4th-Quarter Desserts — Football Fare
Come the fourth quarter of the big game, when the last bit of meat has been chewed off the chicken wings, the bowl of chips is dotted with just measly crumbs and nothing is left of the tray of sliders, only one thing remains: your sweet tooth. After a long afternoon of deliciously salty, savory snacking, it's about time you dig into a game-day dessert to take off the sweet edge, right? Curb that craving at last by shifting the focus from hearty meats and cool dips to must-try baked treats and chilly ice cream sundaes with these must-try recipes from Food Network Kitchens, Alton, Paula and Giada.
Perhaps the ultimate game-day dessert, Food Network Kitchens' Pull Apart Touchdown Cupcakes (pictured above) bring the football field to life with an edible landscape complete with end zones, a 50-yard line, a miniature football and rival players that is impressively realistic. To create, start with a batch of two dozen chocolate chip-studded cupcakes, then when they've cooled, get to work on setting the scene. If you're baking with little ones, let them help you decorate these light, fluffy cupcakes with creamy peanut butter frosting, a blanket of grass-colored sprinkles, white-icing yard lines and colorful gummy "players." You can get as creative as you'd like with the assembly, but remember, even if your final product looks more like an oblong hockey rink than a rectangular football field, this easy-to-eat dessert will still be satisfyingly sweet and a sure-fire win with your party guests.
Do you have an all-chocolate-all-the-time type of sweet tooth? If so, look no further than Alton's dense, fudgy Cocoa Brownies (pictured right), made with just a handful of everyday ingredients, or Paula's Toffee Brownies, a top-rated favorite that can be baked in just over a half-hour. The secret to Paula's quick recipe is beginning with a store-bought brownie mix; this saves her time in the kitchen, and she's still able to put homemade touches on it by topping the batter with candy bars with toffee chips and almonds before baking.
For an updated twist on a chilly treat, give Giada's Italian Hot Fudge Sundae a try. She tops rich vanilla ice cream with a creamy espresso-laced chocolate sauce and airy whipped cream, then finishes each bowl with slivered toasted almonds for a subtle textured crunch. Watch this video to see how she does it.
Appetizer: Guacamole With Cumin-Dusted Tortilla Chips
Visit Food Network's Big Game headquarters for more easy recipes and quick entertaining tips to help you host your best game-day bash yet.