I get so excited for the Fourth of July. It is one of my very favorite Holidays.
When my children were small, we lived at the top of a cul-de-sac. Every Fourth of July we would go out into the street in front of our house and light fireworks. Each year our fireworks show got bigger and bigger, especially when extended family members would join us. They would bring their fireworks stash and add it to our stash. Together we would pretty much put on a spectacular ground show. The neighbors finally stopped buying fireworks of their own and would just put their lawn chairs out on the street to watch our show.
Our kids loved the fireworks and over the years, celebrating the Fourth of July became second only to Christmas. Now that my children are all grown, they are making their own Fourth traditions. For me, it still doesn’t seem right not to have the kids around. Now and again, we will celebrate the day before the Fourth or the day after, just so that the family can be together and blow up a ridiculous amount of money in the form of showering, glittering sparks of light.
Last year Utah expanded its firework’s laws and we could finally, legally, shoot off ground to air fireworks (still not bottle rockets or Roman candles, however). People went hog wild nuts shooting off fireworks. We loved, loved, loved it. Everyone in the neighborhood had such a great time watching each others aerial shows over the treetops. We were having a grand time in our own back yard and had no clue that our next door neighbors were sitting out on their deck watching us. At the end of our show they clapped and cheered and it was then that we became aware that once again, in a completely different neighborhood, the neighbors were enjoying our show.
I truly love the Fourth and that it represents the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I could go on and on about my love of early American history. I had ancestors who fought in the American Revolutionary War. I will forever be grateful to them for their sacrifices. So cool.
And speaking of cool, this is such a refreshing dessert salad. I find it difficult to call most things with Jell-O in them a “salad”. They are generally closer to a dessert, but that doesn’t seem quite right either; so, dessert salad it is. I wish that could claim total recipe creation for this recipe, but the fact is that I got it about a bazillion years ago from an acquaintance from a neighborhood in which we lived. Her family referred to it as “Green Goop” and it was a favorite at their holiday gatherings. Sounds like a name that a family would use for a favorite food, doesn’t it?
I used that ‘green goop’ recipe as the base for these Fourth of July Creamy Jell-O Parfaits, substituting blue and red gelatin for the green. I suppose that you could shorten the name to Fourth of July Goop…if you are of that mindset, which certainly I am not. Always prim, proper, and prissy…just ask someone who knows me. Ask my grandsons, for instance. They are forever putting me in time out.
The marshmallow and fruit skewers are optional, but really fun to make and very easy. For the star, I simply used the flat, rectangular Kraft marshmallows (meant for s’mores) and a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the star. You can tell how smart I am in the comment section.
Confession: I have been tinkering with this recipe for over a week, trying to improve the method. Do you know how much Jell-O dessert salad we have around our house? Including the stuff that I miscalculated and used too much water? (Still gelled, amazingly enough.) Too much, way too much. At least it’s pretty!Print
Fourth of July Creamy Dessert Salad Parfaits
Recipe adapted by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’; original recipe by Melinda R.
- Yield: Makes Twelve 9-10 ounce parfaits
For gelatin parfaits:
- 7 cups water, divided
- 1 large (6-ounce) package blue gelatin
- 1 large (6-ounce) package raspberry or strawberry gelatin
- 1 (10-ounce) bag small marshmallows, divided
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, divided and softened to room temperature
- 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained and divided
- 1 1/2 pints (3 cups) whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- 1 (8-ounce) package Kraft ‘Stackermallows’ (flat, rectangular marshmallows)
- 24 fresh blueberries
- 12 fresh raspberries
- red sanding sugar
- small star-shaped cookie cutter
- 12 small 6-inch wooden skewers
For the parfaits: The water, marshmallows, cream cheese, crushed pineapple, and whipping cream will be divided between the two types of Jell-O.
- Divide the cream cheese in half (two 4-ounce portions). Cut each half into smaller pieces. This will make it easier to blend into the gelatin. Set aside.
- Pour 1 3/4 cup water in each of two saucepans (one pan for the blue Jell-O and one for the red Jell-O. Each pot gets 1 3/4 cup water.). Bring water to a boil.
- Lower heat to low. Stir the blue Jell-O powder into one pot of water and stir until dissolved. Repeat with the red Jell-O in the other pot of water.
- Add half of the cream cheese to the blue gelatin; stir to incorporate cream cheese. If necessary, press the cream cheese against the side of the pot to help break it up. There will probably be some small slivers of cream cheese that will not completely blend with the gelatin. This is not a problem. Repeat with the red gelatin.
- Add 1/2 of the bag of marshmallows to the red gelatin and the other half of the bag to the blue gelatin. Stir until dissolved.
- Add another 1 3/4 cup COLD water to each pot of gelatin mixture. Stir.
- Pour the gelatin mixtures into two separate bowls, cover and refrigerate until set.
- When set, remove from fridge. With a hand mixer, beat each bowl of gelatin until well aerated and fluffy. Set aside.
- Fold half of drained, crushed pineapple into each bowl gelatin mixture.
- Clean beaters. Add the whipping cream and sugar to a clean bowl. Whip until soft peaks form.
- Add one cup of whipped cream to each of the bowls of gelatin and fold it into the gelatin. Set the remaining whipped cream aside for topping.
- In parfait glasses or 9-10 ounce clear plastic cups layer in order listed: blue gelatin, raspberries and blueberries, red gelatin, and whipped cream. I used three raspberries and put them touching the outside of the glass so that they could be well seen, then sprinkled blueberries to fill in the spaces.
- Garnish as desired.
Directions for Fruit and Star Marshmallow Skewer:
- Select a star cookie cutter that will fit the size of the rectangular marshmallows. The size of the marshmallow can be slightly increased by gently pressing on it. Don’t press too hard because the marshmallow will begin to break down. Don’t we all.
- Working with one marshmallow at a time, use the cookie cutter to cut out a marshmallow star. Repeat with 11 more marshmallows for a total of 12 stars.
- On each of the 12 skewers load the following in order listed: 1 blueberry, 1 raspberry, 1 blueberry, 1 star marshmallow.
- With a small, flat paintbrush or with your finger, paint a thin coat of water onto both sides of the marshmallow star. Working over a dinner plate, sprinkle the dampened marshmallow on both sides with the red sanding sugar.
- Garnish parfaits with prepared skewers.
This recipe has been modified from the original recipe in both amounts of ingredients and in method of preparation. The sizes/quantities of listed ingredients are consistent with the current standard market product sizes/quantities as of 6/25/2012. Product sizes change over time.
When everything is ready, assemble the parfaits: blueberry gelatin mixture, raspberries and blueberries, red gelatin mixture, whipped cream on top, and the garnish for over the top cute!