Fireworks and freedom: That’s the first thing many people think about when they think of the Fourth of July. In America, we recognize the Fourth of July to celebrate the country’s birthday, established with 56 founding fathers’ pen strokes on the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and how do we celebrate this -- fireworks and BBQ.... lot's of BBQ. We also eat a whole lot of hotdogs: 150 million in total. We make a toast or two to freedom and good old Uncle Sam, shelling out more than $1.5 billion on July Fourth beer and wine. Furthermore, we travel, with a record 44 million of us planning to venture 50+ miles from home this year.
July 4, 2018 marks America’s 243rd birthday so at B Ann's Boutique we want to share some interesting Independence Day facts with you. There’s still a lot to learn about this red, white and blue anniversary.
Fourth of July wouldn't be complete without some fabulous red, white and blue desserts. We are sharing some of our staff's favorite recipes with you!
Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a nonstick 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk 3 cups flour, the baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat 2 sticks butter, the granulated sugar and vegetable oil in a bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, at least 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. Add about one-third of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk; beat until almost incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk. Beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat 30 seconds. Finish incorporating the flour by hand to avoid overmixing.
Toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl. Spoon one-third of the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle in half of the blueberries, then top with another one-third of the batter. Scatter the remaining blueberries on top and cover with the rest of the batter; smooth the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 30 minutes in the pan. Run a small sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert onto the rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the toppings: Toss the strawberries with the granulated sugar in a bowl; set aside to macerate, 30 minutes. Just before serving, make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, butter and 4 tablespoons milk in a bowl; if the glaze is too thick, whisk in up to 1 more tablespoon milk, a little at a time. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Serve with the strawberries and their juices.
Star Confetti Cookies
Special equipment: 3 1/2-inch and 1 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutters
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Mix the vanilla and egg with a fork in a small bowl.
Beat the butter, granulated sugar and confectioners' sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer on low speed until the butter has picked up the sugars, about 30 seconds. (If using a hand mixer, beat about 2 minutes.) Increase the speed to medium and beat until slightly creamy, stopping halfway to scrape the bowl, about 1 minute (about 3 minutes with a hand mixer).
Reduce the speed to low, slowly add in the egg mixture and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture a heaping cup at a time in 2 additions, stopping a few times to scrape the bowl and beaters. (If using a hand mixer, increase the speed as the dough gets thicker to keep the beaters spinning.) Once all the flour is just incorporated, add the confetti stars, increase the speed to medium (higher with a hand mixer) and beat until the dough is very smooth, about 2 minutes (about 5 minutes with a hand mixer).
Turn the dough out of the bowl and bring it together. Divide the dough into 2 even pieces, each about 11 ounces. Shape each piece into a 6-inch square and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Take the dough pieces out of the refrigerator and let soften until just pliable but still cool and firm, about 15 minutes.
Dust a piece of parchment with flour. Working quickly, dust one square of the dough with flour and roll it to about 1/4 inch thick. Lift the dough occasionally by sliding a metal spatula or bench scraper underneath to make sure it isn't sticking to the parchment. Cut out 3 1/2-inch star cookies as close together as possible. Cut out the centers of the stars with a 1 1/2-inch cutter. If the dough becomes too soft to cut out, place it in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm back up. Transfer the large and small stars to separate prepared baking sheets, large on one and small on the other, leaving 1 inch between them all. Gather together the scraps and repeat with the remaining dough. When the remaining dough is too small for the large cutter, just cut out small stars. Sprinkle more confetti stars over the top of the cookies and gently press down so they stick. Freeze the cookies on the baking sheets while you repeat with the second dough piece. Freeze the cookies about 10 minutes before baking.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until the cookies are light golden brown around the edges and slightly firm when gently pressed, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheets on a cooling rack, about 30 minutes.
Ice Cream Flag Cake
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F; coat a 9-inch-round springform pan with cooking spray. Prepare the cake mix as directed, adding the cocoa powder and food coloring to the batter. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake until done, about 45 minutes.
Let the cake cool, then remove from the pan; level the domed top with a serrated knife. Use a 5-inch circle of parchment paper as a guide to cut a circle from the center of the cake (you won't need the small circle). Freeze the large cake ring.
Cut a 6-by-30-inch strip of parchment paper. Clean the springform pan, then butter it and line the side with the parchment as shown; the paper will extend above the rim of the pan so you can build a tall cake.
Let 1 pint sorbet soften slightly at room temperature. Spread in the prepared pan, then lay a piece of plastic wrap on top and use the bottom of a measuring cup to pack the sorbet into the pan in an even layer. Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Let 1 pint vanilla ice cream soften; spread in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and press evenly with the measuring cup. Freeze until firm, then repeat to make 1 more layer each of sorbet and ice cream (4 layers total). Freeze until firm.
Place the blue cake ring on top of the ice cream, pressing gently; return to the freezer while you prepare the next layer.
Cut off the top 1 1/2 inches of the remaining sorbet carton; remove the carton and wrap the sorbet loosely in plastic wrap. Press into a 5-inch round pan, then place the flattened sorbet into the hole in the cake, smoothing as needed. Freeze until firm.
Cut off the top 1 1/2 inches of the remaining ice cream carton (you won't need the bottom). Flatten as you did the sorbet; place on top of the raspberry layer. Repeat with the bottom section of sorbet. Freeze until firm.
Beat the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Remove the springform ring and parchment collar from the cake. Cover the cake with the whipped cream. Freeze until ready to serve.
Fireworks, Food and Fun... but we can't forget Fashion at B Ann's Boutique!
In Closing, we wish you a safe and fun holiday with your family and friends.
Until Next Time!
B Ann's Boutique