Well, as you can see by the timing of this post, we are partying hard and late into the night on America’s 243rd birthday. We’re basically old folks in 30-year-old bodies, so it’s really not much of a surprise. We did, however, let the kids stay up 30 minutes extra to eat some hummus. Rock. On.
For lunch, though, we celebrated the 4th of July like any good American–with swimming, family, and food. I even attempted a culinary treat I’ve been eyeing for awhile. It came out so well that I thought I’d share the play-by-play.
I spent a fair amount of time looking for patriotic desserts to serve, but since there were only four adults (hi, Mom and Dad!) and two kids, I didn’t really need a full-out American-flag cake. Or a pound cake. Or a patriotic trifle. Or a fruit tray. Etc. I also didn’t want to spend a lot of tedious time trying to decorate something. I was hoping to incorporate Pop Rocks, but apparently I’ll be saving those for next year.
I landed on Swirled Edible Bowls, which I found in the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine, a magazine which is quite possibly my favorite thing to discover in my mailbox. Here’s the official recipe, if you don’t want to take my word for it.
Red, white, and blue candy melts (I found these at Hobby Lobby)
Balloons (in the party section of my grocery store)
Something delicious to eat out of your bowl
- Inflate 8 small balloons; gently wash the tops and pat dry. Melt 1 1/2 cups white candy melts and 1/2 cup each red and blue candy melts in separate bowls; let cool slightly. Spread 8 small circles of the white candy onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (these will be the bases of the bowls).
- Spoon the red and blue candy into the remaining white candy, then use a skewer to gently swirl (don’t over mix). Dip the top quarter of each balloon in the candy; twist the balloon slightly to create a swirled look, then lift out and let the excess drip off. Place the balloon candy-side down on a circle of white candy melts. Refrigerate until set, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Carefully make a small cut near the knot on each balloon to slowly deflate it, then gently peel the balloon away from the bowl. Refrigerate or freeze the bowls until ready to serve. Fill with ice cream or berries and whipped cream.
- When you spread the white candy on the parchment paper, make sure you smooth it out pretty well.
- Seriously: Don’t overmix the colors together, or you get this weird gray (which is very unpatriotic! And ugly!)
- When attempting to remove the balloons, the bowls are both more durable and weaker than you’d expected. You’re welcome for that tidbit.
- If you crack a bowl, you can always melt a few more candy melts and “patch” the crack/hole with the excess.
My last tip needs some explanation. When making these, be sure to prepare them in the place you’ll be eating them. I made them at home, then insisted my husband hold the loaded cookie sheet aloft (instead of resting on his lap), as we drove to my parents’ place. Candy melts are designed to, what? Yes, that’s right. Melt. They’re supposed to melt. And when you take them into 95-degree July heat? They go cah-put right there in the parking lot. We lost two good bowls to that South Carolina shine.
Well, happy 4th of July, everyone! May your fingers stay attached and your small children sleep through the neighbors’ fireworkings. God bless America.
Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal – It’s Pride & Prejudice in Pakistan, and it’s modernized (well, if 2000 counts as “modern day,” though I suppose it’s more modern than 1813). I’m thoroughly enjoying the read. It’s a P&P meets Crazy Rich Asians. To be honest, it’s mostly making me want to revisit Colin Firth in all of his Mr. Darcy glory.