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Light up your 4th of July picnic by serving these firecracker Exploding Star Cookie Stackers filled with exploding candy.
Inspired by She Know's Firecracker Cakelettes, we switched it up and made them with cookies. Each red, white and blue stack of Exploding Star Cookie Stackers is filled with Pop Rocks and has a black licorice fuse. Take a bite and feel the explosion in your mouth.
Mix Betty Crocker Sugar Cookies Mix with flour. Stir in softened butter and egg until well combined.
Divide dough in thirds making one part just a bit bigger than the others. Color the largest piece with red food coloring. Color one piece with blue and the other with white food coloring. Wrap each color of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Dust cutting board with flour. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut about 35 stars out of each color using a 2 inch star shaped cookie cutter, re-rolling as needed. Cut holes in the centers of 2/3 of the red stars and all of the white and blue stars using a 5/8 inch round cutter. You'll need 10 solid red stars to use as the base of each of your firecrackers. Re-roll the round pieces of dough, to create a few more stars.
Place 2 solid red stars, 4 red stars with holes, and 6 blue and 6 white stars on each baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 15-20 minutes. You will want to bake no more than 2 sets of the red, white and blue stars at a time. You'll see why in the next few steps.
Bake cookies for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, and immediately, begin to assemble the stacks of cookies. Brush a light coating of corn syrup on the points of one of the solid red stars. Press one red star, with a hole in it, on top of the solid red star. Brush a light coating of corn syrup on the points of that red star and top it with one more red star with a hole in it.
Continue to stack 3 white cookies on top of the three red cookies, using corn syrup as the "glue."
Add three blue star cookies on top of the white cookies using corn syrup to attach each layer.
Move very quickly so that the hot cookies remain soft enough to bend slightly so that they stack nicely. Repeat this whole process to make a second stack of cookies. If your star cookies have gotten too cool and are difficult to stack nicely, you may stick the cookies back in the oven for 30-60 seconds just to make them easier to handle.
Once you have the two stacks of cookies completed, place them in the oven for two minutes. The corn syrup will heat up and act as glue to hold all the red, white and blue star cookies together. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Repeat making more stacks of cookies. You should have enough star cookies to make 10 red, white and blue firecrackers and have a few extra stars to use to decorate your cookie tray. You can choose, however to make fewer firecrackers and have more stars to use as decorations.
Once your firecrackers are all cooled, pour pop rocks into the holes, filling them to about 1/2 inch from the top. Add a 1 inch piece of black licorice into the hole, then fill around it with more pop rocks.
Once the pop rocks sit out in the air for a while, they will begin to stick together. This actually makes it easier to fill the top of the cookie stacks.
You can make the cookies several days before you need them, but they should be filled with the candy the day you plan to serve them.
Display your Boomin' Star Pinata Cookies along with some red, white and blue stars for decoration.
More 4th of July Treats to Try:
4th of July Super Slushies 4th of July Marshmallow Pops Flag Fruit Pizza Firecracker Cake Uncle Sam Reveal Cake
Team Tablespoon was super excited to find Beth's amazing creations on her blog, hungryhappenings.com. So, as you can imagine, we are geeked out to have her as a guest blogger. Check out her Tablespoon profile to see these awesome noms that she made just for us!