Deck the halls with red, white and blue, stock the coolers, and fire up the grill—it's time to celebrate the 4th! As fireworks litter the sky, try your hand at one of these 14 explosive dessert recipes that pop, from a select group of food and lifestyle bloggers. From candies and cakes to refreshing summer sips, you're sure to find something to satisfy your holiday sweet tooth.
Featured Blog: Snappy Gourmet
Get the Recipe: Mini Strawberry Shortcake Poppers
Lisa Huff, also known as Snappy Gourmet, employs the simplest trick for turning sweet miniature strawberry shortcakes into a July 4th must—a sprinkling of strawberry-flavored Pop Rocks between the layers. The bright pink hue of fresh strawberries and candy pieces against the milky-white whipped topping makes for a stunner. Plus, they're bite-sized. Genius.
Featured Blog: Gimme Some Oven
Get the Recipe: Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
Ali Ebright from the blogging ladies at Gimme Some Oven developed what sounds—and looks—like the ultimate sparkling summer beverage, and then some. Her Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade includes fresh fruit and chilled sparkling water, but here's the kicker. Line your rim with sticky-sweet honey, and dip in pop rocks.
Featured Blog: Cupcake Project
Get the Recipe: Chocolate Pop Rock Rice Krispie Treats
Here, baking blogger Stefani Pollack of Cupcake Project opted to use pastry rocks, a colorless and flavorless high-brow substitute for Pop Rocks. Pastry rocks offer all the fun of the added "pop" to these snap-crackle-pop Rice Krispie Treats without interfering with the flavor, but Stefani concedes that run-of-the-mill Pop Rocks will do just fine. Stefani offers a link to her Honey Nutella Rice Krispie Treats as a base for this explosive chocolate dessert, but you can easily substitute for your own go-to krispie treat. All the fun here is in the chocolate topping.
Featured Blog: Apollinas
Get the Recipe: Ice Cream Sandwiches
As a lifestyle blogger and attorney out of Washington, D.C., we'd guess that Apollinas knows a thing or two about the Fourth of July—and as it turns out, she does. Not to mention a flair for taste and presentation. These 4th of July Ice Cream Sandwiches, "complete with fireworks" (that's where the Pop Rocks come in) are almost too festive for words.
Featured Blog: Snappy Gourmet
Get the Recipe: Cookie Poppers
Lisa from Snappy Gourmet does it again—kudos to Lisa for earning a second spot on our list with yet another way to incorporate the good fun of Pop Rocks into an already mouthwatering recipe. We'd serve these dark chocolate and peanut butter cookies any day of the week, even sans Pop Rocks. But the addition of Chocolate Pop Rocks? The perfect touch to compliment the buttery goodness of from-scratch-made peanut butter cookies.
Featured Blog: The Decorated Cookie
Get the Recipe: Pop Star Cookies
When we caught a glimpse of these cookies, we thought "pastry-otism at its finest." These Pop Star Cookie Pops are practically dripping in red, white and blue, not to mention a popping candy or two. Make no mistake, these cookie pops are a project, but the festive result is well worth it.
Featured Blog: Citrus and Candy
Get the Recipe: Popping Candy Chocolate Cake
Karen of Citrus and Candy offers us what she discribes to be a simple, but oh, so beautiful, chocolate dessert, featuring the element of surprise in popping candy form. A base of spiced hazelnut, popping candy and chocolate, a generous layer of chocolate mousse, and a dark chocolate glaze. Need we say more? This recipe will require some quick ingredient conversions, and in our case, probably a chaperone. How these cakes ever make it to the table is beyond us.
Featured Blog: Our Best Bites
Get the Recipe: Layered Patriotic Punch
Red, white, blue, stars, stripes and fireworks—in a tall glass. This Layered Patriotic Punch by Sara at Our Best Bites has all the elements of a most festive holiday beverage, sans alcohol (though we're sure you could add some for an after-5pm twist). Layering flavors and colors makes for a stunning drink for all the senses, and a glass rimmed with Pop Rocks is just the icing on the cake, so to speak.
Featured Blog: Fashionably Bombed
Get the Recipe: Pop Rock Strawberries
Why didn't we think of these? In any case, we're glad Katherine and Flannery, the sisters behind lifestyle blog Fashionably Bombed, dreamed these up. A quick dip in melted chocolate (white chocolate is particularly on-theme) and a roll in red or blue Pop Rocks, and you have the quickest and prettiest Fourth of July finger food that ever was. Sweet, tangy and popping with every bite, you'll want to add these to your party tray in a hurry.
Featured Blog: Raspberri Cupcakes
Get the Recipe: Pop Rock Apple Crumble
Food blogging wonder from Down Under, Steph of Raspberri Cupcakes, will have you drooling over her images of this Apple Crumble. It has the appearance (and maybe the illusion) of a rustic, familiar dessert, so you'd never guess at the quirky secret ingredient. Well, in this case, maybe you would. Since she's an Aussie, her recipe will require some conversion, but it won't detract from the fun of diving into this blog post.
Featured Blog: A Farmgirl's Dabbles
Get the Recipe: Poppin' Patriotic Marshmallow Pops
Dreamed up by Brenda of A Farmgirl's Dabbles, these Patriotic Marshmallow Pops begin with homemade marshmallows and end with a dip in all-American hued red and blue Pop Rocks. Sticky sweet, hand-held, and impossibly cute, these pops are sure to delight kids and grown-ups alike. Brenda opted for perfectly festive star-shaped marshmallow pieces, but the possibilities are endless.
Featured Blog: Love and Olive Oil
Get the Recipe: Pop Rock Truffles
Thanks to Lindsay from Love & Olive Oil. First, for this recipe, and second, for reminding us how much we love a good time in the kitchen. On these gorgeous three-ingredient truffles, she writes of how working with Pop Rocks makes her smile, smirk, giggle and grin. She even mentions "pure, child-like happiness." And now we can't wait to try it.
Featured Blog: Cake Spy
Get the Recipe: Explosively Delicious Cookies
Jessie Oleson Moore, also known as the Cake Spy, offers up a Pop Rock-heavy cookie recipe, one that is "both infused and garnished liberally with Pop Rocks." She had us there, but goes on to provide a from-scratch classic sugar cookie recipe—classic but for the food coloring and liberal use of Pop Rocks, of course—and a cream cheese icing blend. Between Jessie's fun-loving writing style and the photos of her finished product, we're giddy, and so ready for the barbecue circuit.
Featured Blog: Pastry Affair
Get the Recipe: Acid Pops
Full disclosure—this recipe was designed with a Harry Potter theme party in mind (hence the name), and not so much for Fourth of July festivities. Intention aside, there's no question that these popping pops would make for an instant hit at any backyard party this July. They're so simple, they're brilliant. Lollipops of your choosing, the Pop Rock flavor of your choosing, a quick dip in honey to make them stick, and well, just look at them. We'll be taking presentation notes from Kristen Rosenau from Pastry Affair, too.
The best cookie recipes for the season—25 of them to be exact—to create the sweetest advent calendar that ever was.
Kick tofurkey to the curb with vegetarian dishes that aim to please everyone from strict herbivores to the most avid of meat-eaters.
This year, create a Thanksgiving table that's a feast for all senses. These stunning tablescapes will inspire your best-yet holiday spread.
Move over, pumpkin pie—try out one of these sweet pumpkin recipes for a fresh new take on fall's favorite.
Not just for carving: try these 13 savory takes on one of our favorite autumn gems.
Thanksgiving dinner will never be quite the same. Shake things up a bit with these 10 unexpected holiday sweet potato recipes.
Thanksgiving pie recipes that take traditional pumpkin pie to entirely new heights.