Soccer

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We’ve had kids in soccer for years.  My oldest started playing thirteen years ago when she was four, and just hung up the cleats a couple of years ago.  And my youngest has been playing for ten years.  With all those collective soccer teams, all the hours spent on the playing field (them) and the sidelines (us), our family had never brought home a trophy.

Until yesterday.

The soccer teams are named by country, and this year my youngest daughter was playing for Team Spain.  Following a rocky start in the early season, the team slowly strengthened with great coaching and hard play.  Two weeks ago, they took on the challenging Brazil team and won with a goal in the last ten minutes for a nailbiting 1 – 0 win.  Last week they bested the dynamic Italy team, making an early goal count as they played through a rainstorm that would have made Noah seek cover. The result was a nailbiting 1 – 0 win.

Note the trend.

Yesterday’s game was played on a sunny, warm day against Team America.  Athletic and obviously well-drilled, USA took control of the ball early.  They were a force to be reckoned with, having one of the best goalies in the division as well as a forward whose prowess made us gasp.  (Fortunately, our defense, including my daughter, shut her down brilliantly.)

But Team Spain hung in bravely until halftime.  I don’t know if our coaches brought Knute Rockne in for an inspiring halftime speech, but the tides turned in the second half and suddenly we were in control of the play.  But one potential goal after another was turned away by their goalie, and we watched the clock tick down, knowing that we were within minutes of having the final go to a shootout. 

With thirty seconds to go, a sudden flurry around their net brought all the parents to our feet.  And remarkably, this time the ball went in.  Joy on the field, joy on the sidelines!  And the Pollock family brought home their first soccer trophy.


Whether or not you’ve had a recent win in your family, if you make Dorie Greenspan’s Snickery Squares everyone will feel like a champion.  They’re a little bit of work, from caramelizing the nuts to making the dulce de leche (if you choose to use homemade rather than store bought).  But they are fabulously decadent and well worth the extra time.  Just cut them into small squares, and promise yourself you won’t eat the whole pan. 


Snickery Squares
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours)

For the Crust
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the Filling
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp water
1 1/4 cup peanuts
1 cup dulce de leche (either store-bought or using the directions posted here)

For the topping
3 ounces semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch square pan or line with parchment paper, and put it on a baking sheet.

To make the crust, beat the butter until smooth.  Add the flour, sugar, confectioners’ sugar and salt, and beat or stir just until smooth.  Add the yolk and beat just until mixed.  Turn the dough into prepared pan and press it evenly across the bottom.  Prick the dough about a dozen times with a fork.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before filling.

To make the filling, have a parchment-lined baking sheet beside the stove.  Put the sugar and water into a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves.  Keeping the heat fairly high, continue to cook the sugar, without stirring, until it just starts to deepen in colour.  Throw in the peanuts and immediately start stirring.  Keep stirring, to coat the peanuts with the sugar.  Within a few minutes, they will be covered with sugar and turn white.  Keep stirring until the sugar turns back into a caramel colour.  Remove the pan from the heat and turn the nuts out onto the baking sheet, using the wooden spoon to spread them out as best you can.  Cool to room temperature.  When they are cool enough to handle, separate into small pieces.  Pour the dulce de leche over the baked crust, then sprinkle about 2/3 of the nuts over the dulce de leche.

To make the topping, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.  Remove the chocolate from the heat and gently stir in the butter.  Pour the chocolate over the dulce de leche.  Finely chop the remaining nuts then sprinkle them over the chocolate.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

36 comments:

Mary Anne MacCrone said...

I love to hear victory stories like this Beth and you tell it so well. Congratulations to the entire team on their win.

As a side note, that picture of the snickery squares was quite distracting once it came into view on my screen! Mmmm they do look and sound decadent.

Valerie said...

Congratulations Team Spain! I love, love, love soccer! You must be so proud. :D

I have yet to make the Snickery Squares, but based on your photos, I may need to bake a batch very soon!

Beloved Green said...

Good job team. I've been to enough of my niece's soccer games to know how much those kiddos put into training and tournaments. Love those Snickery Squares.

laurie said...

Those bars look awesome!

Soccer sounds fun...my kids played baseball and basketball. Up north there aren't many soccer teams,but around the Twin Cities it is a popular sport.

lisa is cooking said...

Congratulations on the soccer win! These bars look like a great way to celebrate. I'd love to try them, but no guarantees on not eating the whole pan.;)

Gloria said...

Congrats to the soccer win! My kid love soccer too! These bars look yummy! and I s love to try soon, gloria

Joanne said...

I feel like a champion just looking at those Snickery Squares, Wow!

And, Congrats on the soccer win and trophy, a well earned accomplishment for the team!

Janet Johnson said...

Yay for winning a trophy! I love soccer. :)

And yum on the snicker bars!

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

Congratulations, team! What exciting news :)

I should like to think that with dishes like Snickery Squares, the amount of effort needed to create the end product makes them that much more enjoyable.

yummychunklet said...

Congrats! And the bars look tasty.

Carol said...

Congrats on the trophy win and those bars look like a winner as well!

Julie said...

Congratulations! Winning the trophy is such a great experience!

Barbara said...

Congrats to Team Spain! I wonder what was said to them at halftime to inspire the win?

The Snickery Squares look wonderful, Beth. I love dulce de leche too. Make it from scratch often. That's a nice lot of chocolate on top too! :)

Lizzy said...

Hooray for a trophy!!! What a fun season. And these look like fabulous bars...you can't beat Dorie for a yummy recipe :)

Rita said...

Congratulations! Your dessert is the perfect way to celebrate the viatory...looks real good.
Rita

laxsupermom said...

Congrats to your daughter! Our soccer season has been a washout so far. The league has been scrambling to secure fields after the flooding took out all of the fields that the kids play on. The dessert bars look terrific! Thanks for sharing.

Tasha said...

Congrats to your daughter and her team. What a yummy dessert to celebrate with!

Mary said...

Congrats to your daughter's team! And those bars actually made me sigh. They look fantastic!

lapetitepancake said...

Woohoo! I love soccer!
I also love the look of those Snickery Squares. *drool*
num num num

Heather said...

Congratulations! We're a soccer family too. I bet everyone was just super excited about winning the trophy and getting to eat those delicious looking Snickery Squares!

Joanne said...

Woot woot! MAJOR congrats! that is super awesome. ANd what a way to celebrate...those bars look amazing!

jillbert said...

I've been wanting to make these forever! Yours look fabulous. Perfect for a celebration!

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

Congrats on your win! Super exciting. These bar cookies look and sound amazing. A must make!!!

shaz said...

Congratulations on the trophy acquisition :) The bars sound amazing.

Jeanne said...

Congratulations to the team! And these bars are an awesome reward! They definitely look better than packaged Snickers.

Catherine said...

Congratulations. I love your snickery squares, they look delicious! Catherine

Allison said...

Yeah team Spain!!! What an exciting ending. I have eyed this recipe since I bought Dorie's book. I am scared to make them because I know I will eat way too many.

Susan Fields said...

I've had three children play soccer for years, so I've spent my fair share of time on the sidelines. Last night my daughter's sixth grade girls team played the sixth grade boys team. I don't think they've ever had so much fun at a game. The boys won, 2-1, but the girls certainly made them work for it! Congrats on the trophy!

Elaine said...

Hooray to Team Spain! That looks like a wonderful celebratory treat!

Medeia Sharif said...

Woo hoo for the trophy!

And, as usual, you share your delicious treats with me. :)

Miriam said...

Way to go!! And those treats look awesome :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Kristen said...

Hip Hip Hooray for Team Spain!!

Having Snickery Squares to come home to would be a win for anyone, too! :-)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Congrats on the win! And congrats on a good presentation of the recipe - those look awesome. Thanks.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Congratulations on the soccer win! You must be so proud! What an absolutely fun and decadent dessert to celebrate such occasion.

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

I used to play soccer in high school and this just put a huge smile on my face! I am your newest follower :-)

Sue said...

Your snickery sqaures look awesome and yummy! CONGRATS on the trophy!

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