School finally gets out here tomorrow, and summer officially begins. After such a long winter and extra days tacked on to make up for snow days, it felt like summer was never coming. But the ice and snow is finally all gone.
Now it’s just a little more than three weeks until the Fourth of July. (Saying that makes it feel like summer is almost over already when it hasn’t even started!)
The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Probably because I’m a big patriotic sap. Even when they butcher it and sing it off-key at local sporting events, I tear up when I hear The Star Spangled Banner. And don’t even get me started on the family and friends who’ve served in wars, past and present. Say what you will about America, but I love my country. It’s not perfect, but we’re free. I believe the same passion for the right to make your own destiny and the courage to defend it that started America still lives on in the hearts of its average citizens from east to west and north to south.
So it’s no surprise that I also have an affinity for bits and pieces of Americana and anything stripped in red, white and blue and scattered with stars. We’re traveling for The Fourth and watching fireworks over The Mackinac Bridge, so I’m not dragging out the bunting or making any fancy cakes that look like flags this year. But I had to do something. I couldn’t resist completely.
If you’re having a gathering over The Fourth of July your younger guests will love these Red Licorice Sparklers. Your grown up guests might like them too. They’re pretty tasty. The creamy white chocolate goes really well with the strawberry flavored licorice. The best part is that they’re super easy to make. All you need is a bag of Twizzlers, a bag of white chocolate chips, a tablespoon of vegetable shortening and blue sprinkles or sugar crystals.
Melt the white chocolate chips. There should be directions on the package. I microwaved mine along with the TBS of vegetable shortening for 30 seconds, stirred and microwaved again for another 15 seconds until they were all melted.
Then dip a licorice stick about a third of the way in the white chocolate.
Sprinkle with the blue sugar crystals.
Stand up in a cup to dry.
That’s it! These make a fun treat and they’ll look pretty on the table at your Independence Day barbeque.
Have a happy Fourth!