I love this time of year! Cookouts are one of my favorite entertaining options. I like to have lots of sides using the abundant fresh produce available right now. And whether you eat inside or dine al fresco, the food tastes better cooked on a grill.
Here are some of my favorite things to bring to a barbecue. I'll be adding links throughout the summer.
Have a great Memorial Day!
I made this giant cookie cake for the sweet son of a dear friend. He wanted a sugar cookie cake, so I used this recipe. I lined the rimmed cookie sheet with quick-release foil and pressed the dough in it evenly. I baked it at 350 for 22 minutes - until golden brown. I let it cool in the pan until I could move it to a cutting board.
You can substitute any sugar cookie dough you like - just be sure you have enough for 7 dozen cookies (that's what the recipe I used yields, and it filled the cookie sheet perfectly). I used this buttercream recipe and made a double batch. I colored one batch with leaf green color and frosted the whole cookie (I star tipped the sides in white, but you could just use the green for the whole thing). I also pressed sparkling sugar into the frosting to give it that shiny turf look.
Then I used a skewer to make 11 lines in the frosting and filled them in with white lines, writing the yard lines on using a very small writing tip.
I piped the football freehand in black, and filled it with brown frosting, using the smallest star tip to mimic football dimples (that's what they're called, right?). The birthday boy's initials became the football laces. "Laces OUT!" (what movie?). Tip: Use cocoa powder to make brown frosting - it tastes better and makes a nice dark brown.
I should have made fondant goalposts, but I cheated with pipe cleaners in Vanderbilt's colors. This cake would be great for college football season or the Super Bowl - you could make the end zones bigger and write the team names in them. If you wanted a cake, you could just use a 9X13 pan for the cake. I'd probably stack two cakes with frosting in the middle.