Even if you can't shoot off fireworks at your house this Fourth of July, you can cause quite the flavor explosion with these oh-so-fun cookie treats.
Credit: Rachel Johnson

One of my favorite parts about July Fourth is the fireworks. Growing up in states that didn’t allow sales of fireworks, it was always a thrilling adventure to cross state lines for the purchase of bottle rockets and roman candles. I remember one holiday growing up where the police showed up at our barbecue as my dad stood with a blowtorch in his hand. There was no visit to the police station, but we definitely got a good story out of it. The next year we put a "Johnson Bail Money" bucket out as a practical joke. Don’t worry, we kept the larger rockets to a minimum.

These firecracker sticks are totally legal—and entirely too much fun! Pop Rocks are a vintage treat that pop in your mouth as they touch your tongue, perfect for festive cookie treats. Look for them at candy stores, drug stores, and mass market retailers.

Firecracker Cookie Sticks

Makes: 60 cookies

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons water, at room temperature
4 ounces white chocolate
1 tablespoon strawberry or blueberry popping candy, such as Pop Rocks


1. Preheat oven to 300°. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until combined. Sift together flour and baking powder. Add to butter mixture by the spoonful with mixer on low. Slowly pour in water, and beat just until dough comes together.

3. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch star tip and fill with dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment and pipe dough in 5-inch straight sticks, about 1 inch apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack, and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

3. Melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring halfway through. Using a spoon, carefully pour chocolate onto the top 2 inches of the cookie sticks, and place on a rack to drip excess. Sprinkle sparingly with popping candy (a little goes a long way), and let set in the fridge to harden.

Note: Cookie sticks will keep for 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.