The United States has a number of wonderful holidays to express our thanks for our freedom and the people who serve or served to ensure we have it. Here is a collection of desserts from Mama Steph that would fit in just perfectly for your patriotic holiday; maybe you can make something for someone to whom you'd like to say "thank you for your service!"
Red, white and blue chocolate bark
4 cups of white chocolate chips, divided
red, white and blue sprinkles
Set aside one cup of white chocolate chips in two separate bowls, 1/2 cup in each bowl
Place the remaining three cups in a large, microwave-safe bowl, and begin melting in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval. This will likely take up to two minutes.
When completely melted and stirred until smooth, spread the chocolate on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, keeping it about 1/4 inch thick. The shape doesn't matter.
Microwave one of the two smaller bowls containing 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips for 30 seconds, then stir. If needed, microwave a bit longer, up to a minute.
Drop 2 drops of red food color into the small bowl, and stir well. (It is tempting to dump a lot more food color in the melted chocolate to get a darker result, but doing so will cause your chocolate to buckle, ruining it. Just a couple of drops is all it can handle.)
Dollop the red-tinted melted chocolate onto the white melted chocolate, and use an offset spatula or butter knife to swirl the colors into the white.
Follow the same routine for the blue melted chocolate.
While still soft and melted, use red white and blue candies or sprinkles and scatter over the bark. Press into the white chocolate a bit, if needed.
Refrigerate until firm, then break into pieces. If not serving that day, store tightly sealed in a container in the refrigerator up to a month.
Red, white and blueberry parfaits - See video here
There parfaits are adorable and can be made ahead of time in small jars!
One loaf of bakery pound cake, cut into one-inch cubes
1 pint of fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
For the blueberry syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
Combine the water and sugar, bring to a boil in a small saucepan while stirring. Add the blueberries and lemon juice, and bring back to a boil. Stir for one minute, then remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
Then, in parfait dishes or Mason jars, layer the parfaits as follows:
Layer of cake cubes
layer of berries and syrup
layer of whipped cream
layer of strawberry slices
layer of cake
layer of blueberries and syrup
layer of whipped cream
Top with fresh berries or a drizzle of blueberry syrup.
Red, white and blueberry cake with real whipped cream - See video here
One recipe yellow or white cake (Fold 1/2 to 1 cup blueberries which you've coated in flour (so they don't sink to the bottom of the batter) to your cake batter at the end of mixing.)
fresh blueberries for decorating (about 2 cups)
fresh strawberries, sliced,for decorating (about 2 cups)
32 ounces of heavy whipping cream
3 TBS powdered sugar
1. Bake cake with added blueberries until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes in pan, and then turn out on cooling rack to cool completely.
2. Drizzle any juice that has come off the strawberries (will definitely happen if you slice the night before and sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of sugar) over the cake. I poke holes in the cake with a fork or toothpick first, then drizzle. I just use a tablespoon or two so cake doesn't get soggy. Optional.
3. Make whipped cream (please, do try this..."non-dairy whipped topping" may be a dollar cheaper, but it tastes nothing, absolutely nothing, like the real thing).
Place 32 ounces of cold heavy whipping cream into large, cool mixing bowl. Using hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment, begin whisking the cream, gradually increasing speed to high. Let the cream mix on high speed until it begins to thicken. (just a couple of minutes; just when you think it isn't going to happen, it does!) When cream begins to thicken, add the powdered sugar by sprinkling over the top of the cream, and blending it in. When whipped cream looks thick enough to spread, stop beating, and spread onto cake as you would icing.
3. Decorate! Use strawberry slices and blueberries to make an American flag-inspired cake, or just mix the berries together and place all over the top of the cake. It looks beautiful! Obviously, you can use any berries you'd like for this: blackberries, raspberries, etc.)
Strawberry and blueberry jam shortbread tartlets - see video here
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks cold salted butter, chopped into 4 pieces each
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup strawberry, blueberry, apricot, or other flavor of jam (seedless is best) or "all-fruit" spread
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and have ready a mini-muffin or mini-tart pan.
In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar, milk, vanilla, and butter. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and form into a log. Divide the log in half and divide each half into 15 pieces.
Place a ball of dough in the cup of a mini-muffin pan and, using a dough tamper or your fingers, press down until the dough reaches the top of the cup.
Spoon two teaspoons or so of jam into each tart shell, making sure the tart shells are not too full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tarts are golden brown and the jam is bubbling. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing to a rack to cool the rest of the way. This step is important so that the hot, liquid jam doesn't spill out of the tart shells.
Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
Here are a few more you might enjoy! Click the links to see the recipes:
Fresh strawberry pie by Mama Steph - just add a handful of blueberries to keep the red, white and blue theme!
Grilled pound cake with strawberry-blueberry sauce and white chocolate-ricotta cream - sounds fancy, but it's super easy to make this delicious treat
Mama Steph's strawberry-blueberry breakfast bread - A wonderful loaf that would be great for breakfast or brunch, or as the base for an ice cream sundae!