For most places in the world, the first Saturday in May is just another spring day, but in Louisville, KY, we’ve been gearing up for this particular Saturday for two weeks now. The festivities kick off with an airshow over the Ohio River and a fireworks display fittingly named Thunder Over Louisville because the ground shakes and the percussive booms can be heard for miles.
Then comes a hot air balloon race, a marathon, a bed race, a steamboat race and a parade. Finally, the celebrities show up along with national and international media. Schools are closed. Traffic is jammed, and fashion, particularly that involving wide-brimmed and bedazzled hats, is front-page news.
Now, the legendary First Saturday in May is here, and the Kentucky Derby–the most exciting two minutes in sports–is in full swing.
Traditionally, Louisville locals choose the Thursday (aka Thurby) and Friday (aka Oakes Day when the fillies take center stage) to wear their Derby finery and place their bets at the historic Churchill Downs race track. Many of us prefer to leave the actual Derby for the bucket-listers and the celebrities in favor of another favorite Louisville tradition–the Kentucky Derby Party!
This year the Hubs and I are party hopping again, and that means that for the past two weeks, I’ve been frantically pouring over my recipe boxes (both real and virtual) as well as the many online cooking blogs for the perfect dish or cocktail to share at each.
When it comes to party food planning, my competitive nature kits in, and I won’t settle for some ordinary potluck side dish. I’m the kind of home cook who shows up to the party with a tray of salted chocolate chunk cookies that make the lobster entree look like tuna casserole.
In the past three months, I’ve won a chili cook-off, served drunken St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes that pushed several recovering carboholics off the wagon and took first place in a cocktail contest with my mango margaritas. Don’t invite me to your parties if you want your food to be the best on the table.
So, as Derby has neared ever closer, my culinary mind has drifted repeatedly to the cinnamonny deliciousness otherwise known as “Snickerdoodle”. Derby, however, deserves much more than a mere cookie.
And so, I give you…”Snicker-Derby Party Bars”! Chewy and buttery on the inside with a satisfying cinnamon crunch on the outside. In other words…the favorite wins…again!
I wiped the last crumbs off the empty tray, 20 minutes after setting my Snicker-Derby Party Bars on the counter then smiled as I listened to the plaintive inquiries…”Where’d those Snickerdoodle thingies go?” “Who ate the last Snicker-Derby?” “What do you mean they’re gone already. I only had two!”
Ahh, the thrill of victory… *sigh*
Here’s hoping your
party snack horse is a winner!
****Please enjoy my Snicker-Derby Party Bar recipe, adapted from a Snickerdoodle Bar recipe shared by the culinarily creative West Point Moms Bake group that ships hundreds of boxes of baked goods to our soldiers oversees every year.
SNICKER-DERBY PARTY BARS
2 2/3 Cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9″ X 13″ pan.
- Combine flour, baking power, cinnamon and salt. set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and frown sugar until fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time.
- Add the vanilla and beat until smooth
- Mix in the flour mixture until well blended.
- Spread evenly in a prepared pan.
- Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and evenly sprinkle over the batter.
- Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. the middle of the pan should look just barely done.
- Cool completely, and cut into bars.