4th of July Desserts and Traditions
One of my favorite holidays is the 4th of July’s, America’s Independence Day. Because it falls smack in the middle of summer, the 4th has always been a holiday I associate with swimming pools, hot dogs dripping with ketchup, cold cans of orange soda, drawing my name with sparklers, and a delicious roster of 4th of July desserts.
More on the treats in a minute…
When we celebrate Independence Day each July we are honoring the day the Continental Congress of the United States declared independence from England at their Philadelphia convention on July 4, 1776. Many cities still celebrate a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, preferably from the exact spot where it was first read aloud. In Boston this happens at the Old State House, a beloved landmark that stands slightly out of place amidst the concrete of today’s Financial District, but sets the perfect scene with its patriotic balcony bunting of red, white, and blue.
America is a patriotic country, and the 4th of July is our favorite excuse to wild with all things red, white, and blue – including what we eat. Time to make some easy 4th of July desserts!
With fresh berries in season and the mercury rising, one refreshing way to celebrate the 4th is with a Patriotic Pudding Parfait, a simple dessert made up of layers of graham crackers, creamy vanilla pudding, and fresh strawberries and blueberries.
It all comes together in a snap, and looks beautiful.
After chilling in the fridge for a few hours, which gives the graham crackers a chance to soak up some of the pudding, the parfait desserts are topped with whipped cream and sprinkles before serving.
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Want something a little colder?
Homemade mini ice cream sandwiches come together in minutes and are a huge hit with kids. If they can work fast enough, you can even let them build their own.
I started with a batch of Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, then used my cookie scoop to place miniature scoops of vanilla ice cream between two of the cookies before rolling the sides in festive sprinkles (jimmies to us New Englanders).
Pop the finished ice cream sandwiches back in the freezer to firm up again before serving.
Both of these 4th of July desserts would make a perfect ending to the typical summer holiday feast of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, pasta salad, and hot corn on the cob.
How do you celebrate the 4th of July?