When you think of football and food, you probably think of grilling and tailgates – not of baking. But I can assure you that there is something for dessert at just about all of those tailgating parties and at-home football viewing parties, whether you’re watching a regular season game or the Super Bowl.
- Football Baking Cups dress up muffins, cupcakes and single-serving portions of cornbread (delicious with game-day chili!). They don’t usually stock these at most grocery stores, but cake and craft stores always seem to have them in stock for sports fans looking for a simple way to add some flair to their baked goods.
- This Football Cookie Cutter Set includes a helmet, jersey, pennant and – of course – a football. The cookie cutters will work with any butter cookie or other cookie dough that can be rolled out. Use food coloring to tint icing and pipe it onto the baked cookies to give them a splash of your team colors.
- Silicone Football Cake Molds allow you to make 3D mini footballs out of cake or brownies. No decorations needed with these, anything baked in this pan will be perfect for a game-day party. You can also use the mold to make football-shaped ice cubes (though they’re better for punch than drinks, as they’re a bit bigger than your standard ice cube!).
Are you rooting for Peyton Manning and the Colts this weekend, or Drew Brees and the Saints? Even if you’re one of the many viewers who tunes in to the Super Bowl just to see what million-dollar commercials, you’re probably going to want to stock up on snacks for the big game this weekend because it is one of the biggest party days of the year. The savory stuff, like chili, chips, dip and guacamole, are standards for Super Bowl parties and easy to come by. I’d like to focus on dessert a bit, since a nice sweet snack will finish off the 4th quarter on a high note, even if your team isn’t in the lead.
Indianapolis doesn’t have a signature dessert in the way that some other cities do, but if you don’t mind a New Orleans dessert at your party, Homemade Beignets – the powdered sugar dusted donuts so popular in the southern city – are a great party option. Fresh, hot donuts are sure to win over any football fan (or other party-goer). For Colts supporters, you might want to simply tint some icing and decorate some cookies or cupcakes in white and blue to show your team spirit. For instance, you can use Black and White Cookies, make a double batch of the white icing and dye half of it blue.
For a more directly football themed dessert, you should definitely try making Chocolate Football Cakes, which are like cupcakes in the shape of little footballs. They’re made from a sheet cake and glazed to give them a smooth, finished look. A Helmet-shaped or football-shaped pan can easily give you a full-sized cake to decorate in support of your favorite team.
Other good choices for a party are bite-sized desserts that will travel well and keep easily during the game. Brownies and blondies are always good options. Magic Bars offer something for everyone and are very easy to make. A batch of homemade S’mores Fudge is a nice choice, too, and can be made well in advance.
While I really like Nordicware’s Stadium Pan for its great design and versatility for celebrating sporting events of all kinds, it’s not the best pan to pick up if you really want to show support for your favorite team. It is a bit difficult to decorate in your team colors, for instance (and looks so good plain that you never really need frosting anyway). To show a little more team spirit for an event like the upcoming Super Bowl, you might want to pick up one of Wilton’s Football Pans or Helmet Pans. These pans each hold the same amount of batter as a standard 9×13-inch cake (or 1 cake mix) and make cakes that are very sporty, but very easy to dress up, whether you support the Saints or the Colts in the big game. The pans are made of annodized aluminum and are fairly lightweight. To ensure that your cake pops out of the pan without a hitch, make sure to grease and flour the pan before pouring in the batter.
I love to watch sports, but I’m not the type of sports fan that goes crazy when “my” team wins. I like it when “my” team wins (if I’m rooting for a particular side), of course, but I’d really just rather see a good game. For the big games, I’d prefer to enjoy them with a crowd to share in the excitement – and, of course, in the snacks. I’ve made football shaped cakes for Super Bowl parties and decorated sugar cookies with colorful helmets for each team. A shaped cookie cutter can go a long way in coming up with sports-themed treats, especially since it doesn’t take up much room, so it’s a good tool to have on hand. If you’ve got some space, however, this All Star Sports Pan gives you a little more versatility because it bakes one sports themes cake for each of six different sports: football, soccer, basketball, tennis, hockey and baseball.
Each of the balls depicted on this cast aluminum pan has enough detail in the seams to make the balls easily recognizable, so there is no need to slave over the cakes with a piping bag and a lot of colored frosting to try and make a ball design (anyone who has ever tried to pipe out a soccer ball pattern will know how difficult it is).
The Super Bowl isn’t a holiday, but it is one of the biggest events – sporting or otherwise – of the year. Last year, in 2008, over 97 million people tuned in to watch the Big Game. I suspect that most of those people were sitting around with family and friends, either at a small gathering or a big party. I know that I was. I love Super Bowl parties for the chance to socialize and munch on some tasty snacks. I always try to do something with a little bit of a football theme to it, just because it helps me and everyone else at the party get into the spirit (even if they’re not football fans to begin with).
This year, I’m making football-shaped mini cakes. Cupcakes didn’t give me quite the “look” I wanted, so I opted to bake a chocolate sheet cake and carve it by hand. It’s actually very quick and easy to make the football shapes. All you need to do is slice up the cooled sheet cake into bars, then trim off the corners to give them that signature shape. If you’re lucky enough to have a football-shaped cookie cutter, you can certainly use that instead. Feel free to munch on the scraps while you work.
The chocolate cake is very moist and has a great chocolate flavor. It’s tender, but holds together well enough to carve without getting crumbs all over the place. I coated my footballs with a thin chocolate glaze. You can try to dip the tops of the cake into the glaze if you like, but I’d recommend simply pouring a bit over each individual cake. The glaze is thin enough that it won’t give you a smooth finish on the sides of the football (although the top of the cake will be smooth), but I think it needed to be thin so that its flavor didn’t totally overwhelm the small cakes. I used a bit of confectioners’ sugar mixed with water to create an icing that would finish off the cakes with ball-like lacing.