Spicy Sloppy Joe Dip with Cheddar and Pickles

Spicy Sloppy Joe Dip with Cheddar and Pickles

This beefy dip appetizer will upgrade your Tailgate or Football Watch Party to the championship level. While the charm of Sloppy Joes is the messy sandwich, when it comes to partying this easy recipe makes a neat little dip. Serve with mini bun pieces (made from hot dog buns) and/or crunchy kettle chips for dipping. Serves 8-10 appetizer portions.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef, 80% lean, 20% fat
½ medium onion, small dice
½ green bell pepper, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon Ancho chili powder
¼ cup tomato sauce
¾ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons pickle relish

For Serving:
Toasted bun slices, recipe follows
Kettle chips

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned on all sides but not thoroughly cooked through, about 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the remaining fat in the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium, put the pan back on and add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring, until tender but not browned, 6–8 minutes; season with a few pinches of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Add the Ancho chili powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, molasses, and the beef along with any accumulated juices back into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until mixture is thick and saucy, about 15 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the shredded cheese and cover to melt the cheese, about three minutes. Top with the pickles and serve with toasted bun pieces and kettle chips for dipping.

Toasted Bun Slices
6 uncut hot dog buns, sliced into ⅜” pieces
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lay the bun slices on a parchment lined sheet tray. Brush lightly with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes until toasted. Serve warm with the dip.

Root Beer Float Brownies

Root Beer Float Brownies

Revive those sweet memories of summer with this root beer float layered treat. Root beer flavored dark chocolate brownies are topped with a rich cream cheese vanilla “ice cream” layer that is topped with chocolate ganache. It’s the perfect way to say goodbye to summer.

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for the pan
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 ounces chopped dark semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon root beer extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder

Cream cheese filling
8 ounces cream cheese
1 ½ teaspoons flour
Pinch salt
¼ cup cream
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1 large egg

Chocolate ganache topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Line a 9-inch square metal pan with foil and butter the foil. Using a double boiler, melt the butter, unsweetened chocolate, and chocolate together until the mixture is melted and smooth.

Add the granulated sugar to the melted chocolate mixture and combine; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar with the eggs then whisk in the root beer extract. Slowly temper the chocolate gradually into the egg mixture until well combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold in flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until smooth and well combined. The batter should be glossy and shiny. Scrape the brownie batter into the pan and smooth the top. Set aside while you make the cream cheese filling.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, flour, salt, and cream together for 5 minutes. Make sure the mixture is very smooth and fluffy with no lumps. Add the sugar and continue beating until very smooth. Add the extract and beat until well combined. Add the egg and mix until the egg is fully incorporated. Top the brownie layer with the vanilla cream cheese mixture and smooth the top. Place in the oven and bake on center rack for 40-45 minutes or until the cream cheese is lightly brown around the edges and a cake tester comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool the brownies to room temperature, then cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

To make the ganache topping:
Heat the cream in a saucepan until the mixture begins to steam. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes then stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Spread evenly over the brownies and refrigerate until set.