July 03, 2012

Red, White & Blue Ideas for The Fourth of July Celebrations

Red, White and Blue Cookies
Vanilla Dipped Red, White and Blue Strawberries
Red, White and Blue Potatoes
Red, White and Blue Jello Dessert
Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake

1 1/2 c chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c butter, melted
1 T granulated sugar
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3T  unsweetened cocoa
1 c sour cream
1/2 c whole buttermilk
2 t vanilla extract
1 t distilled white vinegar
2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
2 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.

Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Beat 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of spring form pan. Garnish, if desired with washed and dried blueberries for a 'red white and blue' presentation.

Vanilla Red, White and Blue Strawberries

1 quart strawberries, washed and patted or air dried
1/2 lb. vanilla almond bark
blue sugar crystals (from the cake decorating area of your local store)

Melt the almond bark in the microwave in a bowl, at half power or as directed on the package.  You can also melt it in a double boiler or in a bowl over a pan of water on the stove.  Do not heat on high and do not 'over' cook it.  It will melt quickly and smoothly by stirring.  Use your fingers, a fork or toothpicks to dip the bottom half of a clean, dry strawberry into the mixture.  Let the excess drip off or run the edge over the bowl or a spoon to remove the excess from pooling.  Hold it just a moment to let the bark set up just a little bit and then dip the bottom 1/4 of the berry into the blue sugar crystals.

Place on wax paper or parchment paper and let set up completely.  Serve the same day you prepare them if possible.

Red, White and Blue Jello

2 (3 oz.) pkg. blackberry Jell-O
1 can blueberry pie filling
1 (3 oz.) pkg. lemon Jell-O
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 (6 oz.) Cool Whip
2 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry Jell-O
1 box frozen strawberries

Make blackberry Jell-O with 3 cups water instead of 4; stir in pie filling. Pour in a deep, rectangular pan; cool until firmly set.

Add 1 cup boiling water to lemon Jell-O; beat this into the cream cheese. Cool this mixture to room temperature; then fold in Cool Whip. Pour this mixture on top of blackberry Jell-O layer; cool until firmly set.

Make strawberry Jell-O with 3 cups water instead of 4; stir in frozen strawberries. Cool until room temperature; then pour this mixture on top of cream cheese layer; cool until firmly set. Cut into squares to serve.Print Friendly and PDF