The smell of charcoal and fresh-cut grass. Burgers, hot dogs, hot summer days. The sounds of children playing and livin’ their best lives, seeing fireworks (and if I’m honest, watching my kids see the fireworks is the BEST part, right?!). It sounds amazing, doesn’t it?! Even my husband who lives for the cold winter months and ice fishing gets that look in his eyes when we enjoy a true summer night. On these hot days, I let my husband take over dinner at the grill as much as possible! This leaves me in charge of sides, and dessert! Today’s short and sweet (pun intended) post is all about desserts that feel perfect for a 4th of July BBQ with family and friends! Some of these I make myself, some just look and sound amazing! Most of these are linked, because, let’s face it, I don’t make enough money or have enough time to justify making and getting pictures of these all on my own and then writing out each recipe for you. So for the most part, this will just be a guided post to direct you to what will be gracing the dessert section of family functions I go to all summer long!
- Death by Chocolate. This is kind of a crowd-pleaser. It’s an I hardly ever make anything else because this is soo good type of crowd-pleaser. You could also take this idea and switch it up if you’re looking for some good old red white and blue patriotic delicious type of dessert. Instead of brownies, use angel food cake or vanilla cake. You can switch the chocolate pudding for french vanilla, and instead of crushed Heath Bars use strawberries and blueberries. Of course, keep the whipped cream because I mean come on whipped cream! You can also take the ingredients and substitute for almost any seasonal flavors (pumpkin spice, I’m already dreaming of you…) 😉
- Fruit pizza! YUM! I love to use this sugar cookie recipe from Alton Brown (my go-to any time I need a sugar cookie). Instead of cutting individual cookies (although mini pizzas would be awesome too!) roll the whole crust out onto a pizza pan. Cooking time varies by a couple extra minutes, but it’s not a big deal. Then make the ‘sauce’ with one package of cream cheese, softened, 1/3 C of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (substitute with coconut flavoring and you won’t regret it!) and then whatever fruit you want. Of course, for the 4th of July strawberries and blueberries work best. Bananas, kiwis, oranges, pineapple, all taste amazing! I love desserts and recipes that are easy to make, and fun to switch up flavors with!
- Homemade brownies are always a hit! Use this recipe for your death by chocolate, add these to some hot fudge sundaes, or just put them out on the table as is and watch them magically disappear! These are super fudgy and so perfect for a quick chocolate fix. Add these to a s’more to change things up!
- Fruit salad (yummy yummy!). Sorry for the Wiggles reference, I couldn’t help it (it started way back when I was going on about fruit pizza… ha!) But it’s never a bad choice to not heat up your kitchen cooking when instead you can chop up a bunch of fruit and call it a day! This recipe has a honey-lime glaze that sounds really interesting to try!
- Red White and Blue M&M Cookie Bars. These are always fun! The kids and parents alike love them, you cannot go wrong with m&m’s in a giant chocolate chip cookie!
- Golden Grams S’ Mores Bars! These are simple and yummy also! (that’s a theme I like to follow in the summer) It’s basically a Rice Krispie treat using Golden Grams and adding in chocolate chips!
- 4th Of July Krispie Treats! Take this classic Rice Krispie Treat recipe and fancy it up a little for a patriotic twist!
- Firework Kabobs! All you need for this is a star-shaped cookie cutter, watermelon, blueberries, and skewers. Slice watermelon and cut out star shapes and then you just put blueberries on the skewers and add the stars to the top! Super simple, quick, healthy AND fun!
- Patriotic Popcorn. Pop up your favorite popcorn, drizzle some white or red melting candies on top and mix in patriotic m&ms! Perfect for a back yard movie on the projector!
- Flavor Ice. I stock up on these every summer and they are a hit with the neighbor kids! They are so cheap you won’t mind so much when they run up to your door asking for them either! It’s bound to happen! You can’t go wrong with a good frozen treat to help you cool off!
- Candy Coated Pretzels. I like these because they take minutes to make, and set up nice even when it’s hot out. Just heat up some candy melts in red white and blue and layer them up, use some small white sprinkles for the stars (because who has time to pipe on perfect stars when we could be outside playing?!) and let them set, you can set them in the fridge and get them out when you’re ready to enjoy!
- Buy a cake from the bakery and get food-grade sparklers to really wow the crowd with minimal effort! A simple google search will take you to plenty of choices for sparklers, just make sure they are food grade as the other ones are toxic and shouldn’t be near your food. Just stick the sparklers into the cake and light them to bring the fireworks right to the dinner table this summer!
- S’ Mores. This one is obvious, but sometimes we overlook the obvious! I challenge you this year to think of new things you can add to an S’ mores bar, different candy bars, hazelnut spread, peanut butter, sprinkles, or fun flavors of marshmallows! Try one with a cinnamon sugar gram cracker, that’s my favorite! Or a chocolate gram cracker to really get your chocolate fix!
Okay! So, I have everything that needed a link linked, but here’s a link to my summertime Pinterest board to see all of these goodies and plenty more to continue inspiring you and give you easy fun options for this whole summer!
Until next time friends!