Sweeten up the buffet table with fork-free munchies. Gridiron-themed cupcakes, cookie bars, truffles and moonshine popcorn will tempt hungry fans.
For your Super Bowl party, keep desserts easy to grab, no fuss and self-serving so you have one less distraction from the half-time show. All diets are off for Super Bowl Sunday so go all out with the richest, yummiest ingredients and match desserts to your party theme. Icing designs, regional ingredients, stadium vendor’s fare with a twist, or a surprise nod to the unofficial drink of the Super Bowl will give your guests a sugar rush even if the game is less than heartstopping.
Commercial Break Cupcakes
Cupcakes are simpler Super Bowl fare than a large cake that requires cutting, plates, forks and a hassle. But don’t give up the themed cake decorating that adds a big wow factor to the party table.
- Tint separate bowls of buttercream icing green and light blue with food coloring.
- Frost each cupcake in half green and half blue and then sprinkle colored nonpareils on the blue side.
- Use a pastry tip to draw white goal lines in icing on the green side and separate the two colors with a squiggle of white icing.
- Then push a hard sugar football decoration into the icing in the middle of the “field” for a mini-gridiron tableau that’s as tasty as it is good looking.
Not Your Mama’s Popcorn
Popcorn is a traditional munchy that you can enhance shamelessly to boost to dessert status. If you’re into real stadium décor, serve it in paper boxes like the ones you get in the stands. But keep some wipes handy because this yummy corn treat is sticky and messy as well as irresistible.
- The secret to divine popcorn is all in the moonshine—you add 1/2 cup of Jack Daniels or another favorite liquor to maple syrup and melted butter. The syrup gets drizzled lightly over popped corn, roasted peanuts and tiny crumbles of minced, baked pancetta before the whole mess goes into the oven in a roasting pan to crisp.
- If you don’t want the expense or bother of popcorn boxes, try serving the dessert in jumbo cupcake liners in team colors.
Team-Theme Magic Cookie Bars
If you are in the mood for a real diet-buster, look to 7-Layer Magic Cookie Bars. There are so many rich ingredients in these bars that you can slip in something from your favorite team’s local specialties for super-loyal fans.
- Peanuts from Georgia fold right into the recipe as do pecans. Coconut from Florida is standard, even if they didn’t make the play-offs. Small amounts of Texas minced jalapenos or chili powder for Kansas City will spice things up and you can create a thin layer of sticky-sweet blueberries if Minnesota is on your screen or a coffee and Irish Whiskey syrupy glaze for San Francisco flavor.
- The graham cracker crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate and butterscotch chips, plus coconut and nuts are so sugary and heavy that you can cut a large tray into bite-size pieces that will satisfy every sweet tooth.
What better to up your endorphin levels than chocolate and beer? The combo is so Super Bowl and, as beer is a main theme of many Super Bowl parties, completely compatible with the rest of the menu.
- Add three or more tablespoons of your favorite brewski to the other three ingredients: healthy dark cacao, heavy cream and unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Roll truffle-size pinches of the chocolate mix into tiny football shapes if you’re obsessive about the party table.
- Make twice as many as you think you’ll need so you don’t run out before kick-off.
Check out 5 Super Bowl Party Must Haves for even more inspiration.
Gwen Albright is a journalist and freelance writer with expertise in education, children’s fiction, nutrition, healthy living, interior design, classical music and performing arts, travel and crafts. She has written for major daily publications, magazines and professional journals, and not-for-profit and corporate web sites. Albright lives and works in New York City.