Photo by Cathy Mortensen Design

What colors summer more than red, white and blue? The iconic color trio are decorating many a porch, patio and pathway as the Fourth of July marches patriotically forward.

Red, white and blue2

Photo by Cathy Mortensen Design

I love seeing how people show their colors and decorate for all to see and enjoy. Some like to decorate in vintage Americana, and others like a coastal feel.

Photo by Cathy Mortensen Design

And some like a vibrant, colorful Fourth. I like them all and can’t get enough, as I was hunting-for-bunting on the beach streets of Orange County.

Red, white and blue3

Photo by Cathy Mortensen Design

However you celebrate, do it with that great American style and gusto. Entertaining should be casual, fun and of course shared with others.


Photo by Cathy Mortensen Design

I love to get together with friends and family to see what patriotic creations they come up with. I was playing around to see what might be a sweet treat to add to the festivities this year and my Star Spangled Berry Cookies came about.


Photo by Cathy Mortensen Design

Here’s how I made my Star Spangled Berry Cookies:


-Sugar cookies, homemade or bought (about 20)
-1 8 oz. block cream cheese (room temperature)
-2 cups powdered sugar
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (or lemon or almond)
-Medium size strawberries (washed and dried well)
-Blueberries (washed and dried well)
-Red, white and blue sprinkles

1. Cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla (if too stiff add a drop or two of milk). Lightly frost cookies with part of the frosting.

2. With sharp paring knife, cut green strawberry tops off flat.

4th of july cookies

Photo by Cathy Mortensen Design

3. Stand strawberry up on flat end and slice 3 even slices down to the pointy end (like an asterisk), but don’t slice all the way through. Blot any moisture off.

4. Open up the 6 section berry and arrange it, outside up, on the frosted cookie.

5. Place extra frosting in a ziplock bag. Snip off corner and squeeze a dollop into the center of the “star” berry.

6. Top all berry “stars” with frosting.

4th of july cookies1

Photo by Cathy Mortensen Design

7. Sprinkle lightly with red, white and blue sprinkles.

8. Add 3 (dry) blueberries in center.

Best when first made, but refrigerate if not serving right away. Enjoy, I did!


Photo by Cathy Mortensen Design

More ideas: Top frosted cupcakes with the strawberry stars, or use frosted graham crackers instead of sugar cookies (strawberry cheesecake cookies). Or garnish pancakes, french toast or oatmeal with the berry stars. Fun for the Fourth!

What’s the best part of the Fourth of July? Fireworks, food, festivities, friends, family? All of the above for me!

Cathy Mortensen is an independent interior designer in Orange County, Calif. and a contributing writer to Design Happy since 2007.

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