There is nothing more fun than a Fourth of July cookout. For me, the hardest part is deciding which desserts to make! A red velvet cake? A flakey pie filled with locally-grown summer berries? A cool and summery icebox pie? A batch of patriotic sugar cookies? It's so hard to decide! Here are some ideas that can be made a day or more ahead. I will post recipes in the recipe section if you'd like to try them out. If you're having a potluck party like I am, maybe the best idea is to choose one dessert, and ask others to make something else.
Berry and cherry pie can be made with locally grown fruits this time of year, so they are the best choice. Because it is "All-American," Apple pie is always a favorite for July 4th, but since apples are not in season, you'd be forced to use imported (and likely bland) fruit. Resist the urge!
Cookies are festive and a great choice to make ahead. The best thing about them is that they are so portable - guests don't need a plate and a fork to eat them, leaving the other hand free to hold a beer, or play horseshoes.
There is something about a cake that shouts "celebration!" To quote a line from a kids' song I recently heard, "How can it be a party when there isn't a cake?!" A red velvet cake is perfect for July Fourth. I love the idea of using fresh strawberries and blueberries to add red and blue color. A perennial favorite of cake decorators is a sheet cake made to look like a flag, with blueberries as the stars and strawberries as the stripes.