Saturday, May 25, 2013

Red~White & Blue Cookies

Memorial Day meant going to my grandparents for a picnic...that was their day since 4th of July was my mother's.  My grandfather built a brick barbeque under the sycamore tree and set up a long table to fit our big family nearby.  He also built a wonderful swing/glider that I could just sit on for what seemed like eternity sometimes.   Meanwhile, my grandmother (and mother) would be making all the side dishes and desserts and we couldn't wait to sit down and hear stories my grandparents would tell about family. 

As much as Memorial Day was about remembering those that served in the military, for us, it was also remembering our ancestors and getting to know them through their stories.  I never got to meet my great-grandmothers, my paternal great-grandfather, or countless other family members that passed before I was born, so these stories became an important part of my life.

The cookies I created today symbolizes the colors of our flag and the strengths that as Americans we muster, in spite of tragedy and loss.  And, we will remember, cherish, and honor all those loved ones we've lost.

Red ~ White & Blue Cookies
1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

  • 16 oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained, chopped and patted dry ~ 1/2 tsp. Cherry flavoring & 4-5 drops of red food coloring
  • 1 cup dried blueberries, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, then drained  ~ 1/2 tsp. Blackberry flavoring and 4-5 drops of blue food coloring
  • 1 cup chopped white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup sweetened coconut
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.  Add the vanilla and salt.  Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, and continue beating until all of it is incorporated.
Transfer dough to a pastry board, covered with parchment paper and form into a roll to easily divide.
  •  Start with the chopped white chocolate and coconut into 1/3 of the dough and mix in the stand mixer, remove dough.  
  • Next, add another 1/3 piece and the drained blueberries, food coloring and flavoring (optional) and mix on low.  Add and additional 1 tablespoon of flour and stir into the dough.  Remove from the mixing bowl and clean both the bowl and paddle to keep from mixing colors when you add the next third.  
  • Finally, add the drained, chopped cherries, flavoring and food coloring and mix.  Add 1 tablespoon of flour to this dough also.

Divide each of the balls of dough in half to form the "logs."
Set halves aside and cover the board with a sheet of plastic wrap.  Start with the Cherry layer and form a log, then, flatten with you finger tips.  
Form the White Chocolate/Coconut layer on the board (it's firmer than the other two layers) and lay on top of the Cherry layer.  Repeat with the Blueberry layer on top of the white.
Wrap the plastic wrap tightly and use a bench knife to smooth the sides to form a rectangular roll. Repeat layering for a second log.
Refrigerate several hours or overnight to chill and set the layers.  Preheat oven to 350F-degrees and cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and use a serrated knife to cut 1/4"-slices.
Bake 12 to 13 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to set 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Not only are these cookies flavorful, but very patriotic.  I know my family would eat them by "sections" enjoying every flavor on its own.  Enjoy!

One of my favorite songs by Sarah McLaughlin sets the theme of what Memorial Day means to me. In loving memory of the all the victims and their families of the Boston bombings and Oklahoma tornado--you won't be forgotten, XOXO


  1. such a beautiful post susan, your memories made me think back too. the cookies look delicious as always (would love one with my tea right now!) and i love that song too.

    1. Thank you Lori ann...wish I was nearby and could bring you some while you share with me your knitting secrets! XOXO

  2. Your shortbread cookies, with a salute to the red, white, and blue are just perfect for Memorial Day. I love the fruit infused colors. I too remember all those family picnics--such important times with those we love and those who came before us. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

    1. I hope next year, we're celebrating with family again, living close by, XOXO

  3. Oooooooo, Susan, those look good. Loved the video of Sarah, too. Very nice. Hadn't heard that one. Thanks. Susan

    1. That song always makes me cry--it's one of my favorites. Have a lovely weekend, dear friend, XOXO

  4. What a lot of work! I think I'd just make them white and frost them. I'm not that ambitious.

    1. Oh, but so worth it!! Happy Memorial Day, XOXO

  5. I want a bunch of these cookies! I'm sure they would be a hit in my house.
    stamping sue

  6. Susan that is one of my all time favorite songs! It does make me think about family and how they have contributed to our lives. My Father was career Marine so it's always a part of our family celebrations. Love these cookies! Happy Memorial Day my friend!


  7. What a creative and fun cookie recipe, Susan.
    Happy Memorial Day to you!

  8. Hello Susan....What a lovely story about family. It is one of the many reasons I am so drawn to your blog. Happy Memorial Day to you and your family.

  9. Love the cookie recipe, I sure will have to give this a try. Love the creativeness Happy holiday sweetie. Phyllis

  10. Love the story and the cookies look great I will try for sure. Have a wonderful holiday Phyllis

  11. Hi Susan,

    I made your cookies for a cookout yesterday. As one poster said, they are a fair amount of trouble to make, but they were completely worth the work. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so I've rolled the other half into three separate rolls to freeze. I'll bake three kinds of cookies for July 4th (If I can wait that long to have them again!) and put them all on one plate. I love the three distinct flavors. Thanks for sharing this one. It is definitely a keeper!

    Diane in North Carolina

  12. I'm glad you put forth the effort because they are fun and do taste good. I know it makes a lot, which makes me think I should have mentioned that you could cut this recipe in half--but you did what I did and put a roll away in the freezer! XOXO

  13. Those cookies sound great with the blueberries and cherries! These would be great for 4th of July, too!

  14. Oh, I love Sarah M. and have a lot of her music. I'm in the mood to listen to it today. Thanks for mentioning it. Have a wonderful day my friend! Sweet hugs!

  15. These look great! I love the red, white and blue version. Love anything with coconut in it too!
    By the way, I just got your Dogwood flower die set yesterday! Thought I would start out with a simple one, not too many pieces! I eyed the Daisy a couple of weeks ago, but it was sold out already!

  16. Those look delicious! I love the fruit in them.

  17. Love the song, but it always makes me cry.