Published Friday, September 11, 2020

Let's celebrate Independence Day
with red, white and blue goodies

By Melissa Pette

Have you heard the Anthem to the Costa Rican Flag? If you haven't heard it yet, I would like to invite you to enjoy the anthem on this YouTube video.

The lyrics say something like ... "Bless, the noble flag of white, blue and red; no blush will ever stain your splendor ..."

The rest of the wonderful lyrics of this hymn give us some clues about the meaning of the colors of the Costa Rican flag. The white represents peace, the blue represents the sky and in some way, the entire country, and the red represents the color of the workers' cheeks under the sun, and in some way represents the people. You may be one of us, so proud to live in our adopted country.

This long weekend that we celebrate Independence Day in Costa Rica, we are going to have a fun time with the kids making delicious and colorful recipes.

Bicolor cupcakes

These cupcakes are easy to prepare and the fun is in the decoration part. The ingredients (for 24 cupcakes) are:

• 4 cups of flour

• 2 cups of white sugar

• 1 tablespoon of baking powder

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2 cups of milk (you can substitute for soy milk)

• 2 eggs

• 1 spoon of vanilla

• 8 tablespoons butter, melted

• 1 buttercream-frosting vanilla of 16 oz

• 1 blue food coloring

• 2 pastry disposable bags without tip

• 1 pastry disposable piping bag tip star

• 1/2 cup of small sweet white and red candy balls

First, preheat the oven 220 degrees Celsius.

Dry ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

The liquid ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the eggs together with the milk, melted butter and vanilla.

Add the first mix (dry ingredients) to the second mix (liquid ingredients), beating gently until you make the dough.

Put a tablespoon of the dough in a cupcake pan. Make sure to add 3/4 of the mixture to each pan so that when it bakes it doesn't overflow. Bake for 20 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let them cool. Don't take them out of the oven yet.

Make two-color buttercream. In a bowl add half of the buttercream and a drop of blue food coloring. Stir gently until it turns light blue.

Fill one pastry disposable bag with the light blue cream and another with the white cream. Cut the top of these two bags and put them together in the pastry disposable piping bag tip star.

In this way, you ensure that the two colors of frosting do not mix on the pastry bag, and when they come out through the star tip they do so together but separated at the same time. Yay!

Now, take out the cupcakes from the oven, put upside down the pan and remove the cupcakes slowly. Decorate with the cream on top and sprinkle the colored candies.

Ice pop yogurt

These red, white, and blue Ice Pops are such an easy recipe with just 3 ingredients!

For 10 ice pops the ingredients are:

• 1/2 pound chopped strawberries

• 1/2 pound of chopped blueberries. You can substitute with chopped purple grapes (seedless).

• 2 cups vanilla or plain flavored white yogurt

• Popsicle molds or plastic disposable cups

First, in the mold (or disposable cup) add 1 teaspoon of yogurt, top with 1 teaspoon of chopped strawberries. Then, add another teaspoon of yogurt, and blueberries. Repeat the process until all the molds are full.

If the blueberries or grapes are small, you can add them whole without chopping.

Freeze 4 hours or overnight. To remove the ice pop from the molds, pour warm water over the molds to release them before removing them.

3colored jelly

The kids are going to have fun making these candies. I promise! The ingredients are:

• 4 packages of 85 grams of flavored gelatin (two of strawberry and another two of purple grapes). Or whatever flavor the colors are red and blue. You know what I mean.....

• 4 packages of unflavored gelatin

• 1 can of condensed milk

Mix 1 packet of flavored gelatin (for example strawberry) with 1/2 packet of unflavored gelatin. Add 1 cup of boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour into a saucepan. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Next, mix the can of condensed milk with 1 cup of boiling water. In a small bowl, sprinkle 2 packets of unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold water. Let it steep for a few minutes and then add 1/2 cup of boiling water to dissolve the jelly. Add to the milk mixture and stir to combine the ingredients. Cool to room temperature and freeze for 15 minutes.

When the condensed milk is ready, pour 1 cup of the milk mixture over the first layer of gelatin. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Repeat the procedure for the other flavor (the blue you chose).

Now, you have several layers of red, white, and blue jelly. Put as many as you can plastic cups (upside down) on top of the jelly. Press carefully until the cups are filled with the jelly. Cool the mold with the cups for 10 more minutes.

To remove the gelatin-filled cups, again put upside down the mold and slowly take the cups out.

One last step, cut with scissors on one side of the plastic cups, to remove the jelly easily and keep the shape of a jelly tower colored.

I can't finish this week's column without giving the thanks to everyone who has written, sharing their recipes and making some funny jokes too!

Enjoy the Pura Vida independence weekend!


Editor's note: Email your comments or inquiries to Melissa Pette at

Do you want to share your recipes with AM Costa Rica readers? Send your homemade recipes with a horizontal photo of the dish to