Contributor Series June 29, 2017

Contributor Series: Three Desserts for the Fourth of July

Fourth of July calls for red, white and blueberries . . . or sprinkles of course! Our Cooking Contributor, Elisabeth & Butter, guides us through her top three dessert recipes to share with friends and family at your Fourth of July gathering next week. These desserts taste even better than they look! We could not resist taking a bite of each one after this photoshoot was complete.

 

From Elisabeth:

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays to spend with my family and friends because it is centered around food. I can’t remember a Fourth of July where we didn’t have some type of patriotic dessert and I plan to keep that tradition going. When asked to share some recipes for this fun holiday, I thought back to some of my family favorites and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. These three recipes are simple, delicious, and will make your Fourth of July celebration even sweeter!

 

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THREE DESSERTS FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY

 

Layered Pound Cake with Whipped Cream and Berries

 

My grandmother, born and raised in South Carolina, was the epitome of the perfect hostess. She made everyone feel loved and welcomed and her cooking was phenomenal. This pound cake recipe was hers and was typed out on an old-fashioned typewriter. To take this recipe up to the next level, I added homemade whipped cream and berries. Trust me, this recipe is tried and true! It is simple to make and easy to assemble given that you can leave the sides bare. I think this is the perfect 4th of July dessert that every guest will love!

 

Yields a 3 layered, 8 inch cake

 

Ingredients:
For the Cake:3 cups sugar2 sticks salted butter, softened5 large eggs

3 cups cake flour

⅛  teaspoon baking powder

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon

For the Whipped Cream:

2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

1 ¼ cups confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fresh Strawberries

Fresh Blueberries

Fresh Blackberries

Directions:
For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease 3, 8 inch cake pans.
  2. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together for 2-3 minutes on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  3. Stir flour and baking powder together, then add to the mixer alternating with the heavy cream, beginning and ending with flour until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in vanilla and lemon zest.
  4. Bake for 20-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and it springs back when you touch it.

For the whipped cream:

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream and confectioners sugar on medium speed until soft peaks form and it is thickened. Do not overmix the cream or it will curdle. Stir in vanilla extract.
  2. Layer the cake with whipped cream and place sliced strawberries between each layer. Top with the remaining whipped cream and lots of berries!

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Mini Blueberry Hand Pies

 

In my opinion, mini pies are the cutest desserts and the easiest to make. These little pies leave a lasting impression when served and guests will love the fresh taste of the blueberries. When looking for a dessert to make last minute, the store bought pie crust and short list of ingredients make for a delicious treat that your friends will think you spent hours making. Simply cut circles out of the sheets of dough and place the blueberry mixture in the center. Fold the dough over, press with a fork, bake and enjoy a bit of blueberry heaven. You can also substitute other fruits in this recipe and get creative with your pies. These are best served warm with a scoop of ice cream!

 

Yields 12-14 pies

 

Ingredients:
1 box refrigerated store bought pie crust2 cups fresh blueberriesZest of 1 lemonJuice of half a lemon (1 tablespoon)

⅓ cup sugar

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water

Sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Unroll pie dough and using a round cookie cutter or glass, cut 3-4 inch circles out of one sheet of dough. Gently roll up the remaining scraps of dough and roll it out again to make more rounds. Place rounds on the baking sheet.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the blueberries, lemon zest and juice, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
  4. Scoop about a tablespoon of the blueberry mixture on the center of each round of dough. Fold dough over so the two edges meet and press with your fingers to seal. Grab a fork and press the back of it down on the edges to create a ripple and to seal the dough once more.
  5. Whisk egg with water and brush the tops of the pies and sprinkle with sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut two small slices on the tops of each pie. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm with ice cream!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

 

The best way to beat the summer heat is with these ice cream sandwiches. Two perfect chocolate chip cookies paired with creamy vanilla ice cream – it doesn’t get much better that that. This chocolate chip cookie recipe is from my sister who knows what it takes to make a good cookie. I had such a fun time making these sandwiches. Like most tangible goals we work toward in life, it’s important to enjoy the process while looking ahead to the result. This recipe is easy to prepare with friends, so don’t be afraid to bring some friends into the process with you. Red, white and blue sprinkles make these cookies the highlight of any party and make the perfect dessert for kids or for a casual gathering with friends. Luckily, they are easy to make ahead of time. Based on our sticky experience preparing these ice cream sandwiches for an outdoor shoot in the sun, I suggest keeping these treats in the freezer until they are served. If you want to serve the ice cream sandwiches outside, the best way is on a chilled ice tray.

 

Yields 18-20 sandwich cookies

 

Ingredients:

2 sticks salted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Vanilla Ice Cream

Sprinkles

Directions:

For the Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add vanilla extract.
  3. With your mixer on low, add in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Either refrigerate the dough for up to three days or bake immediately. Using a medium sized ice cream scoop or spoon, drop dough a few inches apart on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

For assembling the ice cream sandwiches:

  1. Once the cookies are cooled, use a large ice cream scoop and place a generous amount of vanilla ice cream in the center of one cookie, then smash the other cookie on top. Roll in sprinkles or mini chocolate and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

*Freezing the cookies before filling them with ice cream helps them hold up and not melt.

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When you host family and friends on the Fourth of July, one of the most difficult tasks is the preparation of food and desserts to satisfy a large group. Each of Elisabeth’s recipes are flexible enough to suit any size gathering. If you’re one that gets nervous about baking, these recipes are perfect for you because they are simple to make and assemble. These desserts will be the highlight of any party and will be sure to satisfy all your guests!

 

We hope you enjoy these desserts as much as we did. Have a Happy Fourth!

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