I'm cheering on my alma mater by hosting a huge pre-game party. I host this tailgate every other year when the game takes place at Stanford. While the menu for the majority of the dishes changes — this year it consists of a variety of tasty football foods complete with chips, dips, and chicken wings — the desserts are always the same two classics. Since we will be enjoying the desserts next to the field, it's important to make something that is transportable and easy to eat.
Chocolate truffle brownies and zesty lemon bars are two crowd pleasing treats that score big points year after year. For these delicious dessert recipes,
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick margarine
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Chocolate ganache for topping, recipe follows
Special equipment: 9-inch round foil cake pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using a hand held electric mixer, beat the eggs and salt together in a large mixing bowl until frothy. Add the sugar and beat until the eggs are thick and pale yellow, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat an additional 30 seconds.
- Put the margarine and chocolate in a microwave safe container and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir to insure that the chocolate has melted. Microwave an additional 30 seconds, if needed.
- With the mixer running, pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture. Add the flour and beat 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat an additional 30 seconds.
- Spray the cake pan with a pan release spray and pour in the brownie batter. Place the pan on the top rack of the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes until the center is barely set.*
- Remove the pan from the oven and let cool. Top with the ganache and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
- To serve, remove from freezer and slice immediately. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
*Cook's Note: If tested with a toothpick the center will still be gooey. If tested by touch, the center will be soft. It will set once frozen.
1/2 cup (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
- Put the chocolate chips and cream into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
- Remove the bowl and stir with a whisk or fork until well mixed.
- Use immediately. If using the ganache later it will need to be reheated.
Yield: 3/4 cup
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon zest
Confectioner’s sugar, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. With the machine running, add the butter and continue to process until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 12-by-18-inch baking pan. With your fingers, press it in to form an even layer of crust.
- Bake the crust until light golden in color, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lemon custard topping. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and stir until well blended. Finally, stir in the lemon juice, milk, and lemon zest.
- Pour the lemon mixture over the prebaked crust, return the pan to the oven, and continue to bake until the custard has set, 20 minutes more.
- Remove the pan from the oven, let it cool to room temperature, and then chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Before serving, use a sharp knife to cut down through the topping and crust to make 3 dozen bars. Carefully pry them from the pan and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
Makes 3 dozen.