)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the vanilla cake mix, then add the beaten egg and extract. Pour and stir in the white chocolate chips and the sprinkles.
  • Roll the dough into small balls. Gently smash the balls with your palm on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow the cookies to finish baking on the baking sheet for another 5-7 minutes after you take them out of the oven.
  • Enjoy!

Patriotic Dipped Oreos

Take a dip in our country’s colors before you take a dip in the pool at your Independence Day party with these red, white, and blue Oreos! Besides, what better treat to eat on America’s favorite day than America’s favorite cookie?

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt white candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
  • Dip each cookie in white chocolate and flip to coat. Remove from chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, and place on lined sheet. Allow to set for 15 minutes. (You can take a knife and shave any excess off cookies to keep nice shape.)
  • Melt red candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
  • Dip each cookie in red chocolate to coat one end. Allow excess to drip off, and place back on lined sheet. Allow to set for 15 minutes.
  • Melt blue candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
  • Dip each cookie in blue chocolate to coat opposite end. Allow excess to drip off, and place back on lined sheet. Allow to set for 15 minutes.

Red, White and Blue Rice Krispies Treats

Is that snap, crackle and pop from the fireworks or from this delicious dessert? These patriotic Rice Ingredients
Krispies Treat Pops will be as much of a crowd pleaser as that Black Cat in the night sky.
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 10.5 oz. marshmallows
  • red and blue food coloring
  • 8-12 Popsicle sticks
  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tbsp. butter on low heat. Add ⅓ of the marshmallows and enough red food coloring to make the mixture your desired shade of red.
  • Add ⅓ of the Rice Krispies cereal and stir until cereal is well coated.
  • Press the mixture into your pan with buttered hands.
  • Repeat the melting process with one more tablespoon of butter and 1/3 of the marshmallows, then add cereal.
  • Press this mixture on top of the red layer.
  • Melt the remaining butter and marshmallows. Stir in blue food coloring until it reaches your desired shade of blue.
  • Stir in cereal and press into the pan on top of the white layer.
  • Insert Popsicle sticks at equal distances.
  • Cool completely before cutting into individual pops.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

3 Watermelon-Inspired Treats to Try This Summer

Happy June! This month marks the beginning of the sunny summer season, bringing pool days, warm weather and an all-you-can-eat watermelon harvest. There’s nothing better than a fat, juicy slice of the red fruit on a hot day … well, almost nothing! Beat the heat with these watermelon-inspired baked treats at your next summer party!

Watermelon Cake Balls

Just when you thought cake balls couldn’t get any cuter! Follow this recipe to make the most adorable dessert your guests have seen. Don’t let their appearance fool you, though — these fruity treats are actually strawberry flavored.

1 box of strawberry cake mix (bake as package instructs, but add an extra egg and replace the oil with an equal amount of melted butter)
1 cup of mini chocolate chips
1 package of green candy melts
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 can of strawberry frosting
wax paper

  1. Bake the strawberry cake mix according to package directions, except add an extra egg and replace the oil with an equal amount of melted butter.
  2. After the cake has completely cooled, crumble it into itty-bitty pieces in a large bowl.
  3. Thoroughly stir frosting into the crumbled cake bits until it reaches a consistency that can easily be rolled into balls.
  4. Add the chocolate chips.
  5. Roll cake mixture into small, one inch balls. Place them one inch apart on a wax-paper-lined baking sheet to freeze for up to one hour.
  6. After you remove the cake balls from the freezer, place the green melts and oil in the microwave for 15 seconds. Stir until smooth. Repeat until all the green candy melts are completely melted.
  7. Dip each cake ball into the smooth melted candy. Use a toothpick and be sure to evenly coat each cake ball.
  8. Place dipped cake balls into the refrigerator to harden.
  9. Once the cake balls have hardened, serve and wait (not very long) for your guests to devour them. Grab one before they’re gone!

Watermelon Cupcakes

Serve these grab-and-go cupcakes at your next event! These sweets are perfect for a kid’s party—they’ll love the cute colors and fruity flavor!

1 package of white cake mix (including ingredients listed on cake mix package)
light green food coloring
2 sticks of butter, unsalted at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3-4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 tsp of powdered watermelon Kool-Aid mix
little bit of red food coloring to give the buttercream a pinkish color
mini chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl, mix the white cake mix and ingredients according to package directions. Gradually add in the green food coloring; remember, a little goes a long way!
  2. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling each 1/2 full. We suggest using green cupcake liners to show the green color of the watermelon.
  3. Follow package baking instructions.
  4. While the cupcakes are in the oven, you may prepare the buttercream frosting. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until smooth.
  5. Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix by hand with a spatula.
  6. Using an electric mixer again, add in the watermelon Kool-Aid powder and a small amount of red food coloring (to give the frosting a pinkish color).
  7. Once the cupcakes have cooled, use a 1M Wilton Decorating Tip to stack the buttercream onto the cupcakes in a swirling motion.
  8. Finally, add mini chocolate chips on top of the frosting as “seeds”.
  9. Enjoy!

Watermelon Cake

Put a fruity spin on this classic dessert. When cut, this perfectly moist two-layer cake looks like actual watermelon slices!

1 box white cake mix
1 (3 oz.) box of watermelon Jell-O powder (reserve 2 teaspoons for frosting)
1/2 cup watermelon puree (reserve 2 teaspoons for frosting)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
red food coloring
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
5 cups confectioners' sugar
green food coloring

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of two eight-inch round pans with wax paper and spray the sides with cooking oil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and Jell-O. Add water and oil; mix on medium speed.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.
  5. Add watermelon puree and beat until blended.
  6. Add red food coloring, a little at a time, until you reach desired color.
  7. Pour into pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. While the cake is baking, beat cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl.
  9. Beat in watermelon puree.
  10. Gradually add sugar and Jell-O, beating until smooth.
  11. Color 1/3 of the frosting green, color the remaining 2/3 the same color as the cake.
  12. Spread the pink frosting in between the layers and on top of the cake, and press mini chocolate chips on top for seeds. Spread the green frosting around the edges.
  13. Serve and watch the slices disappear!