Getting Ready for the Fourth of July

Strawberry Layer Cake

Strawberry Layer Cake

 Ingredients:

  • Oil or melted butter, for greasing
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Generous ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk

 Filling:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. strawberry jelly

 Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round layer cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the butter, superfine sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well until the batter is smooth, then stir in the milk. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth level. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until risen, firm and golden brown. Let cool in the pans for 2-3 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. For the filling, beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread this mixture on top of one of the cakes. Spread the bottom of the other cake with the jelly and then sandwich the two cakes together to enclose the filling, pressing down lightly. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Serves 6-8 

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Getting Ready for the Fourth of July

Tutti Frutti Whoopie Pies

Tutti Frutti Whoopie Pies

 Ingredients:

  • Generous 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Large pinch of salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup finely chopped mixed colored candied cherries
  • 4 tbsp. multicolored sugar sprinkles

 Filling:

  • 8 oz. white marshmallows
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • Few drops of red food coloring
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

 Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2-3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract followed by half of the flour mixture and then buttermilk. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Stir in chopped cherries. Pipe or spoon 50 small mounds of the batter onto the prepared cookie sheets, spaced well apart to allow for spreading. Bake in the preheated oven, one sheet at a time, for 9-11 minutes, until risen and just firm to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes, then using a palette knife transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. For the filling, place the marshmallows, milk and food coloring in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of water. Heat until the marshmallows have melted. Remove from the heat and let cool. Place the vegetable shortening and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy. Add the creamed mixture to the marshmallow and beat for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Spread the filling over the flat side of half the cakes. Top with the remaining cakes. Roll the edges of the pies in the sugar sprinklers.

Makes 25

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Getting Ready for the Fourth of July

Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake

 Ingredients:

  • Oil or melted butter for greasing
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 8 extra large egg whites
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 ¼ cups superfine sugar

 Topping:

  • 2 ½ cups berries, such as strawberries and raspberries
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

 Method:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Brush the inside of a 7 ½ cup angel cake pan with oil and dust lightly with four. In a large grease free bowl, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar and whisk again until the whites are stiff but not dry. Whisk in the almond extract then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking hard between each addition. Sift in the flour and fold in gently and evenly using a large metal spoon. Spoon the batter into the prepared angel cake pan and tap on the counter to remove any large bubbles. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Run the tip of a small knife around the edge of the cake to loosen form the pan. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out the cake onto a wire rack to finish cooling. For the topping, place the berries, lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Spoon on top of the cake. Slice and serve.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Getting Ready for the Fourth of July

Marshmallow Ice Cream Cone Cookies

Marshmallow Ice Cream Cone Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (about 16 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 6 ice cream sugar cones, broken into pieces
  • 1 container (about 16 oz.) white frosting
  • 1 package (about 10 oz.) colored miniature marshmallows
  • Colored sprinkles

Method:

Let dough stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sugar cones in food processor. Process using on/off pulsing action until finely ground. Combine dough and sugar cones in large bowl, beat until well blended. Shape dough into 3 equal balls. Pat each ball into 9 inch circle on lightly floured surface. Cut each circle into 6 wedges, place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. While cookies are still warm, score crisscross pattern into cookies. Cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks, cool completely. Spread 2 inch strip of frosting at wide end of each cookie. Press marshmallows into frosting, top with sprinkles.

Makes 1 ½ dozen cookies

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Lady Liberty

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Lady Liberty

By:

“LADY LIBERTY” is an original watercolor painting by Janice Peroni, resident of the Garden State, New Jersey. Janice is a Quadriplegic and is aided by the use of a wheelchair. Janice paints with restricted use of her arms and hands. Her paintings come alive with color and movement. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Janice Peroni for THASC Sales Co. which has employed a unique group of handi-capped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
“LADY LIBERTY” is an original watercolor painting by Janice Peroni, resident of the Garden State, New Jersey. Janice is a Quadriplegic and is aided by the use of a wheelchair. Janice paints with restricted use of her arms and hands. Her paintings come alive with color and movement. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Janice Peroni for THASC Sales Co. which has employed a unique group of handi-capped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
20150630_142633-1From Tuesday’s blog on “Waving Proud” until today’s blog, “Lady Liberty”, THASC artist Janice Peroni continues with her incredible watercolor impression of the powerful Statue of Liberty meeting her celebratory, colorful and explosive fireworks lighting up the New York skyline. There is nothing more exciting and decisive than the thunderous roar of these vivid bolts to verify her significance to the world. She does so with grace and distinction and nothing confirms her stance more than the skies of New York.

The French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi originally named the Statue of Liberty, “La Libertè Éclairant le Monde” or “Liberty Enlightening the World.” He modeled the sculpture after his mother, Charlotte. Broken chains lie at her feet symbolizing her as a woman free from weariness and submission. The Roman numerals for July 4, 1776, the date of American Independence, are inscribed across the tablet held in her left hand.

20150701_140925-1The Statue of Liberty was completed in France and then gifted from France to the United States as a symbol of freedom and democracy. It was a joint effort between the two countries. The Statue arrived in New York in June of 1885 in over 300 pieces from France. It was reassembled in four months and placed upon a granite pedestal which was built in America. In October of 1886, President Grover Cleveland unveiled and accepted the Statue on behalf of the people of the United States. The full statue measures 305 feet one inch from the tip of the flame to the ground. The total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons or 450,000 pounds.

20150630_141513-1The Statue’s original torch was the first part constructed in 1886 but in 1984 was replaced by a new copper torch covered by 24 Karat gold leaf. Here are some interesting facts about the crown. Let’s take a closer look: Did you know that the seven rays of the Statue’s crown represent the seven continents and seven seas of the world?

There are 25 windows in the crown which represent the gems of heaven shining over the world. Access has not been available to the torch since 1916. You need to climb 154 steps to reach the head. To give you an idea of some of the measurements of the Statue: her index finger is 8 feet long and the width of her mouth is three feet.

In 1903, the poem, “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus was inscribed on a tablet and placed in the Statue’s pedestal:

20150630_172409-1“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning
to breathe free,
The wretched
refuse of your
teeming shore.

Send these,
the homeless,
tempest-tossed
to me,
I lift my lamp beside
The golden door!”

When I look at Janice Peroni’s watercolor I am reminded of the middle name my parents gave me, which was my paternal grandmother’s name. Maybe some of you have noticed that it is “Libera,” the Italian word for “free.” I feel I have a special connection with this greeting card and with Lady Liberty and will feel that more every year on July 4th. Thank you to Janice and to my immigrant grandparents who made this journey to freedom for me.

I hope you all have a special connection with Freedom as I do and enjoy your Holiday!

20150630_143425-1

-Maria

Maria Libera Vallone
Maria Libera Vallone

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.
www.thasc.com

Flag Cake- Sweet Treat Saturday

Stars & Stripes- enjoy your summer!

We tested this recipe finding it a delight to make and eat. We did try a little make over decorating with fresh strawberries and blueberries. A fruit filling completed the make over. Whichever way you try, both will be a wonderful cake for your family and friends.

Flag Cake
Flag Cake

What you need:

  • FullSizeRender (3) copy
    Strawberries and blueberries for decorating the Flag Cake

    1 package white cake mix

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 package confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • blue and red food coloring

What to do:

FullSizeRender (2) copy
For fresh strawberry filling

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased and floured 9 inch round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the water, salt and vanilla until smooth. Place once cake layer on a serving plate; spread 2/3 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer.

Fresh strawberry filling
Fresh strawberry filling

In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup frosting and blue food coloring. In another bowl, combine 1 ½cups frosting and red food coloring. Fill pastry or plastic bag with ¼ cup white frosting; cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and set aside.

Frost top and sides with remaining white frosting. With blue frosting, frost a 3 inch section in the upper left corner of the cake. Pipe white stars over blue frosting. Fill another pastry or plastic bag with red frosting; cut a large hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe stripes across top of cake.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped hulled strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a heavy small sauce pan, stirring constantly and crushing berries slightly with back of spoon.

Boil 2 minutes to thicken, stirring constantly (mixture will be slightly chunky).

Pour into bowl and cool completely.

FullSizeRender copyFullSizeRender (1) copy

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.
www.thasc.com