Thursday, July 04, 2013

4th of July is red, white and blue fun!

We're not American.  Don't have any specific ties with America - though there is an Uncle living in Tacoma. WA and a good friend living in NYC, and another good friend who used to live here in Dundee but is now back in VA I think.  And I follow a few American bakers, like BakerellaThe Girl who ate Everything,  Created by DianePint Sized BakerRose Bakes and so on .  And I am part of an American baking group on Facebook, so see a lot of American style cakes and 4th of July ideas in my Facebook newsfeed and in the emails I receive to my baking/work email address.
So actually, America does seem to feature quite heavily, hmmm.  Anyway, a lot of great red, white and blue ideas have come my way recently, some trickier than others, and I fancied trying my hand at some of them.  These looked fun and easy, and the girls wanted to help with some of it too.  They would have helped with all of it, but it was warm and sunny outside and they were desperate to try out the new Slip 'n Slide that we'd bought last weekend.  
Don't know what this is?  Oh, you're missing out!  My siblings and I had a yellow one when we were growing up and used it loads!  Mind you, we did grow up in Melbourne, Australia, where they know how to do Summer.  Months of daily temperatures from 25-40c and sun - glorious warm, yellow sun!  Ahh, takes me back, ha ha.   Anyway, it's a plastic rectangle mat that goes on the grass and it has a tube through the middle of the mat that is poked with holes.  You attach the garden hose to the mouth of this tube and water sprays over the mat, through the holes and kids run up to it then slide along it on their tummies.  Make sense?  Kids love them!!
So, getting back to the baking.  I decided to go for two things I'd seen on my newsfeed from Facebook...  A variation on this Red, White and Blue Cookie Bark and some patriotic Marshmallow treats.  What fun they were to do, and easy too!  And oh my gosh, I had a sneaky taste of the bark - it is amazing!!!  We decided that adding Oreo's would be too much, and what a tasty decision that was.  The salt and crunch of the pretzels goes really well with the sweetness of the white chocolate.
You lay out the pretzels underneath (and Oreo's, if you're going to use them), then add the melted white chocolate over the top.
Then you carefully, or otherwise, place your selection of red and blue M & M's over the top before the chocolate sets.  I didn't think we'd have enough chocolate M & M's so used the crispy ones too.  Mmm, great idea methinks.
 Here's the finished product, all ready for the fridge.
 And here it is ready to eat, cracked into pieces for ease of nibbling.  Mmmm...
For the marshmallow treats, we even had real American wax paper - oooh!
These were a bit fiddly to do, but easy enough.  Although by the time I got around to them, the girls had had their hair-washed and gone to bed.
So they'll be a lovely surprise for them, and our friends coming to play after lunch, for tomorrow! 
 And here's wee funny for you.  Sadly, it's not that funny for me, ha ha