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Three treats for your next party

Who says you shouldn't play with your food?

With a little creativity in the kitchen, you can celebrate football season in a very sweet way. From cake pops with a sporty twist to popsicles in Patriots colors, these treats are the perfect ending for your tailgate or party.

What's your favorite game day dessert? Let us know at lifestyle@patriots.com.

RED, WHITE AND BLUEBERRY POPSICLES

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Recipe and photo from The View from Great Island

Ingredients
Makes 10 popsicles

  • 1 heaping cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt

Using a small food processor or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Set aside.

Do the same with the blueberries. (If your blueberries are super purple, add a little blue food coloring.)

Put the yogurt and each of the berry purees in small measuring cups with spouts. The goal is to thin them just a bit so they are pourable. Use water for the yogurt and the raspberries, and, depending on the color of your blueberries, you can use water, or yogurt if you need to brighten up your blue. Keep these cups chilling in the refrigerator when you are not using them.

To layer your pops, start by pouring a little of the blueberry in the bottom of each mold. The only tricky part to these popsicles is getting the layers in without too much spillage to mar your stripes. Don't get too fussy, it should look rustic!

Put the mold in the freezer and freeze until firm, at least an hour, or more.

Layer a little bit of yogurt into each mold for the next stripe. You will be able to see through the side of the mold to check your progress. At this point, cover the top of the mold with foil and insert the popsicle sticks. Make sure to get the stick into the frozen layer so they will stand straight. Put back into the freezer until solid.

Remove the foil at this stage. Next comes your raspberry stripe, and so on until the molds are filled. Make sure to freeze each stripe until solid before adding the next. Don't worry if the stripes are uneven, but do try to clean up any dribbles as you go.

Once filled and completely frozen solid, you can un-mold your pops. Fill the sink with hot water. Remove the foil, and immerse the mold just up to the lip, being careful not to let any water splash onto the top. Hold it for 30 seconds, remove and try to pull the pops out. If they don't slide out, immerse again for just a few seconds.

Keep the popsicles in the mold until you are ready to serve, or, if you are working in batches, wrap each pop quickly in wax paper and put back in the freezer. These shouldn't be made more than three days in advance.

FOOTBALL CAKE POPS

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Recipe and photo from Love and Butter

Ingredients
Makes 50 cake pops

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix with required ingredients (usually eggs and oil)
  • 1 can chocolate frosting, room temperature
  • 1 bag chocolate candy melts
  • Shortening
  • Candy writer decorating pen

Bake the cake in a 9x13" pan according to the directions on the box. Let the cake cool completely.

Crumble the cake into a large bowl.

Mix in about half of the frosting. Use the back of a wooden spoon to combine. You want the mixture to be about the same consistency as cookie dough. Add more frosting if necessary.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Scoop some cake and roll it into a ball about 1" in diameter. Squash and mold your ball into a football shape. Fill up the sheet and leave it to chill in the fridge.

Meanwhile, heat up half a bag of the chocolate candy melts by microwaving them in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Be careful not to overcook them.

Remove your footballs from the fridge. Dip the end of a lollipop stick about 1/2" into the melted chocolate and insert into the cake. There should be a little puddle of chocolate around the base. Allow this to harden to help keep the football "glued" to the stick.

Dip the footballs in the chocolate to coat them and tap the stick on the edge of your container gently to remove the excess coating. Then poke the stick into a Styrofoam block, making sure the pops don't touch.

In the meantime, heat up your candy pen by following the instructions that come with it. Usually you set it in very hot but not boiling water.

Draw on the laces and let them dry.

RED VELVET ICEBOX CAKE

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Recipe and photo from Anna Hezel, Food52

Ingredients
Serves 10

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 30 drops red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Blueberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix together the first six ingredients until thoroughly combined. Add salt, flour and cocoa powder, and mix until incorporated. Spread evenly on cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until surface is no longer wet-looking.

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes or until the texture has firmed slightly but is still pliable. Cut into four quarters, so that you're left with 4 long rectangles. Stack these on top of one another and trim any uneven edges. You can save these crumbs to sprinkle on top of the cake at the end for decoration. Separate the rectangles and allow to cool thoroughly.

Mix together cream cheese and half of the powdered sugar. Whisk heavy cream together with the other half of the powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Gently fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream until thoroughly incorporated. Spread 1/4 of this mixture evenly over one of the red velvet layers. Add another layer of red velvet and repeat, until you have four layers. Wrap in wax paper and freeze until you are ready to serve.

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