Game plan

With Baltimore just 73 miles away and with so many former Baltimore residents now living in the Panhandle, it’s only fitting to include a taste of Charm City on your Super Bowl Sunday party menu.

[cleeng_content id="720660368" description="Read it now!" price="0.15" t="article"]When the Spirit sent out a call for Baltimore-centric Super Bowl party fare, we heard ideas featuring crabs, Old Bay seasoning (and not just for seafood) and a homemade version of that definitive Baltimore dessert, the fudge-topped Berger cookie.

Stephanie Morton, a Jefferson High grad who works as an administrative assistant for Concrete Imaging Inc. in Harpers Ferry, offers a crabtastic appetizer recipe along with best wishes for a Baltimore win. “Enjoy,” she writes, “and GO RAVENS!!!”

Spicy Maryland Crab Dip

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

1½ Tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Garlic powder (to taste)

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

¾ pound fresh crabmeat

3 dashes hot sauce

Old Bay seasoning (to taste)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, garlic powder and about 2 tablespoons of the cheese in a bowl. Fold in crabmeat, hot sauce and about two tablespoons Old Bay.

Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased, one-quart baking dish. Top with remaining cheddar and sprinkle on additional seafood seasoning.

Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is lightly browned.

Reader Jeanne Muir shares a way to prepare Buffalo wings with Baltimore flair: Spice things up with some Old Bay.

It’s a personal recipe and not a dish served at the Thomas Shepherd Inn, the award-winning bed and breakfast at 330 W. German St. in Shepherdstown that Muir operates along with her husband Jim Ford.

“We only serve breakfast at the inn,” Muir explains. “I make these when Jim and I have a craving. We lived in Upstate New York for several years and we miss the wings from there.”

Muir says that too often, wings from local restaurants don’t send her soaring. “They’re either like battered fried chicken or not crispy enough,” she said.

In this preparation, which serves six, the wings are baked, not fried. “It’s important to note that they need to rest in the refrigerator for eight hours or overnight,” Muir said. “That time helps crisp them during baking.”

0130SUPER-wingsOld Bay Wings

3 Tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

4 pounds chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 Tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

More Old Bay (optional, to taste)

To make dry seasoning mix, blend Old Bay, baking powder and salt.

Rinse and use paper towels to pat dry wings. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the dry seasoning, tossing to coat evenly and well.

Arrange wings in a single layer on a wire rack leaving a little space between each wing. You can set the rack on a foil-lined baking sheet for stability and refrigerate for 8 hours to overnight.

When you’re ready to bake the wings, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until wings are browned and crisp, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Near the end of the cooking time, make the wet seasoning with melted butter mixed with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

After the wings come out of the oven, toss them in the wet seasoning and serve.

“I like to throw in some more Old Bay in the wet seasoning, because I love Old Bay but that’s your choice,” Muir said. “You may just want to offer it in shakers along with bleu cheese and celery for those who want more.”

For a sweet finale, there’s nothing that compares to Baltimore’s iconic Berger cookie, says Robert Snyder, the Spirit’s editor and a native of the southwestern Baltimore burb of Landsdowne.

He remembers indulging in his first Berger at his grandmother’s home on Hillendale Avenue as a kindergartner in 1970. “Someone had brought these cookies that had this enormous clod of fudge on top – as much chocolate icing as there was cookie,” he said. “They were unbelievable.”

No one is sure just when DeBaufre began making Berger cookies. The German bakery itself dates to 1835, but the cookie likely wasn’t introduced until late that century at the earliest, according to cookie historians who have researched the question.

Today, although Snyder doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, getting his hands on an authentic, hand-dipped Berger cookie from DeBaufre Bakeries still makes his day any day of the year.

The nearest place to pick up an actual Berger cookie is the Martin’s supermarket in Hagerstown, Md., or you can make your own version at home with this recipe from King Arthur Flour:

Berger-style Black-and-White Cookies0130SUPER-C

For the cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1½ teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1½ cups sugar

3 large eggs

4½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

For the icing

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1½ Tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup heavy cream

1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

To make the icing: Place chocolate chips, corn syrup, vanilla and cream into a large microwave-safe bowl or into a large saucepan. Heat the mixture till it’s very hot; the cream will start to form bubbles. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Let cool to warm room temperature while you make the cookies.

To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, salt, vanilla and baking powder. Beat in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour to the wet ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do this gently; do not beat the batter. Using a muffin scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Used a greased bottom of a drinking glass to flatten each mound of dough to a circle about 1½-inch across. Leave 2 inches between each cookie, to give the cookies room to expand.

Place cookies in the oven for about 11 minutes. They’re done when the bottoms are mottled brown; carefully tilt one up to see. Cookies should be soft and cake-like; don’t over-bake. The barest hint of browning around the edges is fine, but the tops should not brown.

Cool cookies on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

To serve: Spread each cookie with a generous heap of icing, about 3 tablespoons, leaving just a quarter-inch around the outside edge of each cookie free of icing. It may seem like a lot of icing, but that’s essential: the icing layer should be as tall as the cookie itself.

Allow cookies to set, then store in a single layer in an airtight container.[/cleeng_content]

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