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Red, White and Blueberry Torte

Red, White and Blueberry Torte

Nancy Rudner Lugo

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This Fourth of July, get the kids involved in decorating the yard for a red, white and true blue backyard party.

One-of-a-Kind Mural: Break out the sidewalk chalk and let the kids create their own patriotic sidewalk mural. Flags, fireworks, the Statue of Liberty — anything goes. Guests might like to try their hand at adding to the mural, too.

A Patriotic Welcome: Put red, white and blue pinwheels and flags into buckets and flower pots filled with sand. Line the walkway to your door to set the mood and welcome guests.

Balloon Fireworks: Use a funnel to fill red, white and blue balloons about one-quarter full with sparkly confetti. Inflate balloons with a hand pump and tie them off. Then, let kids pop away for some "firecracker" fun.

Of course, no Fourth of July party would be complete without an inspired dessert. I love the colors — and the flavor — of this Red, White and Blueberry Torte. It's a beautiful way to celebrate a special day.

For more recipes worth celebrating, visit TollHouse.com.

Red, White and Blueberry Torte

Makes 8 to 10 servings

3/4 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 tablespoon water

1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

2 large eggs

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 of an 8-ounce container frozen light whipped topping, thawed

2 cups sliced strawberries

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Line 9-inch-round cake pan with wax paper; grease paper.

COMBINE 3/4 cup sugar, butter and water in small, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Add 3/4 cup morsels; stir until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add flour, baking soda and salt; stir until well blended. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup morsels. Pour into prepared cake pan.

BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert torte onto wire rack; remove wax paper. Turn right side up; cool completely.

BEAT cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until creamy. Stir in whipped topping. Spread over torte; top with berries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information per serving: 540 calories; 290 calories from fat; 32g total fat; 21g saturated fat; 105mg cholesterol; 280mg sodium; 58g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 42g sugars; 7g protein; 15% Vitamin A; 40% Vitamin C