Throw Your Own Pride Party


The idea this year was to inspire you with the ‘Ultimate PRIDE Spread.’  A buffet loaded with colorful recipes, savory and sweet.  Coloring food can go from amazing to trashy fairly quickly, so it was a

challenge to pick out the actual food colors themselves in order to elevate the typical rainbow concept.  From Unicorn Poop Cookies to Rainbow Bread and colorful Rainbow Layered Salads in Glasses – the recipes go from easy to challenging.  The Glitterbomb Cupcakes were inspired by Nick Espinosa, a local Minnesotan who was the first person to ever glitterbomb when he dumped a full box of glitter on Newt and Callista Gingrich in June of 2011, shouting “Stop the hate!” and “Feel the rainbow, Newt!”  This was my most exciting project to date; I hope all of you enjoy it as much as I did.  Enjoy the rainbow!

Photo by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Unicorn Poop Cookies. Photo by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Unicorn Poop Cookies

1 c. butter-flavored vegetable shortening
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste + 2 tbsp. vanilla extract OR 3 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Roughly 8 c. AP flour (see recipe notes)

Food paste (Electric Blue, Electric Purple, Electric Yellow, Electric Orange, Electric Pink and Leaf Green)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the shortening and sugar, beating until creamed, making sure to scrape the bowl if necessary. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are incorporated. Then add the cream and vanilla bean paste. Turn the mixer off and add the baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix on low to combine.

Pour the batter into a 4 c. liquid measuring cup. Clean and dry the bowl, flat beater, and spatula. Get two 2/3 c. measuring cups at the ready. Measure out a scant 2/3 c. batter and place into the mixing bowl, then add food paste. Mix until food paste is combined and color is vibrant. Add two scant 2/3 c. measures of flour.

Turn mixer on and mix until dough has formed and becomes chunky. Turn mixer off, remove bowl and place colored dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside and move on to the next color, repeating until all six colors are done.

Turn each dough ball out then cut in sixteen, equal sections. I cut each ball into 8 pie shapes and each one of those into half, giving you 16 total cookies in the end.

Form each wedge into a rope roughly 8 inches long, placing each rope slightly below and right next to the other so the ends graduate. Once you have all six ropes lined up, then curl them up into an almost circle – don’t worry if they break, these are not meant to look perfect…poop does break.

Place poop on a silpat-lined half-sheet pan and sprinkle the top of each cookie with Rainbow Pearls, Rainbow Sprinkles, Pink Edible Glitter and Gold Edible Stars.

Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes, then remove and place onto a cooling rack to fully cool. Enjoy!

Rainbow Bread. Photo by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Rainbow Bread. Photo by Jesi Hoolihan Photography


Rainbow Bread

2 1/2 c. milk
3 tbsp. sugar, honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp. yeast
3 eggs
3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. salt
4 c. AP flour + 3/4 c. additional flour per dough ball (see directions)
Food paste (Americolor Super Red, Orange, Lemon Yellow, Electric Green, Sky Blue and Electric Purple. If you desire a more psychedelic color way, use the Electric Orange, Electric Yellow, Electric Blue in replacement for the colors I chose.)

In a 4 c. liquid measuring container, place the milk and sugar. Put in microwave and heat for 3 minutes, remove and stir with a fork to dissolve sugar. Place your pinky finger into the milk, half way down your finger and the mixture should be a little more than warm, not hot. If it is hot, let it sit for a couple minutes stirring and checking until you reach that ‘little more than warm’ temperature. Once you have reached that, pour in the yeast (too hot of a mixture will kill the yeast and your dough will not rise) and stir with a fork to combine. Set a timer for 5 minutes and walk away – have a cocktail even! When you come back you should see a foamy top to the mixture. This means your yeast is active and you are in the race.

Place the eggs, melted butter, and salt into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and turn on medium to break up eggs, then switch to low and slowly pour in the yeasted milk. Turn mixer off and add four cups AP flour.

Turn the mixer on low to blend the ingredients together and once they have come together, then turn on medium to break up the larger lumps and make the mixture more smooth. Turn mixer off and place batter into six bowls – roughly 1 c. per bowl, not exacts here. Add one food paste color listed above to each bowl and stir with a fork to infuse with color.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees while you are preparing the dough.

For each color, the process is the same as follows. Remember to clean your bowl, flat beater, and spatula between each coloring so you do not contaminate the next color with the color you just used.   Pour one bowl into the bowl of the mixer and add 3/4 c. flour in with the batter – remember to whisk the flour first before you measure. With flat beater attached, turn mixer on low until it all comes together, them up to medium speed, the dough will clean the bowl. Remove dough from bowl and place onto counter, it may be sticky it may not. Knead with your hands to see if it sticks to counter – if so, place dough in flour to coat, then knead that flour in until dough is of the right consistency. Place dough ball into a heat-safe bowl that has been sprayed with Bak-klene, spraying the top of the dough ball with Bak-klene as well and covering with plastic wrap – set aside. Rinse bowl, flat beater and spatula – repeat with next color.

Turn oven off and place prepared/covered dough into the oven and allow to rise for one half hour. Remove dough and place on counter. Take a half-sheet sized Silpat and place on counter – this will aid you in keeping the size right. Pour out your red onto the silpat and gently pull to stretch the dough into the shape of the whole Silpat, be gentle and try not to rush – it will stretch if you are patient. Feel free to press it as well in order to push it into place making sure it covers the entire surface of the Silpat. Repeat this process by placing the next color, which is orange covering the entire surface of the red with the orange, stretching the dough gently. Followed by yellow, green, blue and purple. You may need to stretch the assembled layers out from time to time so they extend to the edge of the Silpat, no worries. Once you have all the layers placed on top of one another, then prep two 1.5# loaf pans by spraying them with Bak-klene. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees again. Once the oven is ready, take and gently press the edges of the dough so they no longer cover the colored edge of the Silpat and are centered on the center of the Silpat. With the Silpat in front of you placed wide-side running horizontal to you, take a sharp knife and cut down the vertical center of the dough. Gently roll the end of the dough toward the center – this will create a larger burst of color in the finished dough. Gently pick rolled dough up and place into loaf pan, adjusting so the ends are not squished. Repeat with other loaf. Turn oven off and place loaves into oven for second rise for 30 minutes. This bread will not rise a lot as bread normally does when you bake it, so you want the dough to be as high as you would like your finished product to be before you bake it off.

Remove bread from oven and preheat oven to 350, then place loaves into oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for ten minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack to completely cool. Enjoy!

(Recipe makes two loaves.)

Blackened Chicken Chopped Salad with Honey Vinaigrette. Photo by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Blackened Chicken Chopped Salad with Honey Vinaigrette. Photo by Jesi Hoolihan Photography


Blackened Chicken Chopped Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

2 lbs. (roughly) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cobs fresh corn, kernels removed
1 pt. blueberries
1 pt. grape tomatoes – halved
6 strips thick-cut bacon, fried and chopped
1 8 oz. brick feta cheese, chopped
1 orange pepper, seeded and chopped
2 avocados, rough chopped

Blackening Seasoning:

2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. coarse ground pepper
1 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder

Honey Vinaigrette:

Juice of 2 limes
1/4 c. honey (I use Savannah Bee)
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper

Mix together blackening seasoning and place into a large, Ziploc bag. Trim chicken breasts and pound to flatten them so they are roughly 1/2″ thin. Place them into the bag with seasoning and shake well to coat. In a regular frypan (not non-stick) place 2 tbsp. olive oil (you will need more) on medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering and begins to smoke add chicken breasts and turn heat down to medium, frying for 4 minutes on one side, then 3 minutes on the second side. Do not overcrowd your pan, so if you can only fit one seasoned breast in your pan at a time that is not a problem. Just make sure to keep your pan lubricated with oil as your chicken will not brown properly without that. Place cooked breasts onto a cutting board to completely cool – you will use the drippings, so do not throw them away.

In a large bowl place the ingredients for the honey vinaigrette along with the chicken drippings, and whisk to combine. Add all of the ingredients above except the feta. You can either keep the feta cubed or crumble the cubes into smaller pieces using your fingers which will incorporate the salty cheese more throughout the salad. Allow the salad to sit overnight to fully develop the flavors (you can add the avocado right at the end if you desire, I have not found that it browns excessively). Enjoy!

Glitterbomb Cupcakes. Photo by Jesi Hoolihan Photography

Glitterbomb Cupcakes. Photo by Jesi Hoolihan Photography


Glitterbomb Cupcakes

8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk
4 large egg whites
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/4 c. cake flour

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar together, scraping bowl to ensure ingredients are well incorporated. Add egg whites and beat well, scraping bowl to fully combine. Add sour cream and milk, beating to combine, followed by the baking soda, powder, salt and vanilla bean paste. Lastly, add the cake flour and beat until thoroughly combined.

Scoop scant 1/4 c. batter into muffin-cup lined cupcake pan that has been prepped with Bake-klene. Place pan into oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 325. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting and sprinkling with disco dust (purchase at


1 lbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. heavy whipping cream
8 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, beat the butter, whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste for ten minutes.

More Pride Party Recipes:

Rainbow Layered Salad in a Glass

I created this recipe for an article where people needed food they could walk around with. While plastic cups can easily be used here, I love the simpleness of this Marta Cooler Glassware, plus is it outrageously affordable – then no throwing anything in the garbage, I can use them over and over again AND they elevate this simple salad and make guests feel a little more special.

The layering of each salad goes as follows, you will need these ingredients:

baby kale
1 lb. (roughly) chicken breasts – see below for cooking instructions
4 cobs fresh corn, kernels removed
orange peppers, prepped and chopped
red peppers, prepped and chopped
hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 red onions, minced
3 avocado, rough chopped

I pound out my chicken breasts so they are thin and roughly 1/2? thick, then generously season them with Penzey’s Fox Point Seasoning – frying them for roughly 3-4 minutes per side. Once cooled, I then dice.

Place the ingredients in each glass as mentioned above and serve with desired salad dressings – I pour each dressing into these Marta Juice glasses, and guests and then drizzle to their heart’s content.  People actually even enjoy using one dressing for the top half, and then a second for the bottom.

Rainbow Vegetable Platter

This is not rocket science – it is merely my attempt to capture all the colors of the rainbow and place them on a massive platter using not terribly common vegetables. I was bummed to have not found baby corn. The miniature zucchini and purple cauliflower add not only visual interest, it also gets conversation going since most people have never seen it before.

The miniature Yukon gold potatoes were steamed, and the baby asparagus was blanched in salted water

For the dip, I made the usual Ranch dip recipe for 16 oz. of sour cream, adding in an extra tablespoon coarse ground pepper, 2 tbsp. minced garlic and 1/4 c. buttermilk – allowing it to sit overnight and let the flavors marry.
No Bake Pride Cheesecakes

I used the Marta glassware from CB2 for this recipe – super easy and not a lot of hassle aside from piping them into the glasses.

1 package graham crackers from the box
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 tbsp. (1 stick), unsalted butter room temperature
1/2 heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 8 oz. container Cool-Whip
1.5 c. dry white cake mix

Crush the graham crackers by hand or in a mini food processor until slightly chunky, then mix with melted butter and place roughly 1/4 c. into the bottom of six glasses. Using a silicone spatula press mixture down into the bottom of the cup and place into the refrigerator.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the whip attachment, add butter and cream cheese – whip on high until mixture is well combined, scraping bowl to ensure ingredients are mixed together. Add whipping cream and vanilla bean paste, whipping again to combine, followed by the Cool-Whip whipping again. Finally, add the dry white cake mix and slowly whip the mixture until it is almost incorporated, then beat on high for 20 seconds to lighten the ingredients.

Place into a large piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe evenly into the six glasses – top with sprinkles and enjoy!


Brownie Cookies

Deep, dark and delicious – I would say these brownies cookies are more like a dense and chewy, middle-ground between fudgy and cakey. Drizzled with ganache and covered in sprinkles – they are sure to please everyone in the crowd. I sprinkled a few with sea salt flakes to an added surprise.

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/2 c. sugar
5 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
6 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, melted
2 1/3 c. AP flour
1 (1 oz.) bottle black food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whip butter and sugar together to combine, scraping bowl if necessary. Add eggs, one at a time – scraping bowl again to ensure all of the ingredients come together. Then add vanilla, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder – followed by the melted chocolate. Add flour and slowly mix to combine, followed by the black food coloring – scraping bowl again to ensure ingredients are well incorporated.

Drop by the 2 tablespoon-full onto a Silpat-lined sheet pan and place into the oven to bake for 15 minutes, rotating if necessary to ensure even baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool for one our in the pan – brownie cookies will crack during baking.

When cool – drizzle with ganache. To make ganache, place 1 c. heavy whipping cream in a liquid measuring cup – put in the microwave and heat on high for 2 minutes. Remove and place 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips in cream, stirring to melt chips. When chips are fully melted, add 1 tsp. canola oil and stir to combine. Allow mixture to cool for five minutes – then drizzle over cookies using a fork. Decorate with sprinkles – allow chocolate to fully set, and enjoy!
Vodka Gummi Bears

These are a fun treat to serve at your next get together, gummi bears that have been soaked in vodka for two weeks. I used Jelly Belly Gummi Bears as I believe they are the highest quality one can find. The quantity for this recipe is up to you – see below for directions.

Two things to remember with these – first, yes – it takes two weeks for these little guys to soak up all the delicious, vodka goodness. Just remember to shake the jar once every day to move them around a bit.

Second, these are best when chilled. They seem to lose their ‘bite’ so to speak when they come to room temperature and are too soft for my taste.

I soaked these in Mark One Passion Fruit Vodka – although I am certain any fruit-flavored vodka would work just fine, the Passion Fruit made these perfection.

Place gummi bears into a glass canning jar with lid. Pour vodka of choice into jar with gummi bears up to 1? above the top of the bears. Put cap onto jar and place into refrigerator – shaking jar once a day to ensure they all move around inside for the next two weeks. You will know when they are done as they will literally soak up all the liquid and become dry looking inside the jar. Serve cold and enjoy with good friends!

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