Fireworks Brownies

Tomorrow, July 5th, we are having a big family get-together, and I was commissioned with making a dessert. I had the idea, at first, to make a flag cake for our delayed Independence Day celebration, but after a week of house sitting and with limited time to prepare, I wanted to make something simple that was still festive — brownies with frosting and a candy fireworks design.

So, this post is more of a decorating idea than a recipe. I just used a boxed brownie mix. I chose a Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge brownie mix, but you can use any kind you like or a favorite recipe. If you want to go with simplicity like I did and focus on the decorating, use a boxed mix and prepare it according to the directions.

I made a big batch in a 13 x 9″ pan. After letting them cool for a while, I frosted them with a can of store-bought chocolate buttercream frosting. This made a sticky surface in which to stick my candy fireworks.

My first idea was to buy special red, white and blue M&Ms for my fireworks designs. I know the product exists but didn’t find it when I was shopping. Instead, I bought regular M&Ms and found another candy I thought might work for fireworks — sour rainbow belts.

Sometimes, a failed Plan A is good for creativity. I thought to myself that fireworks, even July 4th fireworks, are not in patriotic colors only, so I could be more free to use any color. The rainbow belts were too wide to use for fireworks. I thought I could cut them into thinner strips. It turns out that I didn’t need to cut them width-wise. The separate thin color stripes easily peeled apart.

First, I prepared by tracing my fireworks designs lightly into the frosting with a knife, so I had a pattern to follow with my candies. You might not be able to see it perfectly, but the photo below should give you some idea.

I sorted some of my M&Ms by color and pulled the rainbow belts into thin colored strips and set to work creating my designs. I made a large starburst, a smaller one and a third shape that was more of a spiral burst. Dad made the suggestion that I should use a few short pieces of my sour strips that didn’t touch the center of that large burst. I thought that had a nice effect.

Here are my results:

Mom’s Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Mom’s strawberry rhubarb sauce

Today, I took avid notes and photographs while Mom prepared strawberry rhubarb sauce without a recipe. Have you ever had a relative who’s done this? So, now I do have a step by step recipe I can pass on to you.


6 to 8 stalks chopped fresh rhubarb

1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

First, rinse the rhubarb and chop 6 to 8 stalks in chunks.

Put the rhubarb chunks into a stock pot with the cup of water and 3/4 cup sugar …

Turn the flame to medium high, and begin to prepare your strawberries. Rinse them, hull them and slice them in half.

Mom slicing strawberries

When the rhubarb comes to boil, turn the heat down to medium. Let it boil for two more minutes and then add the strawberries.

Let boil five more minutes. Rhubarb will be mushy and the strawberry chunks soft.

You can eat the sauce plain as its own dessert or use as a topping for pound cake or vanilla ice cream.

Download printable recipe below.