Tailgating Time Recipes

By Hannah Hassler

Rosemary Party Nuts

Football season is upon us and if you’re like me, one of your most favorite activities (besides from relaxing on the couch and cheering on your favorite team!) is dreaming up fancy, fun and delicious treats to serve to your fellow fans.  I, for one, can’t resist a good party nut, and OH MY GOODNESS are these addicting. You ever heard the expression, “You can’t just have one?” – that will happen with these. I truly and honestly could devour the entire recipe as it is outlined below, so make sure to have a glass of Half & Half Perfect Iced Tea or Lemonade by your side.  I will say though, it is more fun to share with others so you can commiserate on how truly addicting these nuts are!

Rosemary Party Nuts

Tips: You can use any variety of nuts you love, the key is balance, and you want to have nuts (like pecans, cashews, and a smaller “binding” nut or seed) that has a lot of nice nooks and crannies to capture all the glaze – YUM.


  • 7 ½ Cups total of whatever nuts you choose: Mine were
  • 2 Cups Unsalted Almonds
  • 2 Cups Pecans
  • 2 Cups Cashews
  • 1 ½ Cups Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh chopped Rosemary
  • 2 Teaspoons of course salt


Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet. In a medium bowl combine rosemary, spices, maple syrup, brown sugar and orange juice. Mix in nuts and toss to coat completely and add salt, toss again.  Spread nuts evenly on cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes, tossing them half – way so they don’t burn.  Toss occasionally as they cool so they don’t stick to each other or the pan.

Another fun addition to the party is a slightly sweet shortbread cookie with chocolate ganache frosting.  The football designs are fun and bring the festive-ness of football season to a notch!

Shortbread Football Cookies

Tips: Make sure everything, cookies, frosted ganache (after application to the cookies) are cool before trying to decorate with the white frosting. I just used a generic, white tube frosting with a fine top to dress the “footballs”.

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 ½ Cups Flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt


Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet. Combine ingredients in an electric mixer, or by hand.  Roll dough out on floured service into two long “loaves”. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.  Once cool cut cookies into ¼ inch thick disks and shape into football shapes. Place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, until the outside edges are just turning a light brown.  Cool completely.

Ganache Frosting Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 Tablespoon corn syrup


Bring Cream and corn syrup to just a boil over medium heat. Pour over chocolate and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don’t stir!). After 10 minutes, stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny. Make sure cookies are completely cool and then spread evenly on top.

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