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Taste of Franklin: Sweet summertime

FRANKLIN LIVING—

Serve up something to savor this summer.

Poolside Cookies

For those who do not like to bake, you can buy already baked sugar cookies in the deli and pre-made frosting. Many frosting manufactures make blue icing. This would be great shortcut for busy moms.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons hot water
  • Blue food coloring

Optional decorations:

  • Bear-shaped crackers
  • Fish-shaped graham crackers
  • Airheads candies
  • Gummy sour rings
  • White sugar pearls
  • Palm tree party picks

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Beat in extracts and one egg at a time.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Gradually beat dry mixture into creamed mixture.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 3 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.
  6. Bake until edges begin to brown, 8-10 minutes.
  7. Remove from pan to wire racks; cool completely.
  8. For frosting, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, extract and enough water to reach desired consistency. Tint blue with food coloring. Spread over cookies.
  9. Decorate as desired.

Individual Seven Layer Salad

With everyone being more concerned with germs and “double dipping,” this is a great recipe to have when serving guests. The seven layer dip always starts out beautiful, but after everyone starts “digging in,” it looks less appetizing. When creating these, it is easiest to place the wet ingredients like sour cream and guacamole in a Ziploc bag and snip of the corner for easy piping.

Ingredients:

  • 16-ounce can refried beans
  • 1-ounce package taco seasoning
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 8 ounce container sour cream
  • 1 cup chunky salsa or pico de gallo
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions, sliced
  • 2.25-ounce can of sliced olives, drained
  • 9-ounce plastic cups
  • Tortilla chips

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix taco seasoning with refried beans.
  2. In each plastic glass, layer about 2 tablespoons of the beans.
  3. Layer on 2 tablespoons of sour cream.
  4. Layer 2 tablespoons of guacamole.
  5. Drain salsa or pico de gallo to remove excess liquid, then layer on 2 tablespoons.
  6. Layer 2 tablespoons of cheese.
  7. Top with 1-2 teaspoons of tomatoes, olives and green onion. If making ahead of time, wait to add these toppings until shortly before serving.
  8. Garnish with one tortilla chip.
  9. Store in the refrigerator until serving and serve with chips. Makes around eight individual dips.

Southern Fruit Tea

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 family-size tea bags or 8 standard size bags
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • Optional garnishes: mint sprigs, orange slices, lemon slices, pineapple wedges or maraschino cherries

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, remove from heat and add tea bags. Tie the strings together for easy removal later.
  3. Allow to steep for 8-10 minutes. Remove tea bags.
  4. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
  5. Stir in orange juice and lemonade concentrates, as well as the pineapple juice.
  6. Pour fruit tea into pitcher. Chill until cold.
  7. Pour fruit tea over ice and garnish as desired.

Pineapple Cheese Ball

To make ahead, prepare as directed except do not coat with pecans. Wrap securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days. Coat with pecans just before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounches crushed pineapple, very well drained
  • 1 2/3 cups chopped pecans, divided
  • 1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced sweet onion
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt, such as Lawry’s
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Stir together softened cream cheese, crushed pineapple, 1 cup of chopped pecans, green bell pepper, onion and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Transfer mixture to a serving plate and form into a ball.  Coat with remaining 2/3 cup of chopped pecans.
  3. Wrap securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley when serving, if desired.
  5. Serve with crackers or pretzels.

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Recipes and photos by Amy Dolan McCollum

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