When I found this recipe for a Red, White and Blue Trifle on Pinterest a few weeks ago, I could not wait for the 4th of July so I could make it (trifles make me feel sophisticated). And now that I am over my hatred for blueberries, I am even more excited. Want to make one too? Of course you do!

Here is what you’ll need:
1 whole angel food cake cut into small cubes
2 pints of strawberries (sliced)
2 pints of blueberries
6 tbs of condensed milk
1.5 cups of water
1 box of white chocolate instant pudding mix
12 ounce tub of whipped cream
Trifle bowl

First, go to the store and buy the ingredients – including the cake. I am always going for the short cuts in everything I do because easier is better. Cube up half of the angel food cake and layer in the bottom of the trifle bowl. On top of the cake, add a layer of blueberries.

In a separate non-trifle bowl, whisk together the water and condensed milk for 2 minutes. Seriously, set a timer. Then let stand for another 2 minutes and fold in the whipped cream. Then whisk in the white chocolate pudding and let stand for another 2 minutes and fold in the whipped cream.

Spread 1/2 of this creamy mixture evenly over the blueberries and cake. Add a layer of sliced strawberries and top with the remaining cake cubes. Finally, add some more blueberries and the remaining cream mixture.

Now it’s time to get creative! Decorate the top of the trifle with your remaining blueberries and strawberries. Cover and chill for at least an hour before you serve to your delighted guests. Be sure they admire you for your immense talent and oooh and ahhh over your efforts appropriately. Happy 4th to you and yours!

Photo via.

It’s almost here! It’s almost here!

We love Independence Day. It’s a birthday party for our country and we celebrate in style. Fireworks are legal and available here. Everyone up and down our street has been shopping and we all anxiously anticipate sundown.

Finally dusk arrives. Cookouts wrap up and fireworks come out. All the neighbors set up chairs in our driveways for the show. For hours we watch the colors light up the sky, hear the bangs and pops, and smell the cordite.

But the tastes? Those are my domain. I love to bake, that’s no secret, but Fourth of July is an especially fun time for preparing desserts because of all the ripe, juicy berries available this time of year. Many of my desserts feature them.

Just before sundown on Independence Day I set up the kitchen island with desserts. Kids and adults alike are in and out of the house all night long. Some of these will be offered this year:

1.) Patriotic Pavlova

2.) Strawberry Shortcake, Nacho Style

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

3.) S’More and Strawberry Skewers

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

4.) Peanut Butter and Jelly Dessert Pizza

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

5.) Firecracker Red White and Blue Cake

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

6.) White Chocolate Peppermint Cake

7.) Butterfingers Brownies

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8.) Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

This decadent cake will satisfy the most demanding sweet tooth. 

Ingredients

2 quarts strawberries, halved
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons chopped mint, plus leaves for garnish
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 vanilla cakes, baked to package instructions and cooled

Directions

1.In a medium pot combine strawberries, sugar, salt and chopped
mint and let sit 15-20 minutes on low heat.

2.Whip together the heavy cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar to soft peaks.

3.Place one cake layer on a cake stand, top with whipped cream and then cooled strawberries. Repeat with remaining layer. Garnish with mint.

My sister Jane has been making these for years. It’s from a cookbook called Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts. When I asked her to send me the recipe, she had 20 years of notes scribbled all over the pages. So she has worked out the kinks and figured out the shortcuts for all of us. I made a test batch yesterday, and then ate half the pan, not kidding. They are so good I had to throw the rest away this morning, or I would have gone into a diabetic coma. So, make sure guests are coming over when you bake these or you won’t fit into your jeans in the morning.

PASTRY SHELL
Ingredients:
½ pound (1 cup) unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp. salt
Finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
2-3 cups of all-purpose flour.
*butter and egg must be room temperature…I don’t know why, but Jane and Maida say it is crucial.

Directions:
Adjust the rack 1/3 up from bottom of oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Butter a 15 1/2×101/2/1 inch jelly roll pan (I used a square baking dish, but that’s all I had and they came out too thick) and place in the freezer. (It’s easier to spread the pastry on a cold pan.)

In a large bowl or Cuisinart cream the butter and the sugar, beat in the egg, salt and lemon rind.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Gradually add the flour and BEAT ONLY until mixture holds together. TIP: you want it to become the consistency of thick pancake batter, not crumbly like pie dough, so add 2 cups of the flour and then if you need more add tablespoon by tablespoon. As you can see in the picture mine is a little thick, but they were still fantastic.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Place mixture by large spoonfuls all over the bottom of the cold pan then with floured fingers press into all the corners. This for some reason makes me nervous and I feel I am doing it wrong, but just shove it around. Prick the bottom with at ¼ inch intervals with a fork. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Then bake for 20 minutes until half-baked and lightly colored. Next, take it out to cool completely. Finish this before starting the pecan topping.

PECAN TOPPING
Ingredients:
½ pound ( 1 cup) butter, cut in pieces
½ cup honey
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup heavy cream
4-5 cups pecan halves, I like them chopped in half again.

Directions:
In a heavy 3 quart saucepan over moderately high heat, cook the butter and honey until butter is melted. Add both sugars and stir to dissolve.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Bring to a boil and DON’T STIR for exactly two minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the heavy cream and pecans.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

I like to use less pecans because I like the caramel gooey stuff, but if you like it more “nutty” then add the full 5 cups. Immediately spread the hot mixture evenly over the half-baked crust. Spread with the back of a wooden spoon to make as even as possible.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Bake in a 375 degree oven (rack in same position as pastry shell) for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. I put mine in the refrigerator once it had cooled, and it helped to pop it out of the pan. Cut into small squares, with a long knife. Yum.

This fudge is pure bliss. It is made from Baileys Irish Cream and coffee. Fudge with booze and coffee? I’m in! The fudge smells unbelievably good and it’s so silky smooth – the taste is heaven.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 Tbsp instant coffee crystals
3/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3 cups sugar
7 oz. jar marshmallow cream
1 pkg vanilla morsels or butterscotch chips
1 tsp vanilla
Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka? Irish Coffee Fudge
Directions:
In a small bowl, combine Baileys and coffee crystals. Microwave on high for 15 seconds or until melted and dissolved. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter, evaporated milk, sugar, and marshmallow cream. Slowly add the Bailey’s coffee mixture. Stir well. Boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and mix in chips and vanilla extract. Stir for approx. 3-4 minutes, until smooth. Pour in a foil lined 8×8 pan. Chill to set.

Enjoy!

Looking for some inspiration for your Labor Day Weekend celebration? Then take a peek at this festive roundup we’ve put together of all things red, white and blue! From food, to nails, to decorations, you’ll be sure to find something to help bring out your holiday spirit!