You have to love a holiday that starts out with parades, then heads to barbecues and ends up in the dark with drunk people blowing of explosives. Where young children are allowed to play with hot sparklers that normally would be a no-no and their older siblings get to blow off loud, obnoxious firecrackers that again, would normally be a no-no by any half way decent parent, but this is the Fourth of July and all of those usual common sense rules go out the window. Instead we have a day long, sun up to sundown and beyond party that leaves the poor souls that must work the next day in a world of hurt come tomorrow.
Now if you still don’t know what you are going to bring to the cookout or party you are attending, don’t fear! I have a new recipe and some quick and easy ideas for you.
First up the new recipe. This is an iced cookie recipe. Don’t worry this is easy icing. Nothing fancy here. You can just do a drizzle, swirl, spread or a schmear. The icing can be colored to really kick up the cookie for whatever holiday or festivity you need it for.
Very Vanilla Cookies with Almond Icing
makes 3 dozen cookies
14 tbsp. butter, softened
4 oz. of cream cheese
Seeds from half of a vanilla bean
1 c. sugar
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla bean seeds together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the sugar and mix until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk. Add the flour and vanilla and mix well. Chill for an hour.
Preheat oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough onto baking sheet and bake 12-16 minutes. These cookies will not brown. While the cookies are baking make the icing. Let the cookies cool a few minutes and then ice them while still warm.
4 tbsp. butter, softened
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the powdered sugar on low-speed. Once incorporated completely add in the cream, vanilla and almond extract. Once combined turn the speed up to medium-high and beat for a few minutes. Pipe or spread on cookies.
I also made some Fourth of July themed treats that you can easily make. We have layered Rice Krispie Treats with each layer tinted a color. We also have chocolate chip cookies sandwiched with vanilla buttercream. You can use any cookie recipe you want, buy store-bought dough or use mine, here. I wanted the buttercream for the cookie sandwiches to be multi-colored. So I put a couple of drops of red food coloring on one side of the inside of the piping bag and then spread it vertically. I repeated the other side with blue food coloring. Then when you add the white buttercream to the bag and pipe you get a lovely swirl of all three colors.
Layered Rice Krispie Treats
These are the ingredients for each layer.
1 tbsp. butter
13 large marshmallows
2 cups of Rice Krispies
In a microwave safe bowl add the butter and marshmallows and microwave for 1 minute. Stir until melted. If not completely melted microwave for 10 second intervals until smooth. Add the food coloring and stir until no white remains. Now stir in the Rice Krispies and mix well. Press into a buttered pan. Repeat for each layer desired. Let cool completely and then cut.
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