Are you ready for The Big Game?! Maybe your team is playing this year, maybe you love football, or hey, maybe you’re just in it for the halftime show and snacks. Here are 4 tips for throwing a SUPER Big football party.

Tips for Winning Your Football Game Party

Set the Stage

Flipping on your television may get the game going. However, it also requires some finessing.

A great quality picture to watch the game is a must. You can consider upgrading your TV for the occasion, with a short-term rental or projection screen. You could also think about what you could easily enhance with a few add-ons. Install some external speakers or a soundbar. That’ll make your Big Game party feel larger than life!

Your guests are going to need to stretch out and lounge. Add some extra seating to your room. This could include folding chairs, old trunks, ottomans, or stools. Including some oversized throw pillows in the mix can help soften up the room.

Football Decor

Get festive with your Big Game party decor and make it a memorable event! Grab mason jars and add white tape to resemble football laces. Then, add tea, beer, or soda to turn them into “footballs”.

A tablecloth that looks like a football field makes snacking fun. You can also dress up your home with your favorite team colors. Find everything you need on the cheap at your local party supply store.

Complete your Big Game look by reaching for the football beer cozies. You could also get an ice bucket that resembles a football and cupcakes that look like footballs.

Be the MVP of game-day eats with these party-perfect snacks and drinks. Whatever you choose, these recipes are guaranteed to make this your best Big Game spread yet.

Delicious Drinks

Unless you’ve been living in a bubble, you already know that beer is a prerequisite for any Big Game party. If you are a homebrewer, try using maple syrup to create a special maple beer. In addition to beer and soda, how about serving up some game day punch this year. Nothing says party like a punch bowl!

Maple Berry Punch

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Add cranberry juice and maple syrup to a large pitcher.
  2. Add sparkling water and berries, then mix well.
  3. Serve in glasses filled with ice and garnish with mint leaves.

Maple Brandy Punch

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups Sugarman of Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 2 cups apple brandy
  • 2 cups Cognac
  • 2 cups spiced rum
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp bitters
  • 2 bottles (1 liter each) carbonated water, chilled
  • ice cubes
  • thinly sliced apples and lemon twists

Instructions:

  1. Place syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Combine the brandy, Cognac, rum, lemon juice, and bitters in a punch bowl; stir in maple reduction. Add the carbonated water. Serve over ice with apple slices and lemon twists.

Satisfying Snacks

Appetizers to get your crew to half-time are super important for any football party, but especially the Big Game. Here are some quick and easy ideas that you can make ahead of time.

Maple Walnut Sweet Potato Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (reserve some of the liquid)
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato from 1 medium sweet potato that has been baked, boiled, or steamed until soft
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp Sugarman of Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2-3 tbsp reserved chickpea liquid and/or olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the reserved liquid and/or oil in your food processor or blender and puree.
  2. Continue to puree and add oil and/or reserved liquid slowly until you have achieved your desired consistency.

Housemade Maple BBQ Nuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 – 3 tbsp favorite barbecue rub
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Sugarman of Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted raw cashews
  • sugar

Instructions:

  1. Position rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to Bake at 325˚F.
  2. Whisk egg white in a medium bowl until foamy. Add rub and syrup; mix until combined. Add nuts and mix to combine.
  3. Spread mixture evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little sugar.
  4. Bake for 20–25 minutes, stirring halfway.
  5. Remove and let cool for 15–30 minutes.

Eat-’em-up Entrees

Appetizers just scratch the surface of what to serve at a Big Game party. Cook up hearty entrees to fuel your guests throughout the party. Just make sure nothing you make requires slaving around in the kitchen all day. Here are a few ideas that you can make ahead of time and in bulk to feed those hungry football fans.

Maple Bourbon Chipotle Chicken Wings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb chicken wings

For the Spice Rub:

  • 2 tsp olive oil to coat wings
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar

For the Sauce:

  • 6 slices of bacon (cut into 1″ pieces)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated shallot
  • 2 tsp chipotle chilies minced (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup Sugarman of Vermont Pure Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to Bake at 350˚F.
  2. Place chicken wings in a large bowl and drizzle with oil to coat. Whisk together all dry ingredients from spice rub in a small bowl. Add spice rub to chicken, using your hands to coat wings evenly. Let them rest for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Prepare a pan for the oven by lining it with foil (for easy clean-up), and placing a wire rack in the pan. Place chicken wings skin side down in a single layer on a rack, and bake for 40 minutes in the center of the oven, turning wings over after 20 minutes. Turn over once more and broil for 4-5 minutes for crispy skin. *These can also be cooked on an outdoor grill.
  4. While the wings are baking, prepare the sauce. Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned then remove from pan. Add garlic and shallots to the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until softened. Add chilies and cook for 2 more minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients and return bacon to the pan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer for 15 minutes to combine the flavors. Set aside.
  5. When wings are done, cover with sauce and provide extra sauce for dipping.

Maple Chili Meatballs

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Stir together liquid ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Add meatballs and sauce together in a large pot and stir until meatballs are evenly coated.
  3. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 – 25 minutes until meatballs are tender, stir every few minutes for an even cook.
  4. Transfer cooked meatballs to a serving dish, or put in a crockpot, and garnish with chopped chives.

Delicious Desserts

Don’t forget some sweet treats for the end of the game. Depending on the outcome, some of your guests may need something sweet to drown their sorrows.

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Sugarman of Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Sugarman of Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Maple Icing Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract, then beat on high speed until combined.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then mix on low until combined. Add the pecans, then beat on low speed until combined. The dough will be creamy and soft.
  4. Cover and chill the dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator (and up to 3-4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, though, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
  5. Preheat oven to Bake at 350°F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  6. Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. Bake each batch for 12-13 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
  7. Remove from the oven. If your warm cookies look puffy, lightly bang the pan on the counter when you remove it from the oven. That will help slightly deflate the cookies, creating lovely cracks as you see in the pictured cookies. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Make the icing: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Icing will set after about 1 hour.

Salted Maple Blondies

Ingredients:

For the Maple Candied Pecans:

For the Salted Maple Blondies:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tbsp Sugarman of Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp flaky sea salt

Instructions:

To Make the Maple Candied Pecans:

  1. Toast the chopped pecans in a skillet over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, or until they begin to smell nutty.
  2. Add the maple syrup, stirring to coat all of the pecans. Add the kosher salt and stir to incorporate.
  3. Stirring frequently, cook the pecans and maple syrup until the syrup is no longer liquid-y and appears a bit grainy on the surface of the pecans.
  4. Spread the candied pecans onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and allow them to cool.

To Make the Salted Maple Blondies:

  1. Preheat your oven to Bake at 350°F. Spray an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper, leaving a bit of parchment paper hanging over on the sides. This will allow you to easily lift the blondies out of the pan. Set the prepared dish aside.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Set it aside.
  3. In another medium-sized bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract together until they are combined. Add the egg and mix well.
  4. Working in a couple of additions, add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir them together until just combined.
  5. Fold in the chopped candied pecans and spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. The batter will be quite thick.
  6. Just before popping the blondies into the oven, give them a healthy sprinkling of flaky sea salt in an even layer over the top.
  7. Bake for 24-28 minutes, or until lightly browned on top/a toothpick comes out mostly clean when inserted into the center.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.