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Food & Drink

Star-spangled desserts for your patriotic celebration

Whether you're planning a Fourth of July bash or cheering on the U.S. team during the Olympics this summer, tap into your national pride and serve up some festive treats. Below are red, white and blue recipes sure to delight family and friends.

Stained Glass Jello stars
Try this pretty, kid-pleaser from Michelle Norris, the BrownEyedBaker. The best part about it? The colors can be modified for other occasions.

Recipe: Click here for Stained Glass Jello Stars

Patriotic caramel corn
Fill your party's snack bowls with delicious, decked-out caramel corn from Brenda Score, at A Farmgirl's Dabbles.

Start with her mouth-watering caramel corn recipe, and drizzle melted white candy (12 ounces for one recipe of caramel corn) over it after the caramel corn cools in the pan. Finally, scatter some red, white and blue sprinkles over the melted white candy.

Take a peek at a few of Score's other Fourth of July-inspired sweets, like ice cream sandwiches and strawberries.

Red, white and blue sangria
Lauren Salkeld, senior editor of Epicurious, suggested sangria and red, white and blue versions for July 4. "They can be made ahead and in large batches so they are perfect for parties," she says, of this recipe for adults.

To make the blue variety, combine one lemon (thinly sliced), one cucumber (thinly sliced), and one 750 milliliter bottle of dry vermouth in a large pitcher.

Recipe: Click here for Watermelon Sangria

Glorious red, white and blue layer cake
Wrap up your get-together with a bang; Salkeld suggests this remarkable cake as the ultimate grand finale to your Fourth of July feast. For the full recipe, click here. Crunched for time but still want to include it on your menu? You're in luck. The cake layers can be made either a day in advance and chilled, or a week ahead and frozen.

For the frantic host
Literally a last-minute dessert for the impromptu backyard barbecue: Slice up some homemade, or even (shhh...) store-bought pound cake; place it on your already warm grill. It's fabulously simple, and the unexpectedness of a grilled dessert will awe guests. Make it festive by topping with red and blue berries and vanilla ice cream.