4th of July pop star cookie pops
Add some crackle and pow to your 4th of July with these yummy sandwich cookies-on-a-stick.
Starry centers filled with Pop Rocks lend a bit of fireworks to your dessert table with just the right amount of sparkle and surprise. And these red, white and blue treats are equipped with handy, dandy sticks to let you run around your picnic or barbecue utensil-free.
Step 1: Make the cookie dough
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl, mix the flour and salt with a whisk and set aside. With a hand-held mixer or in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the flat beater, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and blend well. Add the extract and blend. Gradually add the flour mixture until a dough forms. Wrap the dough and chill for two hours. When ready, roll the dough on a surface dusted with flour to one-quarter-inch thickness. Cut out your cookies and place on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Yields about 12 sandwich cookies or 24 individual cookies.
Step 2: Make the royal icing
- 4 tablespoons meringue powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 7 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Whip the meringue powder and water on high speed for several minutes, until the mixture is fluffy and stiff peaks form. Blend in half of the confectioners' sugar on low speed. Blend in the remaining ingredients. Add the remaining confectioners' sugar to the desired consistency. The icing should be stiff enough to hold its shape, but not so stiff that it's difficult to pipe from a decorating bag. Store at room temperature in a sealed container up to one month.
Step 3: Assemble the cookie pops
- Sugar cookie dough
- Royal icing
- Red, blue and white food coloring
- 2 (1/2-inch) star cookie cutters
- 1 (1/4-inch) star cookie cutter
- Lollipop sticks
- Disposable decorating bag
- Decorating tip, size 5
- Rubber band
- Pop Rocks candy
- Parchment paper
- 4th of July flag printable template
- Glue stick
* Find the cookie cutters, lollipop sticks, decorating bag, coupler and decorating tip at the craft store. For food coloring, I suggest Americolor Soft Gel Pastes (Red Red, Royal Blue and Bright White used here), available at specialty stores and online.
Assembly step 1: Prepare your dough
Prepare your cookie dough according to the recipe, chill and divide the dough in two. Add a few drops of red food coloring to half of your dough and a few drops of blue food coloring to the other half.Knead the food coloring very well into the dough, adding more drops of coloring as needed for desired color. If the dough becomes soft from kneading, chill for an additional half hour before using.
Assembly step 2: Cut out your stars
Roll the blue dough about one-quarter-inch thick on a surface dusted with flour to prevent sticking. Cut out the larger stars, and then cut a star from the center with the smaller cookie cutter. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking tray.Repeat with the red dough, but do not cut out the inner star.Bake the cookies according to the recipe just until the edges start to brown, and let cool completely.
Assembly step 3: Prepare your icing
Prepare royal icing according to the recipe. Mix in white food coloring to the desired shade. Prepare a decorating bag with the coupler and decorating tip, fill with the white icing, and close the bag tightly with a rubber band. Cover and reserve the remaining icing.
Assembly step 4: Decorate your cookies
Pipe a line of icing on the back of a red star cookie and attach a lollipop stick.Pipe an outline on the back of the red star cookie.Pipe back and forth to completely fill the outline on the cookie. Turn a blue star cookie over and pipe an outline on the back.Gently press the blue star cookie on top of the red cookie. Sprinkle Pop Rocks candy to fill the little star in the center of the blue cookie. Let the cookies dry very well, several hours to overnight.
Assembly step 5: Add flag
If desired, use a color printer to print the free printable on white card stock or other heavyweight paper. Cut out the flags using the gray lines as a guide. Fold each flag in half and snip a wedge from the end. Unfold, coat the entire underside with glue and wrap around the lollipop stick.