Our final Tailgate Tuesday installment highlights the little treats that will leave a sweet taste in the mouth of even the fiercest fan. As we previously mentioned here and here, all of our tailgate recommendations must meet the following criteria to be considered among theBEST TAILGATE FOOD 1. easy to transport and eat (i.e. no utensils) 2. able to sit out for a long time 3. somewhat healthy 4. yummy
Each of these tastes does that (excepting maybe the healthy) and more, making them standouts that will disappear faster than you can say Down, Set, Hike.
Bacon Wrapped Apricots
find a similar cheese board here
jCb arrived at our tailgate testing with these favorites that she first tried at a gathering of her posse a few years back. Sweet and savory, these little morsels pack a huge punch that even seems almost healthy. Perfect for hanging out on the tailgate table for a long time, your guests are going to love the flavor combo.
- 24 sage leaves
- 24 dried apricots
- 8 slices bacon cut into thirds
- 2T+ maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Place one sage leaf on an apricot and wrap them in a cut piece of bacon, securing with a toothpick. Dip in or brush on maple syrup. Place on cookie sheet and repeat with remaining apricots.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes depending on bacon until it is brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- You can assemble in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake or assemble without maple syrup and freeze. If baking from frozen, brush on maple syrup and bake 8-10 minutes at 375°.
- Use top quality bacon or, as used for the picture above, Oscar Meyer thick cut pre-cooked, which will save you a lot of mess!!!
White Chocolate Pretzel Bites
After spotting something similar on Pinterest, Ellen had more
hair-tearing fun figuring out how to recreate these sweet and savory pretzel bites with the two team colors. (How did we ever survive without single colored M&Ms?) It was definitely worth her trouble as our tailgaters couldn’t get enough of them. Even better, you can make these color-coordinated bites work for any holiday or other festive (not fancy) occasion.
- round waffle-style pretzels
- M&Ms in your choice of colors and amount equal to number of round pretzels
- white chocolate melting wafers, amount equal to number of round pretzels
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the pretzels on the baking sheet. Top each pretzel with a melting wafer. Bake for 2-3 minutes. As each oven is different, watch closely to be sure wafers don't melt too much. Remove from oven and top with one M&M.
- For testing purposes, I used Ghirardelli Chocolate White Melting Wafers purchased at my local Kroger.
Whiskey Whoopie Pies
The moment that I spotted these in Southern Living, I knew that I was trying them. Football and whiskey will always be linked in my olfactory memory, so how could I resist? For true all-day tailgating, wrap these individually in plastic wrap and pull out of a cooler as needed to refresh your serving tray through your tailgate time.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ t salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 t baking soda
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2 T whiskey
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup toasted chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk; beat just until blended.
- Sift together flour and next 2 ingredients; add to butter mixture by fourths alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Drop batter by level spoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, using a medium-size cookie scoop (Next time I'll use a smaller 1" scoop for more bite-size pies).
- Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes then move to wire racks to cool completely.
- Prepare Filling: Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Assemble: Turn half of cooled cookies over, flat sides up. Dollop each with about 2 Tbsp. filling, and sprinkle edges with pecans. Top with remaining cookies; press gently to spread filling to edges. Serve immediately.
- Make ahead: place pies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze 8 to 24 hours or until firm. Store in freezer up to 3 weeks. Let stand 1 hour before serving.
Previously Featured Sweet Treats
Looking for something else to take to the tailgate on Saturday? How about
Yes, they were a hit at the Royal Baby Shower, but since then, they have come in handy at other less frou-frou events, as well. So unexpected, they can sit out for a long time as long as you keep them out of the hot sun.
Last week’s End of Summer Fruit Cobbler Bars would also work great for a tailgate.
You make them ahead of time, and they taste great at room temperature. Easily transportable in the baking dish, the hint of bourbon flavoring makes them another fitting football food.
Now It’s Your Turn
What are your favorite tailgate foods that you think meet the criteria above? We want to know and would love to share them with the rest of the posse. Leave us a comment, and we will spread the word.