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Fireworks Tart!

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A dense chocolate brownie topped with creamy mint filling and a layer of rich fudge- these are the perfect finish to your July 4th cookout!

I’ve been sharing recipes on this blog for several years now, and there are just some recipes that I want everyone to try. These mint brownies are a recipe from my mom and I keep re-making them into different forms because they are just SO GOOD! I’ve filled them with mint, caramel, cookie dough, coconut, pralinecandy cane, irish cream, and peanut butter. Just last Halloween I made the recipe into a spiderweb striped tart that was SO fun, and I decided it needed to be remade in patriotic colors for July this year!

Fun- right? And honestly- soooo yummy!

Here is how we made it: (printable recipe is here)

INGREDIENTS:

Brownie:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder (try to use dark- it makes it easier to color the brownie black)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Food coloring gel in black

Mint filling: (this makes a little more than you need- but makes certain you have enough of each color)

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons mint extract
  • Food coloring gel in red, white and blue

Chocolate glaze/fireworks:

  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips (again, use dark so it is easier to color black)
  • 6 tablespoon of butter
  • Food coloring gel in black
  • About 1/8 cup of Wilton’s candy melts in each color: red, white, and blue

DIRECTIONS:

NOTE: Throughout this recipe, be careful when moving the tart pan, as holding it from the bottom will cause the edges to slide off. I usually keep tarts on a cookie sheet when I bake and decorate them- I took this one off (very carefully!) so I could photograph the process for you.

Brownie:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between)
  • Add black food coloring gel until batter is a dark almost-black color.
  • Spread evenly in 9 inch tart pan that has been set on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.

Mint filling:

  • Melt butter and add to powdered sugar. 
  • Add extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Divide filling into three bowls and mix in gel food coloring until you get a desired shade of blue and red. I also added a bit of white coloring to brighten up the natural color of the filling- but you wouldn’t have to do this.
  • As soon as color is mixed in, spoon each filling color into a small and sturdy (use freezer, not sandwich) zip-top bag. Push all the air out and seal tightly. As this filling is exposed to air it begins to harden up- so sealing these up right away prevents this. If you are slow, you can always add a little more water to get it back to the right consistency.
  • Set aside until brownie has cooled.
  • Cut a corner off each bag, and squeeze filling out into a circle at the center. Alternating colors, add rings around this until the entire top of the brownie is covered with filling. 
  • Once the top is covered, set a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on top and gently press the filling down so that it goes all the way to the edges. Try to make it nice and flat. The glaze will cover all the ridges, but you want to be sure that the edges are pushed down enough that the glaze has room to get to the edge of the pan without overflowing.

Chocolate glaze:

  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Add black gel food coloring until glaze is a dark almost-black (I added quite a bit and never got it completely black- but close!)
  • BEFORE pouring glaze onto tart: melt each color of candy melts and place each in individual zip-top bags (so they are ready as soon as glaze is poured)
  • Pour glaze over top of mint filling, using a spoon or knife to push out to all the edges.
  • Before glaze hardens, cut a small corner on each bag of melted Wilton’s candy melts and pipe circles (like a target shape) in alternating colors on top of the melted glaze.
  • Use a toothpick or skewer to draw lines through the glaze, starting at the center and drawing lines outward- like fireworks!

  • Chill until top layer of glaze is hardened. Do not remove outer ring of tart pan until this has completely hardened. Then, push up on the bottom firmly, until the edges slide out of pan. This takes a little patience- I refrigerated my tart overnight and then let it sit out for about 30 minutes before I was able to push the bottom up and remove that outer ring. If you have a hard time, push up in different spots along the edge, loosening all the edges 1st, before pushing the whole thing out.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: I love this dessert for so many reasons. It is a little time-consuming, but it’s SO cute!!!  If you want to save time, skip the colors in the mint layer- just make it white- and decorate the top. Or swirl the colors and make these in a sheet cake pan to have a bunch of them (refer to my candy cane brownie recipe here for directions and just add some blue instead of pink!) However you make them, ENJOY!!!  Happy summer to you! ~r

Other patriotic desserts for your 4th of July celebrations: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

 

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Peppermint “Smoke Bomb” Brownies!

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Smoke Bomb5Celebrate July 4th with these fun peppermint brownie cups! Fun to make and sooooo yummy to eat!

I got a little chocolate bomb mold a few months ago and I love it. I have used it for so many creative things! This time, I am using it to make actual bombs- edible smoke bombs that is! The inside of this red candy shell is packed with sweet mint filling that mixes with the dark chocolate of these brownies perfectly!

Smoke Bomb1

Yes, these are a little fussy. It seems like anything super fun in the food realm takes some effort. If you want to make these SUPER easy, they are simply an adaptation from my Candy Cane Brownies from last Christmas. You could certainly add a little blue to the mint filling and just sprinkle stars on top for a fun (and equally delicious) patriotic alternative. OR you could be an over-achiever and make mint smoke bombs. Your choice! 🙂

Smoke Bomb2

Here is how we put these fun treats together: (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS:

Brownie:

  • 1cup butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 6oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons butter (do not substitute margarine here!)

Mint “Smoke Bombs”:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • Food color in red and blue
  • One bag of Wilton’s Candy melts in red
  • One bag of Twizzler’s Red, White and Blue licorice (I found them at Target)
  • Large Star Sprinkles
  • Mini Star Sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

Brownie:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between)
  • Spoon evenly into 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes (don’t over bake- they will start to pull away from the liner)
  • Cool.  
Chocolate Glaze:
  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Set aside until bombs are made

Mint Smoke Bombs:

  • Melt red candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush melts into a chocolate bomb mold and freeze for a couple minutes until hard. Do two coats- freezing in between.
  • Make mint filling  by adding melted butter to sugar and extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Divide into 3 parts and color 2 of them red and blue using food coloring.
  • Place all three colors into a large zip-top bag and swirl together with a knife before sealing bag.
  • Cut a corner off bag and pipe mint filling into each red bomb shell- filling them about 3/4 full.
  • Refreeze these for a few minutes before gently popping them out and setting them on a plate. (I took pictures of this process in an earlier recipe here– but I didn’t fill these shells all the way full like I did there).
  • Repeat this process until you have 24 mint bombs ready.
  • Assemble brownies by spooning a little glaze on top of a brownie cup and then setting a bomb on top. Sprinkle edges with small star decorations and freeze to harden the glaze.
  • Once all your brownies are in the freezer, make the wicks by pulling apart the licorice and cutting into 1 to 2 inch pieces of blue. 
  • Dip one end into the leftover red candy melts (you might need to remelt these) and set it on top of a large red star sprinkle to harden. 

Smoke Bomb7Smoke Bomb9

  • Once these have hardened, and your brownies are nice and cold, take a few brownies out of the freezer, dip the end of a “wick” in red candy melts and hold it to the top of a cold peppermint bomb. It should immediately set and hold the wick in place.
  • Then- simply enjoy the smiles as people bite into your yummy (and very patriotic!) peppermint brownies!!!

Smoke Bomb6

My thoughts: Ah…I loved making these. I always wonder if the idea in my mind will come across the way I pictured it, and these did—-makes me smile! I loved sharing these with friends and family too. Makes me wish I had a 4th of July party to go to this year!!! 🙂 I hope you get a chance to try these and that you love them as much as I do!  ~r

Smoke Bomb3

Other fun desserts to make for the Fourth of July!!! (click on a photo to see the recipe):

Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!!American Flag Oreo Pops!!!!Patriotic Tie-Dye Cake!!!!Fire Cracker Cookies!

 

Fourth of July Dessert Ideas!

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Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!!

 

Bomb Pop Cupcakes!

Oh my, I love the fourth of July! I love the picnics, and pool parties, and cookouts, and fireworks…and the time with family!

My parents have always (like always, for as long as I can remember!) had a giant pool party for the fourth and invited our entire extended family for burgers and brats and volleyball and sunshine….and for a competitive display of our best “at home” fireworks we could find, later in the evening. I have so many fun memories of chasing fireflies and waving sparklers with my cousins (that are all grown with kids of their own now!). This year is different. For starters, mom isn’t here to orchestrate the complexities of the celebration. The house is in boxes and bags- ready to show to whomever might be interested in buying, and the pool and yard are immaculately kept. Pool toys and floats are all deflated and either sold or put away. Sometimes I sit on the back porch and watch the fireflies and remember all the laughter and fun.

I know that these times are not forever over. This year is different, but once dad settles into his new place there will be other celebrations and family times over the fourth. This year though…my heart wasn’t in the “create something new and fun” place. So instead, I thought you might enjoy a collection of some of my previous red-white-and-blue recipes. You can click on the photo or the title, to be taken to the recipe.

American Flag Oreo Pops!!!!

American Flag Oreo Pops

Patriotic Polka Dot Cake!!!!

Patriotic Polka Dot Cake!!!

Patriotic Flip Flop Cookies!!!!

Flip Flop Cookies for the Fourth!

Patriotic Tie-Dye Cake!!!!

Patriotic Tie-Dye Cake!

Stars!!

Stars and Stripes Brownies!

Patriotic Bundt Cake!!!!

Red White and Blue Bundt Cake!

And if you are grilling out for the Fourth, you might need these…

BBQ Grill Cupcakes!!

BBQ Grill Cupcakes!

Hamburger Cookie!

Grilled Burger Cupcakes!

However you celebrate this summer, I hope you have fun making memories with your friends and family~ and I hope you enjoy trying fun, new recipes that become a part of your family traditions! ~r

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American Flag Oreo Pops

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American Flag Oreo Pops!!!!Put a little red white and blue on your Oreos and celebrate the Fourth of July!

These are an easy treat that will make you (and everyone else) smile.  Plus there’s an Oreo inside- perfect!

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again– I’m addicted to Oreo Pops.  Most of you know that I’m living in Arizona for eight months with the Navajo.  I love it here, and the Navajo people are incredibly gracious about sharing life with me and teaching me all about their culture and traditions.  I had a hard time a couple of weeks ago though.  A puppy that I recently took in became very ill and the vet diagnosed her with parvovirus, a deadly disease that can be prevented with puppy vaccinations.  Most people here cannot afford to vaccinate (or spay and neuter) their dogs, so this puppy and all of her litter mates had to be put down.

Oreo...

Oreo…

So. Incredibly. Sad.  My little puppy was named Oreo, for her adorable black and white Oreo markings.

One of my friends here suggested we sell things at a local flea market this week, and I decided to make 100 Oreo Pops in a variety of forms to make money to help spay and neuter Oreo’s parents, and to vaccinate other puppies in the area.

I made ALL SORTS of Oreo pops, and these were one of my “new” designs.  I love how patriotic they are!

American Flag Oreo Pops!!!!!So, in honor of this wonderful, beautiful country that we all call home….Oreo Pops- in Red, White and Blue!!!

Here’s the recipe: (printable version)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One box of Double Stuff Oreos
  • One bag of Wilton’s candy melts in Red
  • One bag of Wilton’s candy melts in Blue
  • One jar of flower sprinkles (the white ones look like stars…?) 
  • 24 lollipop sticks

DIRECTIONS: (Need a visual?  Click here.)

  • Carefully twist apart all of the Oreo cookies
  • Using one of the lollipop sticks, make an indentation in the white filling of each cookie.
  • Melt the Red Candy Melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring until completely melted and smooth.
  • Dip the end of one stick into the melted red chocolate, drizzle a little in the center of the white cookie filling and then gently press it into the indentation made.
  • Place the top of the cookie back on and allow red chocolate to harden (10 minutes or so), cementing the cookie back together with a stick inside.
  • Holding the stick, lower the entire Oreo into the bowl of melted red chocolate, spooning it over the top and sides to cover it completely.
  • Allow the excess red chocolate to drain off and gently place covered Oreo on a piece of parchment paper to harden and cool completely
  • Melt Blue candy melts in the same manner that you melted the red.
  • Allow the candy melts to cool just a bit before dipping (so that it doesn’t melt the red candy underneath).
  • Spoon a bit of blue chocolate over just the top end of the Oreo.  Tap to drain away excess blue chocolate and wipe back across a clean paper towel to remove any drips or splatter of blue.
  • Place on a clean piece of parchment paper to cool, and immediately place a few white “stars” on the blue.
  • Allow pop to harden completely.
  • Remove from paper and serve- or place in a small treat bag, tied with pretty ribbon.
  • Enjoy!

American Flag Oreo Pops!!!!My thoughts:  These are easy and fun to put together, and just so CUTE!  Happy Fourth of July!!!!!  ~r

Other fun (and very patriotic!) desserts to try here at Easybaked:

Patriotic Flip Flop Cookies!!!!Patriotic Bundt Cake!!!!Patriotic Polka Dot Cake!!!!Chocolate covered brownie stars

 

Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!

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Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!!!!! Does anything scream SUMMER, or FOURTH OF JULY like Bomb Pops?  These adorable cupcakes capture the flavors of an iconic summertime popsicle and make a perfect holiday treat!

You know those memories from childhood that spring up unexpectedly and make you smile?  Bomb Pops have that effect on me.  My brother and I always spent a week or two at my grandparents house each summer.  They had an immaculately clean garage with a huge freezer in it.  Grandma would always keep a box of bomb pops inside for our visits.  I remember so clearly, sitting out on her porch eating these in the evenings, letting the drips of sweet popsicle land on the cement by my bare feet.  Every time I eat one, it’s like traveling back in time to those days.

I wanted to capture the flavors of these summer treats in cupcake form, and I love how these turned out!  The kids in my life who tried them exclaimed, “These taste like popsicles!”

 I consider that a success!

Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!!

These were not hard to make at all- simply add jello to white cake mix and pipe the batter into cupcake liners in layers.

Here’s how we made them:  (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One boxed white cake mix (with oil, water and eggs to make according to package)
  • One small box of blue raspberry Jell-O (Jolly Rancher had this flavor, and Jell-O has a Berry Blue that works)
  • One small box of Cherry Jell-O
  • 2 sticks of salted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon extract or flavoring (technically the flavor in the popsicles is lime…but I couldn’t easily get my hands on lime extract.  The lemon was great- but feel free to use lime instead, if you want!)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  • Make cake mix as directed on box, and divide batter equally into two bowls.
  • Add 3 Tablespoons of Blue Raspberry Jell-O to one bowl, and 3 Tablespoons of Cherry Jell-O to the other bowl.
  • Mix each bowl of batter until well combined
  • Place each flavor of batter into a large, sturdy (I use freezer-type) zip top bag.
  • Clip a corner off the bag of Blue Raspberry batter and evenly pipe into 24 cupcake liners placed into muffin tins.
  • Clip a corner off the bag of Cherry batter and evenly pipe over the top of the Blue Raspberry batter.
  • Bake cupcakes as directed on boxed mix, remove from oven, and cool.
  • Make frosting by combining butters, powdered sugar and lemon extract in a large bowl.  Beat on low until combined and then high, until light and fluffy.
  • Put frosting into a large, sturdy zip-top bag that has been fitted with a decorating tip, and pipe frosting on the top of each cupcake.
  • Decorate as desired.  I saw these cute little Mike and Ike “popsicle” toppers on a fun site called Party Pinching. They were fun and easy to make, but they use toothpicks and could be dangerous to serve- especially to kids.  I love how cute they are, but I can’t recommend them.  Use cute sprinkles and maybe a popsicle stick instead!
  • Enjoy!

Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!!!

My thoughts: These were really easy to put together and the fruit flavors are so refreshing!  I love the patriotic colors too!

Just as a note: the blue layer of cupcake rises to the top, just a little bit, so don’t panic! You will still have nice layers of the two flavors.  

I really hope you get a chance to try these treats in celebration of summer!  Enjoy! ~r

Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!!Other fun summer treats to try:

Confetti CupsRaspberry Truffle TartMini chocolate chip cookie cheesecakesCreamy Mango Pops!

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