Summer Soiree: Star Sweets for the 4th

By: Camilla Brandfield-Harvey

As many know — and have already begun celebrating — America's birthday blowout falls on a Friday this year. Here are five ways to celebrate the stars and stripes in sweet, weekend-ready style.

1. 4th of July Berry Tart: Keep it seasonal and sophisticated with fresh berries and white chocolate cream atop a buttery almond shortbread crust (pictured above).

2. Star Sugar Cookies: You really can't go wrong with chewy sugar cookies; this batch steps up its flavor game with lemon juice and zest.

CCWST_RedWhiteGrill_120503_378.jpg

CCWST_RedWhiteGrill_120503_378.jpg

Elizabeth Karmel's Creamed Corn Skillet Cornbread w/ Sweet Strawberry Butter as she and Roger Mooking cook at the Michelson home in Lockhart, TX, as seen on Cooking Channel's Red, White, and Grill special featuring Williams-Sonoma.

Photo by: JENNIFER WHITNEY ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved. , 2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

JENNIFER WHITNEY, 2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved. , 2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

3. Grilled Skillet Cornbread with Strawberry Butter: Celebrate a corn-fed country with grilled cornbread and some homemade strawberry jam butter.

CCWST_RedWhiteGrill_120503_390.jpg

CCWST_RedWhiteGrill_120503_390.jpg

Roger Mooking's Hot Dog Ice Cream Sandwiches as he and Elizabeth Karmel cook at the Michelson home in Lockhart, TX, as seen on Cooking Channel's Red, White, and Grill special featuring Williams-Sonoma.,Roger Mooking's Hot Dog Ice Cream Sandwiches as he and Elizabeth Karmel cook at the Michelson home in Lockhart,TX,as seen on Cooking Channel's Red,White,and Grill special featuring Williams-Sonoma.

Photo by: Jennifer Whitney ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Jennifer Whitney, 2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

4. Hot Dog Ice Cream Sandwich: Trick the little ones with sweet pastry "buns" filled with homemade chocolate ice cream and raspberry "ketchup."

5. Red, White and Blue Velvet Cake: Go the whole nine yards with our tri-colored confection that will have everyone wondering just how you did it...  (if you need a little help youself, here's the handy  guide).

More Festive Sweets from Family + Friends:
The Heritage Cook: Firecracker Salad

Jeanette's Healthy Living: Brazilian Acai Breakfast Bowl

Weelicious: Magical Fruit Wands
Virtually Homemade: Traditional Potato Salad

Dishing With Divya: Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad

Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Mini Cherry Blueberry Pies

Daily*Dishin: Dilly Potato Salad
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