Go above and beyond this Independence Day by trying one of these bloggers’ red, white and blue delicacies. These decadent treats are works of art, incorporating American pride and a true understanding of exquisite taste.
Cherry-bomb and coconut milk pops
1 pound cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed-if frozen)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (use 1-2 limes depending on their juiciness)
3/4 cup (180ml) coconut milk
3/4 cup (180g) plain yogurt
1/3 cup (65g) sugar
If using fresh cherries, pit and de-stem the cherries (if using frozen, combine all of the cherry filling ingredients in a blender and proceed to next step. Combine all of the cherry filling ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cherries are soft, 10-15 minutes.
Puree the cherry filling in a blender. Strain out any remaining cherry chunks using a wire mesh strainer and set the cherry juice aside for filling the pops.
In another bowl, whisk together all of the coconut filling ingredients until smooth.
Pour the first layer of cherry juice into the pop mold. Freeze for 30 minutes or until just firm enough to keep the coconut filling from bleeding into the layer.
Pour a layer of coconut filling. Place the popsicle sticks into the pops, making sure the stick goes into the first cherry layer. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm enough to keep the next layer from bleeding into it. Repeat for the remaining layers. Freeze for at least 2 hours after the final layer to make sure pops are completely solid before serving.
To serve, slightly warm the pop molds for 10-20 seconds (under warm water, wrapped a warm towel, or rubbed with your hands) and then pull the pops free of the mold.
Sugar cookie cups with coconut cream cheese filling
Cookie cups and filling:
2 (16.5 oz) pkgs. refrigerated sugar cookie dough
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup fresh whipped cream (or cool whip, if you prefer)
1 pkg. strawberries, washed, stems removed & quartered
1 cup blueberries, washed
Preheat oven according to package directions. Grease a mini muffin pan lightly with cooking spray. Add 1 rounded tbsp. of dough to each muffin tin. Bake 7-9 minutes. Cool completely. Center should sink immediately. If not, gently press center to
create a cavity.
Beat together cream cheese, cream of coconut, powdered sugar and vanilla until incorporated. Fold in fresh whipped cream.
Using a piping bag, pipe cream in to each cookie cup. Top with a strawberry & blueberry. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cardamom blackberry ice cream
1 cup whole milk
1½ cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon ground vanilla beans (or 1 bean split and scraped)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (or more to taste)
6 large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar and ¼ cup sugar for berries
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1½ cups fresh blackberries
Combine the milk and cream in a heavy saucepan. Add the ground vanilla beans (or the split pod and insides) and ground cardamom.
Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then remove from heat and set aside for a moment.
In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks with ¾ cup sugar and the salt. Beat well, then gradually add the warm milk ½ cup at a time, whisking well. Once you’ve added 1½ cups of warm milk, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk while whisking.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (6-8 minutes). Remove from the heat, pour through a fine mesh sieve (discard the vanilla pod), cover and put in the refrigerator until fully chilled — about two hours.
At the same time, combine the blackberries and the ¼ cup of white sugar in a small bowl. Keep it in the refrigerator, but mash with a fork every 45 minutes or so.
Once the blackberries have been combined with the sugar for two hours, press half of the berries through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Discard the seeds and pulp from that half, and mix the syrup back in with the remaining berries.
When the custard has fully cooled, mix 2/3 of the blackberries in with the custard and then follow the directions on your ice cream maker. When you’re ready to transfer the ice cream from the maker to the freezer, pour half of it into a loaf tin, followed by half of the remaining berries, and marble with a fork. Repeat.
Cover and store in an airtight container. Freeze for four hours, before serving.
Simple oatmeal cookie jam bars
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup old fashioned oats
Scant 1 cup blackberry jam
Optional: pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Using hand mixers, cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Using a spoon, scoop the flour into the measuring cups. (If you press the measuring cup into the flour you will pack in too much flour)
Beat in the flour and baking soda. If desired, add in the salt and cinnamon.
Stir in the oats.
Press a little over half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
Spread a scant cup (or desired preference) of jam on top of the base avoiding the perimeter of the pan. Otherwise, it will leak out and burn on the sides.
Sprinkle the remaining mixture on top of the jam. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.