I haven’t created a savory recipe for some time, so with the Superbowl around the corner right now is as good a time as any. Of course it has to be hearty enough for real and regular football viewers to want to eat.
I have seen enough football-shaped food. Don’t get me wrong, I love it all and will absolutely continue to cook things that look like footballs. But, what about football helmets? Seriously.
These are savory pretzel cupcakes- or cups. Whatever. I honestly don’t care what you call them, the point is only the coolest Super Bowl parties will feature these puppies. VIP baby.
Anyway, I used pretzel dough because it is easy to shape and tastes great with any soup, chili, cheese dip, stew, or bisque.
Not only will I show you how to make these dandy little cupcakes (or cups) look like football helmets, I will also show you how to make your pretzel dough with either a mixer OR a food processor (should your processor have a dough attachment). Boom.
Here’s What You Need for Your Football Helmet Cupcakes. Or Cups:
- 2 1/4 cup, plus another 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 3 packages of active dry yeast (found in little packets in the baking section)
-3/8 cup of sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
- optional: kosher salt (you can top your cupcakes with salt, like a regular pretzel. I did not considering there was enough sodium in the chili)
-2 1/4 cups of milk
- 3 tablespoon of cooking oil
- a couple of egg yolks
*Keep in mind that I divided these proportions between the mixer and the food processor so quantity will appear different than when you make it yourself.
USING THE MIXER:
Begin by mixing your yeast and 2 1/4 cup of flour together.
Grab your milk, sugar, salt and oil.
Cook it on low heat until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved and the milk is hot (don’t boil it! You just need it very warm.)
Pour your wet ingredients into your dry.
Use the dough attachment to mix the ingredients together. A dough attachment should come with your mixer when you purchase(d) it.
Mix it on a 2 or lower.
Now, slowly add the rest of the flour in (the 3 cups). Add little by little, watching the dough. I do not add all of the flour. You will want to stop once the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
Coat a large bowl with oil and place dough inside. Coat the top of the dough as well. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap, and store in a warm area until it has doubled in size. 85 degrees is best. Some people will place the bowl in a warm water bath. I just plop it on the heater in a room that isn’t drafty. Perhaps where there are a lot of electronics running…?
Usually it takes my dough about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours to rise. Sometimes I let it sit longer if I am busy.
USING THE FOOD PROCESSOR:
Since the food processor bowl is smaller than a mixing bowl, you might want to only make 2/3 of the recipe. If you need help doing the math, leave a comment below or message me and I can help you. I like math. Sorta.
You are more than welcome to try the whole thing, it might get a little full in there. Proceed with caution.
Mix the 2 1/4 cup of flour (or less, if you are diving up the ingredient list into smaller amounts) and yeast together on the lowest speed.
Cook the milk, oil, salt, and sugar as mentioned above.
Attach your dough attachment blade.
I “pulse” the mixer as I slowly pour in the milk mixture.
Looks yucky but it will get better.
Add the remaining flour, little by little as you mix on slow or “pulse.” The dough will be ready once it is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.
Store and allow the dough to rise just as you would with the mixer dough (mentioned above).
Now crumple and fold aluminum foil into little rectangles that will create the cave for the front of the helmets. Grease a cupcake/muffin pan with butter or olive oil. Grease the aluminum foil rectangles. Place them upright along the side of each up, then plop a little bit of dough into the cup.
Here is a front view.
Add butter to the tops to help them brown a little.
Some of the dough should drape over the tops of the rectangles. They will also fill in on each side of the rectangles as well.
Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees until they are firm enough to life without falling apart. Keep an eye as all ovens are different. I would suggest making one first to see how it comes out.
While they cool. Heavily flour a counter top and roll out a piece of dough until very thin. Make certain you dust your rolling pin with flour.
You can either use cookie cutters or anything circular around the kitchen. You can also use a sharp knife if you cannot find anything round. Cut a large circle, then a smaller inside. Use a knife to cut in half so you have two arches. Or rainbows. Double rainbows.
You will also need to cut out thick strips and very thin strips. You can use a knife or a pizza cutter.
Remove the rectangular aluminum foil from the cupcakes and use a knife to trim where needed.
Use more aluminum foil to make a strip and arch it inside of the opening. I urge you not to try to use the rectangles for this part as they fill the cavities and will be difficult getting out later without breaking the mask of the helmets.
Once your arch is in place grease it with butter. Cut down one of your thin strips of dough and place two towards the center (see helmet on far left, above).
Then, grab one of your rainbows/arches, dab a little egg yolk onto the back, and place over the bottoms of the mini strips.
Cut up your thicker dough strips and grab one. Make sure it is long enough to reach across the cavity. Dab a little egg yolk on the places where it needs to stick to other dough parts (sides of cupcake, tips of the arch, tops of the mini strips.
Place back into cupcake pans tilted up, as seen in the photograph below.
Now, if you are ambitious you can cut up a little dough and add the logo on the side.
For the Patriots logo, I cut a long triangle. Next, I cut three slits on the tip. I rolled out the dough even thinner, cut out a teeny square and arranged it like a diamond to represent the star.
For the Giants, I cut out a long strip. You can see how I formed it below, by using pieces of the strip. Pretty easy.
Glue with egg yolk.
You can make this for just about any team. Sucks to be you if you are a Buccaneers fan. Or Dolphins. No seriously, though, if you are a patient person you can do it.
Just a heads up, if you are picky about appearance, try not to be this messy with the egg yolk. It comes out with uneven color. You could even try to dab a paper towel to clean up the excess bits.
Or you could not give a toot and remember it is going to be eaten anyway.
Bake at 350 until the mask parts are done. VERY carefully use a toothpick or your fingers to push the aluminum foil pieces down and pull it out.
ALSO VERY carefully cut a hole out of the top. Be aware of the caivity in the front. Fill with a chowder, bisque or chili. You could try soup, but it obviously wouldn’t sit well as long. Let me know if you fill it with a thinner broth.
Rugged and filling, but still friggin’ cute. Like mini bread bowls.
Mars, meet Venus.
The perfect comfort food for the game.
So long as you pack these well, they would be quite the crowd pleaser at a tailgate.
I am from Boston, so you obviously know who I am supporting.
UPDATE!!: I WAS CONNED INTO A BET WITH A GIANTS FAN. See what happens to me if I lose by clicking here.
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