Be inspired by Fourth of July treats and the colors of the American flag.
It is a day to celebrate American style. The Fourth of July is a holiday built around nostalgia, and traditions reign. There will always be red, white and blue; parades; fireflies caught in jars and the tastes of summer. We put a sweet spin on our celebration by creating Fourth of July treats: cupcakes donned with sparkly sugars in patriotic colors and star-shaped shortcakes livened up with fresh cream and berries.
For the setting, contributing editor Diane Sedo favors ruby glass on the table, which works with her Wilendur red rose tablecloth. The yard is fully mature by now, so green grass sets off the bright colors perfectly, and nothing says Independence Day better than buntings tied to a white picket fence. The scene beckons golden-haired dogs being chased by children in paper pirate hats.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cold
3/4 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
3. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Stir in the milk with a fork until the mixture forms a ball.
5. Knead dough several times on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness and cut with a 3-inch star cutter.
6. Place on ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
For the fruit filling: 1 cup blueberries and/or 1 cup raspberries mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar.
To assemble: Cut the slightly cooled shortcakes in half. Place some fresh cream (or whipped topping) on the bottom half of the shortcake. Add 1/3 cup of the fruit. Top with remaining shortcake. Garnish with a dollop of cream and fruit.