16 unfrosted chocolate cupcakes in clear white wrappers
Green buttercream frosting
White chocolate, melted
1 bag pretzel sticks
6 chocolate covered almonds
To make field goals:
Break or cut pretzel stick into 4 pieces measuring 1” each. Use white chocolate to “glue” them into a field goal shape. Repeat until you have 16. Set aside to harden.
To make football
Using a piping bag fitted with a skinny tip, pipe white chocolate (or white frosting) “laces” onto the chocolate covered almond. Repeat until you have 16. Set aside to harden.
To assemble cupcakes:
Pipe “grass” onto each cupcake using green frosting in a piping bag fitted with a grass tip. Push pretzel field goal into each cupcake and place football almond on top.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Touchdown Footballs
EDIBLE COOKIE DOUGH
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
COOKIE DOUGH TOUCHDOWN FOOTBALLS
1 batch edible chocolate chip cookie dough
16 ounces chocolate chips or candy melts
4 ounces white candy melts
Edible chocolate chip cookie dough: In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, salt, and sugars, until a frosting-like consistency is reached. Add applesauce and nutmeg, and mix until combined. Mix in flour and vanilla extract until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
For footballs: Shape about a tablespoon of cookie dough into football shape and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate cookie dough footballs for about 30 minutes or until firm.
In microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate for 30 seconds and then 10 seconds at a time until smooth. Using a toothpick or fork, dip cookie dough footballs in chocolate to coat. Place chocolate dipped footballs back on parchment paper to set.
Once all of the chocolate footballs have been dipped in chocolate, melt white candy melts in microwave using same technique above. Place melted white chocolate in a pastry bag that’s been fitted with a small pastry tip. Add white chocolate football laces across each chocolate football. Allow white chocolate to set a couple minutes before serving.
Crispy Turmeric-and-Pepper-Spiced Chicken Wings
2 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. sugar
3½ tsp. kosher salt
4 lb. chicken wings, patted dry
1 (3") piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Lemon wedges (for serving)
Finely grind peppercorns, turmeric, sugar, and salt in spice mill, then transfer spice mix to a small bowl. Arrange chicken wings on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle wings all over with spice mix. Reserve bowl.
Mix ginger, garlic, and oil in reserved bowl, then drizzle over wings. Using tongs or your hands, turn wings to coat and let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes, or cover and chill up to 1 day.
Place baking sheet with chicken wings in a cold oven; preheat oven to 425°F. Bake wings until golden brown and foil is stained with turmeric, 30–35 minutes. Using tongs, turn wings over and continue to cook until skin is crisp and wings are starting to char around the edges, another 30–40 minutes.
Transfer wings to a platter and serve with lemon wedges alongside for squeezing over.
Chicken-Chile Taquitos with Creamy Dipping Sauce
1/2 pound cooked shredded chicken (from half a rotisserie chicken or 2 small cooked chicken breasts)
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 tablespoons salsa verde + 1 tablespoon salsa verde, divided (see below)
1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided (see below)
12 small flour tortillas (6-inch diameter)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil or canola oil
1/2 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
additional salsa for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
Stir the chicken, chiles, cheese, 2 tablespoons salsa verde, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl to make the filling.
Place a tortilla on a cutting board or other clean work surface. If your tortillas are more brittle than bendable, place them between 2 damp paper towels and heat for a few seconds in the microwave to soften them.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the tortilla about 1/3 of the way in from the edge — not down the center of the tortilla. Fold the edge over the filling and tightly roll the tortilla into a tube.
Place the rolled tortilla seam-side down on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
Brush each rolled tortilla with oil and bake for about 20 minutes, until the tortilla is crispy and browned. While the taquitos bake, stir the yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon salsa verde, cilantro, lime juice, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl to make the dipping sauce. Serve the taquitos with the sauce and additional salsa.
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Blue Cheese Dip
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup water
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup hot sauce, preferably Frank’s RedHot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chives, minced
BLUE CHEESE DIP
1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
For the Buffalo cauliflower bites:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
In a large bowl, whisk flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Whisk in milk and water until smooth. Toss cauliflower in the mixture until evenly coated.
Remove the pan from the oven. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spread cauliflower onto pan. Do not overcrowd the pan or the cauliflower will steam and not become crispy. You may need to bake in batches or use two pans. Bake cauliflower for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the hot sauce and butter in a small saucepan and heat on low until the butter melts (or microwave).
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and toss with the hot sauce. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
For the blue cheese dip:
In a small bowl, combine blue cheese, yogurt, mayo and vinegar. Stir until well combined and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place cauliflower on a serving platter and garnish with chives. Serve with the blue cheese dip.
Bacon Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
2 cups rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions
3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
6 slices smoked bacon, cooked and chopped
8 slices country buttermilk bread
1 cup sliced cheddar or pepper jack cheese
Chopped green onion, for garnish
In a small bowl add the softened butter, liquid smoke, Cajun seasoning and Italian seasoning and mix well. Set aside.
Using a medium skillet or griddle on medium-high heat add the heavy whipping cream and cook for about 2 minutes or until it starts to simmer. Stir in the Gouda cheese, a little at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Add the rigatoni noodles to the cheese sauce, making sure to coat each noodle well. Fold in the chopped bacon (save a few pieces of bacon for garnish if you like).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the mac and cheese onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out into and even layer and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Cut into squares the same size as the bread for the sandwiches.
Spread the seasoned butter on one side of each piece of bread. For each sandwich, place one slice of bread buttered side down on a clean work surface. Cover bread sliced cheese, then add the mac and cheese, then top with more sliced cheese to cover. Top with one more slice of bread, buttered side up.
In a medium non-stick skillet on medium-low, cook sandwiches for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until nice and golden brown. Remove from heat and place on a cutting board. Allow resting for about 1-2 minutes to let all the cheese to settle. Using a large sharp knife, cut the grilled cheese at an angle from corner to corner. Then cut that half directly in the middle to create 4 triangles. Serve immediately and garnish with bacon pieces and green onion.
French Onion Beef Sliders
1 stick butter, divided
2 large sweet onions, sliced
2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons powder beef base, divided
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
24 slider buns
12-16 ounces gruyere cheese, chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 25-30 minutes. If the onions start to look dry or burnt, add a tablespoon of water to the pan.
In a large bowl mix the ground beef with half of the beef base and half of the Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper
Add the beef to the skillet with the onions. Increase heat to medium-high and brown the beef breaking it up and mixing with the onions as you go. Once browned, drain off excess grease
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Separate the tops from the bottom of the slider buns. Fit the slider bottom buns tightly on the baking sheet
Evenly distribute the beef and onion mixture over the bottom buns. Top with gruyere cheese. Cover with the top buns.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter with the remaining beef base. Stir in the remaining Worcestershire sauce and continue to mix until well combined. Using a pastry brush, brush the beefy butter mixture over the top buns. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, thyme, onion powder and garlic powder.
Bake the sliders until the cheese is fully melted and the tops of the rolls are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon oregano
1 15-ounce can pizza sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup diced pepperoni
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
2 scallions, sliced
Baguette slices or pita chips, for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and oregano. Spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish.
Top with the pizza sauce.
Add a layer of sprinkled Parmesan.
Throw on the mozzarella.
Then the pepperoni.
Plus the bell pepper.
Don’t forget the olives.
Last the scallions.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serve with baguette slices or pita chips.
Caramelized Onion-Bacon Dip
8 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 large sweet onions, finely chopped (about 8 cups)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Two 16-ounce containers sour cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Ruffled potato chips, to serve
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve 3-4 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet.
Add the oil to the bacon drippings, and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned and very soft, about 30 minutes. Spoon the onions into a large bowl. Stir in the vinegar. Let stand until cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Add the sour cream, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the bacon and 1/4 cup of the chives to the onions; stir until well combined. Top with the remaining bacon and chives. Serve chilled or at room temperature with the potato chips.
Big Festive Dip
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped
12 Ritz crackers, crushed, plus more for serving
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup pepper jelly
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and green onions. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pie pan and top with the crushed Ritz crackers. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine the pepper jelly and water. Cook over low heat until melted.
Remove dip from oven and top with bacon. Drizzle pepper jelly over the top and serve with Ritz crackers for dipping.
The Ultimate Slow-Cooker Queso
1 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 medium jalapeño pepper, de-stemmed and de-seeded, then minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large tomato, cored and finely diced
3 cups (12 ounces; 3/4 pound) shredded cheese, such as Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, Mexican Chihuahua, or a shredded Mexican blend
1 8-ounce block cream cheese, cut into approximate 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup milk + additional milk as needed
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for serving (optional)
If your slow cooker has a brown or sauté function, turn it on to that setting. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers, then add the onion, garlic, jalapeño and salt.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is starting to soften and the vegetables are fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute more.
If your slow cooker doesn’t have a brown function, brown the vegetables in a medium skillet or sauté pan on the stovetop over medium heat, then scrape them into the slow cooker.
Add the shredded cheese, cream cheese and milk to the slow cooker and stir to combine all the ingredients.
Close the slow cooker and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.
Stir well, and add more milk 2 tablespoons at a time if needed.
Top with chopped cilantro, if desired, and serve. The queso can be kept warm in the slow cooker using the warm function for at least 3 hours — stir periodically if the dip starts to thicken.
Spicy Chorizo: Remove 1/2 pound fresh chorizo sausage from its casings and brown with the onion, garlic and jalapeño.
Roasted Chili: Add 1 4-ounce jar chopped chilies (hot or mild, your choice) to the slow cooker with the tomatoes.
Veggie Fiesta: Add 1/2 cup drained, rinsed white beans and 4 cups well-rinsed chopped fresh spinach (from about 1 small bunch) to the slow cooker with the tomatoes.