Celebrate the 4th of July!

Celebrate the Fourth of July!

Outshine the Fireworks this July 4th with Sparkling Sweets

Fireworks don't have to be the only party element that makes guests ooh and ah during July 4th festivities. With colorful sweets that sparkle and a themed tablescape exploding with red, white and blue, your party is sure to be the best on the block.

"Adding patriotic flair to your Independence Day celebration is easy with the right recipes and decorating accents," said Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs at Wilton. "Put your personal John Hancock on the party by turning traditional summertime foods into amazing sweet treats."

Try these dessert ideas from the Wilton test kitchen for a celebration that ends with a bang:

  • Burgers with a Sweet Bite: Traditional burgers are a staple for summer parties; switch things up with Sweet Sliders and build your burgers with unexpected ingredients. Start with whoopie pies for the buns, add a brownie "patty," roll yellow fruit candies into thin layers for cheese, and top it off with red and yellow Sparkle Gel for ketchup and mustard.
  • Playful Twist on Summer Fruit: Make mouths water by serving up slices of delicious watermelon ... cheesecake! Strawberry cheesecake dotted with mini chocolate chips imitates the center of the fruit, and a pistachio and coconut crumble crust mimics the watermelon rind.
  • Patriotic Treat Pops: For the grand finale, nestle Red, White and Blue Treat Pops in a bowl of red Cinnamon Drops. Layer on the festive colors with vanilla cake, colored icing and star-shaped sprinkles. Finish with stars and stripes Rocket Treat Pops Toppers or red, white and blue pinwheels.

For more celebration ideas, visit www.wilton.com.

Cool Watermelon Cheesecake


  • 1-1/4 cups (16 ounces) roasted salted pistachios
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • Leaf green icing color
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon imitation clear vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen whole strawberries, thawed, pureed and strained (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
  • No-taste red icing color
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, divided



  1. In food processor, pulse pistachios until coarsely ground. Add coconut, sugar, butter and icing color; pulse until well combined. Press into bottom and 3/4 up side of 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while making filling.
  2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until light and creamy. Add heavy cream and beat until combined.
  3. In small saucepan, bring strawberry juice just to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over top and whisk vigorously to dissolve completely, about 3 minutes. Pour into cream cheese mixture. Add icing color and beat until well combined. Beat in 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips. Pour into chilled crust. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.


Makes about 12 servings

Sweet Sliders


Cake Buns
  • 1 package (16 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • Eggs, water and vegetable oil to prepare mix
Brownie Patties
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Shredded coconut
  • Leaf green icing color
  • Assorted fruit flavored candies
  • Red sparkle gel
  • Yellow sparkle gel



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare whoopie pie pan with vegetable pan spray.
  2. For buns, combine cake mix, eggs, water and oil in large bowl; mix according to package instructions. Fill prepared pan cavities 2/3 full with cake batter.
  3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until tops of cake spring back when touched. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to cooling grid and cool completely. Repeat with remaining cake batter.
  4. For patties, combine flour and salt in small bowl. In small saucepan, melt butter and sugar with water; stir until sugar is dissolved. Add chocolate chips; stir until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. In large bowl, beat egg with electric mixer. Add chocolate mixture; mix well. Add flour mixture; stir until just combined. Divide batter evenly between whoopie pie pan cavities, filling about 1/3 full.
  6. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean. Cool 10 minutes; loosen edges of brownies and remove from pan. Cool completely.
  7. For toppings, mix shredded coconut with leaf green icing color for lettuce. Roll yellow fruit candies into thin layers for cheese. Use red and yellow sparkle gels for ketchup and mustard. To assemble, top cake bun with a brownie patty. Add toppings and finish with second cake bun.


Makes about 24 Sweet Sliders

Red, White and Blue Treat Pops


Whoopie Pie Cakes
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons imitation clear vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 cups buttercream icing
  • Christmas red icing color
  • Royal blue icing color
  • Patriotic mix sprinkles
  • Rocket Treat Pops Toppers



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare mini whoopie pie pan with vegetable pan spray.
  2. In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg whites and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Alternately add flour mixture and milk in three additions, beating until just combined. Spoon one tablespoon batter into each cavity.
  4. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until tops of cakes spring back when touched. Cool in pan 3 minutes. Cool completely on cooling grid.
  5. In separate small bowls, tint 1 cup buttercream red, 1 cup blue and reserve 1 cup white.
  6. To assemble: Place one cake in bottom of treat pop. Pipe a swirl of blue icing from back edge following the curve of the container to the front, then filling in the center; add sprinkles. Add second cake. Pipe a swirl of white icing; add sprinkles. Top with another cake. Pipe a swirl of red icing. Top with Patriotic Sprinkles or Rocket Treat Pops Toppers.


Makes about 12 Treat Pops

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Convenience tip: Substitute vanilla wafer cookies for whoopie pie cakes.

Wilton Enterprises



Host a Star-Studded Fourth

The Fourth of July calls for a carefree party, with good friends, fab food, fun and fireworks - a real star-studded holiday celebration.

The entertaining experts from Wilton have plenty of ideas to add star power to the occasion, beginning with the decorations. Festive stars and stripes napkin rings in red, white and blue dress up napkins and containers of colorful blossoms to brighten up the table. Then, on to the main course. Serve an all-American favorite meal of grilled burgers and corn on the cob, appropriately topped with a star-shaped pat of butter.

The grand finale is always part of this all-American celebration. Patriotic Pops cut into star shapes definitely say "Happy Fourth of July." Decorated in red, white and blue icing, red licorice and colored candies, these easy-to-make crispy rice treats are a favorite for both youngsters and the grown-ups. The kids can lend a hand to help decorate by placing the candy pieces on the stars.

Add a taste of nostalgia for the child in all of us with Ice Cream Sandwiches - everybody loves 'em. Homemade brownies and buttery vanilla cookies, sandwiched with the ice cream flavor of your choice are a cut above ice cream truck offerings. The new ice cream sandwich pan from Wilton ensures perfectly shaped cookies for every treat. Give them the flair of the Fourth by rolling the edges in patriotic sprinkles and sugars. Or, dip part of the sandwich into melted candy melts and decorate with sprinkles for a fun and festive finish.

Even beverages can boast the star treatment. Star-shaped ice cube kabobs (pictured at right) in the colors of the day are a celebratory way to keep lemonade icy cold. Or, they're perfect for chilling the holiday cocktail.

Visit www.wilton.com for more celebration ideas, to order decorating supplies, the Ice Cream Sandwich Pan or the Silicone Star Ice Kabob Molds.


Ice Cream Sandwiches


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Cookies
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract, orange extract or ground cinnamon (optional)



  1. Brownies: Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray Ice Cream Sandwich Pan with vegetable pan spray.
  2. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter with chocolate chips. Whisk in sugar, eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add flour mixture; stir until just combined. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into each pan cavity, spreading evenly.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted at an angle toward center comes out clean. Immediately remove to cooling rack; cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. Vanilla Cookies: Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray Ice Cream Sandwich Pan with vegetable pan spray.
  5. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Whisk in sugars, eggs, vanilla and, if desired, other extract or cinnamon; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix until blended. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into each pan cavity, spreading evenly.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted at an angle toward center comes out clean. Immediately remove to cooling rack; cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
  7. To Assemble: 1 quart ice cream, any flavor
  8. Assorted Patriotic Mix Sprinkles and Red and Blue Sugars
  9. White Candy Melts, melted (optional)
  10. Scoop about 1/4 cup ice cream onto smooth side of half of the brownies. Top with remaining brownies, pressing gently. If desired, roll edge of sandwiches in sprinkles or sugars. Wrap and freeze immediately.
  11. Or, dip a portion of the sandwich in melted candy melts; add sprinkles and sugars. Freeze 5 minutes to set, then wrap and freeze until ready to serve.


Makes about 12 ice cream sandwiches

Patriotic Pops


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 24 8-inch Cookie Treat Sticks
  • Red, Blue and White Cookie Icing
  • Red and blue candy-coated chocolates
  • Red licorice



  1. Spray Star Cookie Treat Pan and rubber spatula or wooden spoon with vegetable pan spray.
  2. In large saucepan, melt butter. Add marshmallows; cook and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add cereal; mix well. Press into prepared pan; insert cookie sticks. When cool to touch, remove from pan. Repeat with remaining cereal mixture. (If mixture becomes hard to work with, microwave at 50% power 30 to 60 seconds to soften.)
  3. Outline treat as desired with Cookie Icing; add candy and licorice. Let dry at least 1 hour.


Makes about 2 dozen pops

SOURCE: Wilton Enterprises

Fun Family Recipes for Summer

Sometimes it's the simple things in life that matter most. Spending time in the kitchen making something yummy together is one of the simple things families can do to make life a little sweeter and create lifelong memories.

These recipes are not only easy, but they are also lots of fun. They're terrific for a "just-because" snack or as a sweet way to finish off a family picnic. And kids of all ages can help - from pouring and stirring to dipping and decorating, there's something everyone can do. And somehow food tastes a little bit better to kids when they help make it themselves.

Kid-friendly Kitchen Tips

  • Children of all ages should have an adult assistant with them at all times when cooking.
  • The youngest chefs, 3 to 6 years old, will be very good at inserting the ice cream skewers into the strawberries.
  • Older chefs, ages 7 to 9, will enjoy "dipping" the strawberries into the melted chocolate, too.
  • Kids older than 9 years may help prepare the melted chocolate and may also help read directions to the younger kids.

You can find more fun family recipes like these, as well as a gluten-free recipe made with new Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal, at www.ricekrispies.com.


Peanut Butter Bars


  • 1 cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fat free milk
  • 3 cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal or 3 cups Kellogg's Cocoa Krispies cereal
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels, melted



  1. In large mixing bowl beat peanut butter and butter on medium speed until combined. Add powdered sugar and milk. Beat until fluffy. Stir in cereal, mixing until thoroughly combined. Press mixture evenly into 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate until firm.
  2. Drizzle chocolate over cereal mixture. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set and cereal mixture is firm. Cut into bars. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.


Servings 12

Preparation Time:
20 minutes

Total Time:
1 hour

Dip 'n' Roll Strawberry Treats


  • 24 large fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2cups Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal Skewers



  1. Wash strawberries and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In small microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate morsels and shortening. Microwave at high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
  3. Place cereal in shallow dish. Push skewers into strawberries through stem end. Dip in chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Roll in cereal. Place on wax paper. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.


Servings 12

Preparation Time:
15 minutes

Total Time:
35 minutes

Yankee Doodle Dandy Treats™


  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 ounces, about 40) regular marshmallows OR 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® cereal OR 6 cups Kellogg's® Cocoa Krispies® cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Red-, white- and blue-colored sprinkles



  1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  2. Add cereal. Stir until well coated.
  3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper, evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Crosswise cut in half, forming two 9 x 6 1/2-inch rectangles.
  4. Meanwhile, in small saucepan melt white chocolate morsels over low heat, stirring frequently. Stir in oil. Add powdered sugar, stirring until combined. Add water. Stir until smooth.
  5. Spread chocolate mixture over one cereal rectangle. Top with second rectangle. Sprinkle with red, white and blue sprinkles, pressing lightly into cereal mixture. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. Cut into 3 1/4 x 1-inch strips. Best if served the same day.


Servings 18

Preparation Time:
30 minutes

Total Time:
1 hour

SOURCE:  Kellogg

Have a Flag-Waving Fourth of July Potluck!

Potlucks are a popular way to celebrate just about anything - and July Fourth is a great reason to get the friends and neighbors together for a patriotic potluck.

I'm bringing a fantastic flag cake to this year's party - it serves a lot of people and it's easy to make. I'll let you in on two little secrets that make this cake taste extra good: instant potato flakes keep the cake tender and moist, while mini chocolate chips give you little bursts of chocolate with every bite. The colorful fruit on top not only adds great flavor, but it turns this cake into a showstopper that has guests "oohing" and "ahhing" in delight!

If you're going to a potluck party this year, I have some tips for being a good guest:
  • Keep it safe: It's tricky to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold, so make sure the food you're bringing will be safe at room temperature. For example, on a hot summer day, vinegar-based salad dressings are a better choice than mayonnaise-based ones.
  • Keep it simple: Bring dishes that are ready to serve. Asking to pop something into the host's oven for "just a few minutes" is inconvenient for the host and the guests waiting to eat.
  • Keep it practical: Label your dish so that guests know what they're getting. It's also a big help if you bring your own serving utensils - the host won't be forced to hunt for something and the line won't get held up waiting.
  • Keep it yours: If you need to take your serving dish home, be sure to label it. A bit of masking tape with your name on it can be discreetly placed on the dish so it doesn't get mixed up with someone else's.
Flag Cake
For more Independence Day recipe ideas to help you celebrate, visit www.verybestbaking.com.
Independence Cake
(pictured above) Makes 20 servings
  • 1    cup water
  • 1    cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 2 2/3    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1    tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4    teaspoon salt
  • 2    teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2    teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 2/3    cups granulated sugar
  • 1    cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 4    large eggs
  • 3/4    cup milk
  • 2    cups (12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels
  • 1    container (8 ounces) frozen lite whipped topping, thawed
  • 2    cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2    cup blueberries
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan; line with wax paper. 

HEAT water to boiling in small saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in potato flakes until moistened. Cool to room temperature. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

BEAT sugar and butter until crumbly. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in potatoes. Gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with milk. Stir in morsels. Spoon into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 45 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto wire rack; remove wax paper. Cool completely. Transfer to serving platter.

FROST sides and top of cake with whipped topping. Just prior to serving, arrange strawberry slices and blueberries on top of cake to represent the American flag.

Photo & content courtesy of Nestlé

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