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Score big with your party crowd; make manly cupcakes and a super stromboli

POSTED: February 1, 2012 1:30 a.m.
/Associated Press

Big, bold, manly and totally down for a Super Bowl spread these cupcakes incorporate whiskey, brew and bacon into the recipes.

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Super Bowl Sunday may only be a few days away, but there’s still plenty of time to come up with a winning game plan for your party menu.

When it comes to choosing food, the fewer utensils it takes to enjoy them, the better. Self-contained vessels of goodness are a guaranteed touchdown.

Let’s start with dessert — typically a fourth quarter finisher, but in this case, you’ll want these cupcakes front and center at kickoff.

These aren’t your little sister’s cupcakes. There is no frilly pastel frosting piped on top. They are not delicate. They are not pretty. They are big, bold, manly and totally down for a Super Bowl spread. Since ease is key for Super Bowl feasts, these treats start with a chocolate cake mix that was pumped up with sour cream and beer.

Instead of pretty buttercream frosting, these are smeared with whiskey-spiked concoction. The usual sugary sweet sprinkles are replaced with a saltier, meatier version — crumbled bacon. Of course, salted peanuts, pretzels or crushed malted milk balls would also be terrific.

If you want, you could make giant cupcakes; you just need an oversized muffin pan. Just remember that you’ll need to bake larger cupcakes longer than regular-sized ones.

Now that you’ve gotten dessert out of the way, its time to turn your attention to the rest of your starting line-up.

Your first instinct may be to order a few pizzas or put out a tray of sandwiches, but this is the Super Bowl. Now is the time to pull out your best plays.

Whipping up a quick stromboli gives you the chance to do just that.

A stromboli is like a mashup of a sub sandwich and a pizza.

Bread dough is rolled out, covered with sliced meats, cheeses and vegetables, then rolled up into a tube and baked. To serve, simply slice like a loaf of bread, creating a spiral baked sandwich that is perfect for large parties.

If you like, you also can serve sandwich condiments — or even warmed marinara — alongside the stromboli slices for dipping. Although this recipe utilizes olives, capers and deli meats, feel free to mix and match to suit your group.

Just be careful with vegetables. Because you will be baking the fillings in the dough, watery vegetables like tomatoes can release too much liquid during cooking.

To avoid this, cook most vegetables in a skillet before adding them. Sun-dried tomatoes would also be a good alternative to fresh ones.



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