I know I am.
July 4th is Monday, and I’m assuming there are going to be a bunch of parties.
I say ‘assuming’ because I have never been in the whole party loop.
Usually on the fourth, my family is too busy consoling my three-legged dog, Mannie, and our family dog, Oreo, who consequently freak out when the fireworks are going off, to bother with parties.
We did the whole friends-and-family BBQ thing for awhile, until we came home and our entire house was trashed and smelled like pee, no thanks to our panicked Lab.
It’s not her fault. I’m not a huge fan of the holiday myself.
It’s not because of the Independence thing; freedom’s cool. It’s not because I’m not patriotic; if I hated America like some Americans claim to, I definitely wouldn’t stay here. It’s simply because a) spending an abnormal amount of money on fire-crackers that last 4 seconds is ridiculous; b) it’s too hot to move and/or enjoy anything (it’s going to be 104 on Monday here in Sacramento); and c) I really hate the jerks who wait til midnight to light off the most obnoxious fireworks possible. Or the people who continue the whole 4th of July fireworks-thing later into the week.
You have one day to blow up Piccolo Pete’s. July 4th. It’s just kind of white trashy and annoying to do it any other day. Just sayin’.
I have no idea what I’ll be doing on the 4th, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be convincing my dog that we’re not in World War 3 while simultaneously hating my neighbors, eating a hamburger (broiled, since our BBQ decided to die this summer) and not being invited to one of the many Fourth of July parties. What, no, I’m not bitter.
Which is fine by me, since I can then enjoy a bunch of cupcakes in the comfort of my air-conditioned home, being patriotic by exercising my freedom to watch bad reality TV and maybe having a beer (American, of course) because I’m a proud American.
And proud Americans make these patriotic cupcakes.
Since our family is not participating in fireworks this year, I decided to celebrate with them in a tastier, silent-kinda way … by making white chocolate fireworks to top these adorable cupcakes.
Wanna know how to make them, Miss America?
Fourth of July Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box, substituting unsweetened applesauce for the oil
1 box EACH sugar free/fat free Berry Blue and Strawberry Jello mix
Frosting ingredients (recipe & ingredients follow)
1/2 bag white chocolate candy melts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to package directions. Divide batter evenly among two bowls. Stir the berry blue jello mix into one bowl, and the strawberry jello mix into the other until both are combined. Using two spoons, alternate blue and red batters among muffin cups, layering the colors, not swirling them. Bake, approximately 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, make firework/star decorations. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and secure with scotch tape, if needed. In a medium bowl, microwave and prepare candy melts according to package directions until melted and smooth. Carefully pour warm melted candy into a piping bag attached with a small round tip (I used Wilton 57) and pipe fireworks or star designs onto the wax paper. While still wet, sprinkle with sprinkles or jimmies. Place in fridge to harden completely. Use a butter knife to carefully loosen chocolate decos from wax paper.
3. Frost cupcakes with buttercream icing, then top with a white chocolate deco. Store in fridge, covered.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp milk
Approx 4 cups powdered sugar
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, vanilla and milk until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until stiff but still spreadable. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.
And those white chocolate decos are so easy to make. If you wanted, you could even use red and blue candy melts to make flags or different colored stars… it’s only limited to your imagination!
Happy B-Day, America!