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Party Plan: Slam Dunk Snacks

March Madness is on the horizon, and if you're a college basketball fan, that means viewing parties galore. These recipes will keep your family and friends satisfied from tip off to overtime, all month long.

The game begins with Game Day BBQ Pork Dip, then dig into our Tailgate Chili during the first half. Be sure to gnaw on these juicy BBQ Ribs between buzzers.

Set out bowls of our Sweet and Salty Game Day Snack at halftime, then go nuts with Peanut Butter Cup Sandwiches and Peanut Butter Cup Brownies— or get cracking on our Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cracker Toffee.

If your fans are still hungry after the game, Game Day Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches are worth screaming over. Don’t forget napkins to protect your favorite fan gear!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cracker Toffee

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cracker Toffee

Peanut butter chips and chocolate combine to form the ultimate party snack. Store in a tightly-covered container for up to two weeks.

Cook time: 10-12 minutes | Prep time: 35 min | Serves: 30 | Yields: (About 30 crackers)
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 package (9 oz.) Triscuit® Crackers
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup Reese's® Peanut Butter Chips
  • 4 (1.55 oz. each) Hershey's® Milk Chocolate Bars, chopped
  • 1 package (8 oz.) Reese's® Peanut Butter Cups Minis, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup Reese's® Candies
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a jellyroll pan with heavy-duty foil; spray generously with cooking spray. Arrange crackers in an even layer on the foil, breaking to fit if necessary.
  3. Cook the butter and sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is well-blended, stirring frequently. Then, cook without stirring over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Pour over the crackers and spread evenly to cover them all.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes, then cool for 1 minute. Sprinkle with peanut butter chips, then chopped chocolate bars.
  5. Let stand for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted, then spread evenly over the crackers. Top with remaining ingredients and press lightly with the back of a spoon.
  6. Let stand until firm, then break into small pieces.

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Game Day Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Game Day Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

With only a few ingredients, the hands-on prep time is minimal for these frozen treats. Use sprinkles in the color of your favorite team!

Cook time: 4 hours | Prep time: 15 min | Serves: 12 | Yields: 12 sandwiches
 
Ingredients:
  • 24 Chips Ahoy!® Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup Hershey's® Spreads Chocolate
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles
Directions:
  1. Top the flat sides of 12 cookies with ice cream, about 2 Tbsp. each. Cover with the remaining cookies to make sandwiches. Freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
  2. Line a shallow pan with waxed paper. Microwave chocolate spread in a microwavable bowl on HIGH for 30 to 40 seconds, or until heated through. Stir.
  3. Working in small batches, dip sandwiches, 1 at a time, halfway into chocolate spread, then into sprinkles. Place in prepared pan.
  4. Freeze 1 or 2 hours or until firm.
Notes:

  • – For bite-size sandwiches, prepare using 48 mini cookies, filling each cookie sandwich with about 1 Tbsp. of ice cream.

  • – Prepare using your favorite flavor of ice cream, sherbet, or frozen yogurt.

  • – For longer storage, wrap sandwiches individually in plastic wrap or foil, then place in freezer-weight resealable plastic bag. Freeze up to 2 weeks before serving.

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Sweet and Salty Game Day Snack Mix

Sweet and Salty Game Day Snack Mix

All you need to do for this Snack Mix is put everything in a bowl! Double or triple the recipe to feed a larger crowd.

Cook time: 5 Minutes | Prep time: 5 minutes | Serves: 12 | Yields: 3 cups
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups popped popcorn (or caramel corn)
  • 1 cup Mini Oreo® Bite Size Cookies
  • 14 Triscuit® Crackers, broken into quarters
  • 1/2 cup Reese's Pieces® Candies
Directions:
  1. Combine ingredients in a large serving bowl.
  2. Store in resealable plastic bag or airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

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Peanut Butter Cup Sandwiches

Peanut Butter Cup Sandwiches

Simple to assemble and delicious to eat, you can make these sweet and salty little sandwiches up to 24 hours in advance. Just be sure to save some for your guests!

Cook time: None | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 8 | Yields: 16 sandwiches
 
Ingredients:
  • 32 Ritz® Crackers
  • 1/3 cup marshmallow crème
  • 8 Reese's® Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures, sliced horizontally in half
  • 2 Tbsp. Hershey's® Spreads Chocolate, warmed
Directions:
  1. Spread the crackers with marshmallow crème. Place peanut butter halves on 16 crackers. Cover with the remaining crackers to make sandwiches.
  2. Spoon chocolate spread into microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds or until of drizzling consistency. Drizzle the sandwiches with the chocolate spread. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chocolate is firm.

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Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Peanut butter cups and a whipped frosting elevate these brownies to a new level of decadence.

Cook time: 25 minutes | Prep time: 22 minutes | Serves: 24 | Yields: 24 dessert bars
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup Hershey's® Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 Reese's® Peanut Butter Cups (Regular or Snack size)
  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
  • Additional Reese's® Peanut Butter Cups for garnish (optional)
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9 baking pan with foil, extending foil beyond pan sides. Grease foil.
  2. Stir together butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Gradually add eggs, beating thoroughly. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended.
  3. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until brownie is set. (Brownie is fudgy and will not test done.) Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  4. Remove wrappers from peanut butter cups; chop into small pieces. Set aside. Beat cream cheese and peanut butter until well blended. Add powdered sugar, blending thoroughly. Fold in whipped topping. Gently stir in peanut butter cup pieces; spread mixture over brownie.
  5. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Using foil as handles, lift dessert out of pan. Peel back foil. Cut into bars. Serve bars in paper dessert cups. Garnish with additional peanut butter cup pieces, if desired.

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Game Day BBQ Pork Dip

Game Day BBQ Pork Dip

Smoky barbeque sauce, cooked pork, and sharp cheddar are swirled with cream cheese for a deliciously satisfying dip.

Cook time: 15-20 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 22 | Yields: 2 Tbsp. of dip per serving
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup chopped cooked pork or chicken
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 package Wheat Thins® Original Snacks
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix cream cheese and barbecue sauce in medium bowl until blended. Add the pork and ¾ cup cheddar; mix well. Spoon into 8-inch pie plate and top with remaining cheddar.
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
  4. Sprinkle with onions. Serve with snack crackers.
Notes:

  • – Instead of cream cheese, try using Neufchatel cheese. Reduced-fat cheddar cheese can also be used in the place of regular cheddar cheese.

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Tailgate Chili

Tailgate Chili

This is a rich, flavorful, crowd-pleasing chili. Serve alongside chips and dip, chicken wings, and a vegetable tray.

Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes | Serves: 10 | Yields: 10 Bowls
 
Ingredients:
  • Olive oil to taste
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chipotles in adobo, minced
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 4 (15 oz.) cans red beans, drained, rinsed
  • 4 (15 oz.) cans diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups Coca-Cola®
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
Directions:
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and sauté onions and garlic until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add seasonings and minced chipotle and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, except jalapeño, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour. Serve with fresh jalapeño slices.
Notes:

  • – To increase the sweetness and decrease the heat in this dish, add more soda and use less chicken stock.

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BBQ Ribs

BBQ Ribs

An overnight marinade makes these ribs a big hit on game day. Serve alongside brats and sauerkraut, baked beans, and coleslaw.

Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Prep time: 1 hour, plus overnight to marinate | Serves: 12 | Yields: 3 total racks of ribs
 
Ingredients:
  • 3 racks baby back ribs
  • 6 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 Tbsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 3 liters Coca-Cola®
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 28 oz. ketchup
  • 12 oz. Coca-Cola®
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke
Directions:
  1. One day in advance, remove the membranes from the underside of the ribs. Rub 2 Tbsp. of mustard onto the top of each rack of ribs. In a large bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder.
  2. Generously season the tops of the ribs until well coated. Place the ribs in large, shallow pans, and add soda to nearly cover. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, flipping once, if possible.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap each rack of ribs loosely in aluminum foil and begin to crimp edges to make sealed packages. Add about 1/2 cup of the marinating liquid to the foil packages before sealing entirely. Place the sealed packages on rimmed baking dishes, and bake for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, start the BBQ sauce. Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat with olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. Remove the ribs from the foil packaging, discard the foil, and return the ribs to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the ribs and increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Brush the ribs with BBQ sauce and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Cut each rack into 3 portions and serve with additional BBQ sauce, if desired.
Variations:

  • – For added heat, double the cayenne in the rub and add 1 1/2 tsp. of chili powder to the BBQ sauce.

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