Sweet Tips for a Fabulous 4th of July

June 16, 2014 Editorial Staff
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(Family Features) It’s easy to throw a 4th of July party that looks like you worked on it for weeks, even if you just started the planning process.

Celebrate the holiday in style by serving classic entrees everyone loves and focusing your attention on delicious, easy-to-make desserts. With the right recipes, your sweets will be as captivating as the colorful spectacle of fireworks above.

  • Hot Cinnamon Fireworks Cake: Crushed cinnamon drops add color and a slight hot cinnamon flavor to the inside of the cake, while simple melted candy details make the cake look like a firework bursting.
  • Quick Pickled Strawberry Hand Pies: Pies you can hold in your hand are perfect for a picnic, and this one has a special flavor. With the current love affair with all things pickled, we filled the pies with a pickled strawberry filling. The filling balances sweet and sour for an uncommonly delicious mini pie your party guests will love.
  • No-Bake Cheesecake Star Pops: Fun star-shaped pops of no-bake cheesecake will be a hit with adults and kids alike. Drizzled or dipped in melted Candy Melts candy, these festive star pops are easy to shape in star-shaped silicone treat molds.
  • Mixed Berry and Lemon Mini Icebox Cakes: Sweet, light and airy, these mini icebox cakes pack a refreshing burst of creamy flavor, perfect for the summer. Vanilla wafer cookies are stacked in a flavor-filled mixture of fruit and whipped cream and refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Your party planning confidence will skyrocket with these delicious dessert ideas from the Wilton test kitchen. For more fun and festive party ideas, visit www.wilton.com.

    No-Bake

    Recipe: No-Bake Cheesecake Star Pops

    Ingredients:

    • 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup boiling water
    • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 bag (12 ounces) royal blue Candy Melts candy
    • Lollipop Sticks

    Preparation:

    1. Prepare 6-cavity Mini Star Silicone Mold with vegetable pan spray. In small bowl, combine gelatin, sugar and water; whisk until completely dissolved. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla and salt with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add gelatin mixture, beating well. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Continue beating until fully combined. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate 2 hours or until completely set. Carefully unmold cheesecakes onto cookie pan. Melt small amount of Candy Melts candy. Dip lollipop stick in melted candy and insert 3/4 way into cheesecake stars. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm.
    2. In large bowl, melt remaining Candy Melts according to package directions. Drizzle or pipe candy over cheesecake stars as desired. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until set. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

    Yield 6 servings

    Mixed

    Recipe: Mixed Berry and Lemon Mini Icebox Cakes

    Ingredients:

    Preparation:

    1. Line muffin pan with plastic wrap, pressing plastic into each cavity and letting plastic hang over edge of pan. In large skillet, combine mixed berries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering until berries soften and liquid reduces to 1 cup, about 20 to 25 minutes. Gently mash berries with wooden spoon. Transfer to medium bowl and cool completely. In large bowl, whip cream on medium-high speed until cream holds stiff peaks, about 4 to 5 minutes. Gently fold in berry mixture and zest until completely combined. Place whipped cream in decorating bag and cut off pointed end. To assemble, pipe small amount of whipped cream mixture into each muffin cavity. Lightly press a cookie into whipped cream. Continue layering whipped cream and cookies until cavities are full, finishing with whipped cream layer. You should have 3 layers of cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove pan from refrigerator. Remove plastic wrap from top and carefully flip out onto serving platter. Remove wrap from mini cakes. Garnish with additional berries, if desired. Serve immediately.

    Yield 12 mini cakes