I can’t wait to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. I don’t want you to get the false impression that I follow any team in particular, or even the sport as a whole. I can safely avoid upsetting anyone by picking a side, since I have no idea who’s even in the game this year. I do love the clever ads and I’m a big fan of Bruno Mars. As is the case with most occasions like this, I’m totally in it for the food. My husband will make buffalo and “mahogany” chicken wings (recipes he only whips out for this event). My sons explained to me, in no uncertain terms, that I need to make bars, and they are not to be “too fancy.” They Fear I’ll show up with some girly, frilly, lacy dessert and be a humiliation to their dude-ness. Granted they are teens, so I am almost always an embarrassment. So, I layered up all the things I could think might be appropriate at a party dedicated to football, including potato chips, coffee, peanuts, and much, much more. Everything but beer. These treats are a bit inspired by the Momofuko Milk Bar Compost Cookies, but I took it to a whole new level with a rich chocolate topping. When my youngest son taste tested them he asked, suspiciously and with a full mouth, if I’d put a layer of mousse on top, which would have placed them in the realm of “fancy.” I did not, but the nutella ganache is very mousse-like and completely awesome. He had another one just to make sure.
A fact about me that not many people know, until now…I was a cheerleader in highschool (and middle school) for the football team. I had two qualifications that made this a more obvious fit than you might think, given my indifference to the game. I was a loud mouth and I was pretty coordinated, having grown up with a mom who owns a dance studio. I had no idea what was going on behind on the field and quite frankly I never really cared. But, when it came to the bake sale to raise money for the team, I was all about it.
Here are my “Not Too Fancy for the Super Bowl, but just fancy enough to make ME happy, Bars”. They are really simple to make, so if you need a last minute treat to bring to your Super Bowl Fête, these are perfect and decadent. Go Bars!
Super Bowl Bars
24 whole Oreos or 30 homemade chocolate wafers, crushed into a powder
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, tightly packed
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup salted, roasted peanuts
1 1/4 cup cereal (I used Chocolate Toast Crunch because General Mills had sent me a box, but I think any crunchy cereal you have on hand will do)
2 ounces (2 small lunch box sized bags) potato chips, crushed
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup nutella
To make the bars: Preheat oven to 350°F
Combine the crushed cookies and butter. Press the cookies very tightly into the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Bake for about 10 minutes or until it feels set.
Scatter the chocolate, coconut, peanuts and cereal over the crust.
Heat the condensed milk just to a simmer, remove from heat and mix in the espresso and vanilla. Pour the condensed milk over the top of the pan of bars. Bake the bars for about 20 minutes or until the edges start bubble and the center is set.
Allow the bars to cool to room temperature. Scatter the potato chips over the top.
In a small saucepan heat the cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chocolate and nutella. Swirl the pan to cover the chocolate, allow to sit for a couple of minutes. Gently stir the mixture until completely combined. Pour over the bars and spread to cover evenly. Refrigerate until the topping is set.
Once the bars are set, use a sharp knife, dipped in hot water to cut them. I start by cutting around the edges.
This is known, in the professional culinary industry, as “chef’s snack.”
Cut the bars using the sharp knife,
Into 24 pieces.
There are all the tasty layers.
Not too fancy, but they do have a sophisticated, not too sweet, truffle or mousse-like decadence.