Friday, March 9, 2012

Touchdown! Baking and Football.

The talk about bounties, draft picks, and Peyton Manning leaving all make me miss football season. There is nothing better than screaming your heart out as you try to coach your team through the television. I love everything about football and, as we all know, I love baking. This is why my baking adventures with my friend Ashley for the Super Bowl were some of the best.

This past year we created a collection of hand pies, sugar cookies, and brownies to keep the crowd fueled for cheering on the Giants. It seemed to do the trick. I mean, I couldn't stop eating them and from how quick they went I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one.

The hand pies we were determined to do after Ashley texted me a picture of heart shaped ones. We thought it would be fun to do football shapes (with her new football cookie cutter set) and fill them with blue and red berry fillings. One set, our first attempt, was with canned cherry filling. I kept just eating the filling by itself, but it tasted even better in tiny crusts (despite the fact that the cherries were much bigger and the filling wanted to spill out). The hand pies are really easy to make with any kind of filling, canned or homemade. Ashley made a mixed berry one for our other batch that was heavenly.
via Foodista: similar to the ones that Inspired ours.

To make your hand pies just take premade pie dough and lay it out on top of wax paper and cut out whatever shapes you want. Make sure the shape you use has enough of a center to it to actually fit a good amount of filling though, or what's the point? This was difficult when we closed them up, because we wanted more filling than some of the football shapes could handle. Don't worry, I cleaned up the extra filling so it didn't go to waste. The best method to closing them that we found was to put one of the shapes on top of the other one after putting the filling on the lower one, then press down at the edges with your fingertips. Once they look sealed, use the tines of a fork to create the sealed pie edge look. It also looks nicer and gets crispier if you do a light egg wash over the top before tossing them in the oven.

The sugar cookies and brownies were boxed mixes that were spiced up by a few substitutions - such as the brownies had cola in them. The best part about that, though, was frosting our mini-jerseys. They were adorable and the butter cream frosting popped when we added the food coloring. It's kind of a fun, childish joy to frost the cookies with your friend, giggling as you lick your red (or blue) finger tips... and then the bowl.

Football and baking might not seem like your typical combination, but trust me, everyone enjoys something sweet and watching the game doesn't change that.

- Mollie

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