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Tag Archives: Summer recipe

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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Smoke Bomb Oreo Pops!

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These adorable smoke bomb Oreos will be the hit of your July 4th parties!

It’s hard to believe that July is just around the corner– but it is! I love summer, and making fun patriotic treats always reminds me of pool parties and days at the beach on Lake Michigan 🙂 I made smoke-bomb brownies last year, and they were such a hit that I decided to turn them into Oreo pops this year!

Cute, yummy and SO easy to make ahead and have ready for all your summer celebrations!

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

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 30 pops)

  • One package of Double Stuff Oreos
  • 2 bags of Wilton’s candy melts in red
  • 1/4 cup of Wilton’s candy melts in white
  • Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel licorice in red/white/blue (or licorice strings of another variety)
  • Large star sprinkles
  • Tiny star spinkles

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gently twist apart all Oreos.
  • Melt white candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Dip end of a lollipop stick into the white chocolate, spread a little on the top of the white Oreo filling and then press the stick flat into the center of the filling.
  • Place top of Oreo on, and set on a cookie sheet. When all Oreos have sticks inserted, pop these in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (until they are nice and firmly set).
  • While these chill, cut licorice strings into about 30 (1 inch) segments.
  • Melt red candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted and smooth.
  • Dip the end of a licorice string into the red melts and then set flat against a large star sprinkle and allow this to harden- this will basically “glue” the star onto the end of the licorice. 
  • Gently dip chilled Oreo in red candy melts, using a spoon to cover all sides. Tap stick against side of bowl to drain excess. Set on parchment paper.
  • While candy melts are still soft, set end of licorice into the top of the Oreo and sprinkle with tiny stars.
  • Allow everything to harden up, and then slide each pop into a small cello bag and tie with ribbon (alternatively, store in an airtight container with parchment paper as layers between).
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These are easy little treats to make- and they have OREOS inside- so they are delicious too! (If you have never made Oreo Pops before, check out our tutorial here.) ENJOY!

Other fun and very patriotic desserts for your July: (click on photo to see recipe)

 

Easy Daisy Cookies!

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Daisy Cookies6

Vanilla wafers and ginger cookies are covered in fun colored candy melts to make these cheery daisy cookies! 

These are less recipe and more edible craft project- and they are SO fun! 🙂 I love (lovelovelove) Anna’s Swedish cookies. They are available in Ginger, Orange, Almond and Mint Chocolate. I get mine at Walmart- but you can find them on Amazon to0- right here. They are less expensive at Walmart though! Every flavor comes in an adorable flower shape that lends itself to making these cute little cookies! Make them in any color you want- and use any flavor cookie! So fun.

Daisy Cookies1

Daisy Cookies

Here is how we made them: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box of Anna’s Swedish Ginger Thins (I found mine at Walmart)
  • 1 box of Nilla wafers
  • Wilton’s Candy Melts in a variety of colors (I used up some of my half-filled bags with this recipe!)
  • Sugar Sprinkles as desired (shown in yellow)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Melt Wilton’s candy melts (in the center color- I used yellow!) in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Dip Nilla Wafers into the melted candy, lifting them up with a fork and tapping the fork on the side of the bowl to allow excess candy melts to drain away. 
  • Pull bottom of cookie along edge of bowl to remove excess candy melts and slide coated cookie off fork onto parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle with jimmies or sugar to give it that “rough” center-of-a-flower look, and allow these to harden.

Daisy Cookies3

  • Melt candy melts in other colors, using the same technique. Dip an Anna’s cookie in whatever color you are using and use a similar technique to tap excess off and slide bottom against edge of bowl.

Daisy Cookies2

  • Place coated Anna’s cookie on parchment paper and before it hardens, place a “center” on it.
  • Allow cookie to harden up before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Daisy Cookies

My thoughts: These are just plain fun to make. They are great for practicing your chocolate dipping skills, since these are nice hard cookies without any fillings that get soft. You can do them in any colors you want- and a variety of flavors. My only warning…… Everyone loved these and exclaimed over the cute FLOWERS unless they saw a white and yellow one 1st. Then they asked if it was an egg 🙂 Sigh. Maybe a mini- Nilla wafer would be better as a “center” for those? However you decorate them, I hope you enjoy these fun summer cookies!  ~r

Daisy Cookies7

Eggs? Daisies? Haha…..

Other fun flower ideas here on Easybaked: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Flower Pot OreosChocolate cut-out cookiesSugar cookie cut-outsM&M flower bouquet!!!

 

Watermelon Cupcakes

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Watermelon Cupcakes

What could be a better picnic treat than these sweet watermelon cupcakes~ covered in “ants” and filled with chocolate chip seeds???

Watermelon Cupcakes

These are so fun to make- and watching people’s surprise at that filling is fun too! My favorite comment? “Oh my, this tastes like WATERMELON!”  Um…yes. It does. *smile*

This recipe uses a cake pop maker. I hesitantly purchased one a few years back to make a polka dot cake, and I thought I’d end up selling it on a garage sale after that one use. NOT SO!!! I love it! So many possibilities! I just made fun little pancake balls the other day for breakfast- not to mention all the yummy recipes we have done here with it! Get a cake pop maker!! (or, if you must, make your pink centers in mini muffin tins. Just know that you are missing out on some serious fun!)

I also used fondant on the top of these cupcakes. I know that for many of you, this step is a tedious one and I say frost these cupcakes however you like! Green frosting, pink frosting with sprinkles of mini chips….whatever! Just don’t miss out on that fun center!

Watermelon Cupcakes

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

INGREDIENTS:

  • One boxed white cake mix (with water, oil and eggs to make according to box)
  • One small packet of watermelon Kool-Aid drink mix
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of clear vanilla
  • Green, Pink, and Black  Food Color Gels
  • One box of Wilton fondant in white (or make your own, using my recipe)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make cake mix according to package
  • Remove one cup of batter and place in a separate bowl.
  • Add 1/2 a packet of Watermelon Kool-Aid powder (use more or less to taste)
  • Add pink color gel to intensify the color to desired shade
  • Mix in mini chocolate chips.
  • Bake in cakepop maker (or use a small mini-muffin tin), making 24 cake pops (or mini-muffins)

Watermelon Cupcakes CentersWatermelon Cupcakes Centers

  • Add green color gel to remaining batter, mixing well.
  • Spoon a little green batter into a cupcake liner, placed in a cupcake tin.
  • Place pink cake pop on top.
  • Spoon green batter over the top, covering the cake pop. Use less, rather than more batter here- if you use too much it will bake over the edges.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 15-18 minutes.
  • Cool completely.
  • Make frosting by placing butters, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beating on high for 3-4 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Color frosting green, if desired, and set aside.
  • IF you use fondant, color a batch with green color gel (leave out a little bit to make ants if desired), cut into circles that fit the top of your cupcakes using a round cookie cutter. Keep circles covered to prevent drying.
  • Working one cupcake at a time, spread frosting and then gently lay fondant on top of frosting and press edges down inside of cupcake liner.
  • Use dark green color gel with a little water (think watercolor paints) to paint on watermelon stripes.
  • Color remaining fondant black and roll into 3 small balls to stick together as an ant on each cupcake. use a toothpick or small brush to paint little ant legs under each ant.

Watermelon CupcakesWatermelon Cupcakes

***If you have used fondant before, this should all be easy, but if this is your 1st time and you are wondering what I mean by things like “color fondant”, see my tutorial on making and using fondant here. You’ll make your ants like the caterpillars shown in the tutorial.***

Watermelon Cupcakes7My thoughts… These are really fun little cupcakes. I’m not a huge fan of watermelon flavor, but only the center is flavored and for me it was the perfect little surprise “pop” of flavor. You could certainly add Kool-Aid to your frosting too- it will just end up being a little pink, rather than green.

Watermelon Cupcakes

Nothing says SUMMER like watermelon~ enjoy these little cupcakes at YOUR next summer celebration!! ~r

Other ways to use that cake pop machine you just got 😉 (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Polka Dot Cake!!!Gender reveal cupcakes5Patriotic Polka Dot Cake!!!!Green Bay Packer Cupcakes!

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