The summer season boasts a number of patriotic holidays, including Memorial Day, Flag Day and the Fourth of July! If you're hosting a gathering at your retirement community, you'll want to make sure to wow your guests with a selection of delectable desserts. Here are three easy recipes that are as festive as they are delicious.
1. Star-Spangled Chocolate Bark
Any type of homemade chocolate bark is sure to be a hit at your next party. After all, who doesn't love a piece of crispy chocolate? Take your usual recipe up a notch with some patriotic decorations that are sure to please.
- 1 lb. white chocolate candy melts
- 1/2 lb. red candy melts
- 1/2 lb. blue candy melts
- Star-shaped sprinkles
- Red, white and blue M&M candies
Start by lining a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Next, place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the candy at 30-second intervals, stirring after each. When the chocolate is smooth, carefully spread it over the prepared pan to create a 1/4-inch thick layer.
Using the same method, you'll want to melt the red and blue chocolates in separate bowls. When these candies are melted, drop spoonfuls of each color onto the layer of white chocolate. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the colors together. Create a marble pattern with the red and blue chocolate.
Finally, sprinkle the decorative candies over the top of the bark. Place the cookie sheet in the fridge until the chocolate has hardened. You can then peel the chocolate from the parchment paper and break into pieces to serve.
2. Patriotic Chocolate Strawberries
If you'd prefer a dessert that has a little more nutritional value, try this recipe for patriotic chocolate-covered strawberries. They're adorable and tasty - what more could you want?
- 2 lb. fresh strawberries
- 1/2 lb. white chocolate candy melts
- 2 cups blue sugar or sprinkles
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper so you have somewhere to place your chocolate-covered berries.
Next, wash the strawberries and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place the blue sugar in a small bowl.
Melt the white chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl by heating it at 30-second intervals. Stir the chocolate between each interval. When it's completely smooth, start dipping your strawberries.
Hold each berry by the husk, then carefully dip the lower 2/3 of the berry into the white chocolate. Let the chocolate cool for a minute, then dip the lower 1/3 into the blue sugar. You'll be left with a red, white and blue treat!
Place each berry onto the prepared baking sheet to cool. You can speed up the hardening process by placing the baking sheet in the fridge. Keep the chocolate-covered berries in a cool place until you're ready to serve them. Any leftovers can be stored in airtight containers for a few days after your party.
3. Red, White and Blue Cupcakes
For a classic party dessert, whip up a batch of patriotic cupcakes. These layered treats are sure to impress your friends and family, but they're surprisingly simple to make.
- 1 box white cake mix
- 4 egg whites
- 5 oz. plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup water
- Red and blue gel food coloring
Heat the oven to 350 F, and fill 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners. Pick clear liners if you can, as this will allow guests to see the colorful layers.
In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, egg whites, yogurt and water. Stir the ingredients for 2 to 3 minutes or until well blended. Then divvy the mixture up into 3 equal bowls.
Place 2 or 3 drops of red food coloring in one bowl, and the same amount of blue in another. Stir the batter to mix in the coloring. Scoop batter into each cupcake tray, layering the red on the bottom, white in the middle and blue on the top.
When you've used up all the batter, bake the cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are set. Let them cool before frosting.