If you’re looking to take your patriotic Fourth of July menu to the next level, a fun and celebratory way to do that is by decorating your dishes with the signature stars and stripes from the American flag. With a little bit of effort and some good old-fashioned know-how, typical dishes like pizza, cakes, and even pats of butter go from plain to party-ready.
For rolls or for topping your perfectly grilled steaks, you can shape and serve butter pats. Take very soft butter and mold it in to star-shaped silicon ice cube trays. Freeze for 30 minutes to make the butter firm again and serve. To take your star-shaped butter to the next level, add in some freshly cut herbs, such as chives, parsley, or rosemary.
Almost every kind of candy comes in star shapes. There are star-shaped gummy candies, hard candies, chocolates, lollipops, and more. These can make a wonderful garnish for any dessert, from puddings to cakes. To make stripes on your desserts using candies, consider rectangular candies, such as Laffy Taffy or Airheads. Sure, it’s a sugar rush, but it’s so festive!
Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, take thin slices of various deli cheeses and cut out pieces. You can make a fun and festive cheese platter by arranging various star-shaped cheeses in the upper-left-hand corner of a rectangle-shaped platter and using different colors of crackers to create stripes.
Make your own potato chips at home by slicing potatoes incredibly thin using a mandolin. Before you fry the chips, use a sharp star-shaped cookie cutter to give them the signature shape. You can top various dishes with these fun homemade treats or just serve them as is.
You can decorate any number of cakes or other baked goods with star-shaped homemade chocolates. To make your chocolates, buy star-shaped sucker molds such as these, melt your chocolates in a double boiler, pour the chocolate into the molds, tap the molds to even out the chocolate, insert the lollipop sticks, and place the lollipops in the fridge to allow them to set. You can then decorate the chocolates with red, white, and blue stripes to make them extra festive.
Of course, cookies are an easy way to decorate any party platter. Make basic sugar cutouts and cut them into star shapes. To create stripes, use a sharp knife and make simple rectangle-shaped cookies. You can frost your cookies in patriotic colors to complete them. Use your cookies to top a cake or serve them on a platter on their own.
Fondant, a thick sugar paste, is a baker’s dream. Don’t be intimidated by working with this product; it’s actually quite easy. Make sure you buy a quality fondant and have a clean working space. Roll your fondant to 1/8- or ¼-inch thickness and use an X-acto knife or fondant cutter to cut out star shapes and stripes. You can then easily lay these on your cakes to make stars and stripes.
Turn any boring fruit and vegetable platter into a patriotic plate with the help of your old friend, the cookie cutter. For fruits, cut pineapples and watermelon into thick slices and use a cookie cutter to punch out star shapes. The same technique can be applied to vegetables like radishes and carrots. Use a tiny cookie cutter or a vegetable cutter (like these) to get the desired shape.
Nothing turns a basic cake, cupcake, cookie, or doughnut into a red, white, and blue starred and striped masterpiece quite like a classic royal icing. Split your icing into thirds, dye one batch red and another blue, and go nuts. It’s just that easy!
A deli platter can be turned into stars and stripes in just a few quick steps. For the stars, take light-colored meats like turkey and chicken and use a knife or cookie cutter to punch them into the right shape. For the stripes, roll ham, roast beef, and salami. You can mix your meats and cheeses to create a fun, thematic snack.
Pie crust is one of the easiest things to turn into stars and stripes. You can turn any fruit pie into a flag pie by using a cookie cutter and pizza cutter to turn dough into stars and stripes. For the full flag pie recipe, click here
Pizza as we know it is already all-American. Make it even more so by topping it with star-shaped pepperoni (using a cookie cutter or vegetable cutter) in the top left corner. Use mushrooms and ham to create red and white stripes over the rest of the pizza, and you have yourself an American flag!
Star sprinkles are a quick and easy way to make any dessert instantly patriotic. Throw these sugary bad boys on cakes, doughnuts, cookies, cupcakes, or ice cream sundaes for an instant bit of festive fun. If you’re feeling ambitious, make your own sprinkles at home.