Tag Archives: fourth of july

Pretzel Rod Sparklers

7 Jul

As promised, here is another 4th of July dessert recipe.  These sparkler pretzels are simple but fun and would make a perfect addition to any summer BBQ!

Pretzel Rod Sparklers

22 pretzel rods
6 .24 oz packets of Pop Rocks
2/3 cup of chocolate chips

Place your chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, then microwave until melted.  Heat in 20 second increments, stirring between each one.  Be careful not to burn the chocolate!

Dip your pretzel rods into the chocolate, coating the top of the pretzel.  Then, sprinkle pop rocks on the coated end, pressing them into the chocolate gently if need be.

Stand your sparkler rods upright in a cup or mug, then place them in the fridge until the chocolate has set. 

When you eat them, the pop rocks sparkle and pop- it’s like fireworks in your mouth!  And the saltiness of the pretzel is perfect with the chocolate.   For such a simple dessert, these really deliver!

Stained Glass Cookies

6 Jul

We had a 4th of July BBQ this weekend and I volunteered to bring desserts.  I knew I wanted to make something festive and delicious so I decided on stained glass cookies (and a few other things, but I’ll save those for a future post!)  I’ve seen these on numerous blogs, though I think initially on this one, so it was just a matter of mixing and matching what worked for me.

Here’s the version that I went with. 

Stained Glass Cookies

1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of butter (softened)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cookie cutters- one big and one medium size (I used a large circle and a smaller star)
red and blue jolly ranchers (I ended up using about 15 of them)

Cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Cover the dough and chill for an hour, or up to overnight. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On a floured surface, roll out your dough until it’s about 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick. 

Cut out circles and place them on a cookie sheet.  I greased mine instead of using parchment paper which may have been a mistake. The cookies stuck to all my pans (and got ruined) except my nice expensive one so next time I think I’d use paper.  Your call!

Once you have your circles on the cookie sheet, go ahead and cut out your stars. 

Next, take the wrappers off your Jolly Ranchers and put them in ziploc bags (reds in one bag, blue in another)  Then smash them into tiny pieces.  This is easier said than done so it helps to have a sous chef do this while you roll out the dough 🙂

Fill the center of your cookies with crushed candy.  Be careful not to get any candy on the cookie or it will discolor it.  You want a decent amount of candy in there, so it should create a little dome in the middle.  That way when it melts it will fill the entire middle.

Bake the cookies for 5-7 minutes (mine took 5) until the candy is hot and bubbly and the cookies are just beginning to brown.  Let them cool completely before you careful take them off the pans.

And voila- the most patriotic cookies ever.   Plus they are delicious!

Truth time- these cookies were a hit at the BBQ but they were kind of a pain to make.  Perhaps it was the fact that it was 93 degrees out and my apt has no air conditioning (add to that a tiny kitchen and a hot stove…) and nothing was easy.  The jolly ranchers stuck together because of the heat and I had to wait for the dough to warm up a little because it got too cold next to the vent in the fridge.

So my advice to you would be save yourself some trouble and buy premade sugar cookie dough.  Then you can just use your cookie cutters and skip to the fun part! 

The cool thing about these cookies is you can customize the colors to holidays, graduation parties, baby showers, etc. The sky’s the limit!   And they really are very tasty so go ahead and make them- you’ll wow all your friends!

I’m on a Boat!

5 Jul

Did you have a good Fourth of July weekend?  I had a blast, but I honestly think it will take me all week to recover from all the parties, food, and sparkling cocktails! 

One of the best things about living in Boston is the ocean.  I don’t get to go out on the water as often as I’d like to, but I was lucky enough to go on a (free!) boat cruise this weekend.  The Spirit of Boston is one seriously nice boat-

We cruised around the harbor for two hours and the weather was perfect.  There were lots of other boats out on the water.

I love the view of Boston from the harbor.

After the cruise, my boyfriend and I wandered over to Fan Pier where the Extreme Sailing Series was taking place.  They had a whole village set up with food and drink tents, music, giveaways, and more.  It was cool to see all the boats- they travel all over the world but Boston was their only U.S. stop.

At the sailing village, we saw Mayor Thomas Menino AND got to meet A.J. Burnett.  I’ve watched him on the news pretty much every day since I moved to Boston so it was a little surreal to meet him in person!  He was very gracious and let us take some pictures.  Note how patriotic we are in our red, white, and blue.

After the sailing series, my boyfriend and I finished off the evening with dinner and drinks at Jerry Remy’s by the water.  The food was a little pricey ($14 for a salad) but tasty.  The burger came on fried dough.  ’nuff said!