Joe Drozda and Bob Bley are writing the third edition of The Tailgater’s Handbook which will be published in 2014. Drozda is considered the “Father of American Tailgating” by many including The Wall Street Journal. Drozda and Bley both grew up in NW Indiana and attended Indiana University together.
The American tailgater’s favorite and most practical dessert is the bar cookie. Unless you are from the Scandinavian “upper Midwest”, then it’s just called a bar. Bar cookies consist of batter or other ingredients that are poured or pressed into a pan (sometimes in multiple layers), and cut into cookie-sized squares. As upper Midwesterners, my co-author Bob and I are fluent in “Minnesotan” and simply refer to them in native slang as “bars”. We should say that most bars require baking before cutting but no-bake varieties are also popular.
Bars have evolved from most any pie or candy imaginable and have been a regular part of our diet from childhood. Who hasn’t eaten, and then dreamed of, brownies or Rice Krispy bars? And remember treats like date nut and pecan bars during Christmas season. So why use bars as a tailgate treat?
Bars are great for tailgating because they are easy to make, easy to preserve, easy to transport, and best of all - easy to eat. You generally don’t need a fork or even a plate to eat bars – just use your hands.
When the first edition of The Tailgater’s Handbook was written, a friend of ours Marie Simmons, offered us her collection of delicious bar recipes from her book "Bar Cookies A to Z". Marie was food editor for Cuisine magazine at the time and has also been a columnist for Bon Appetit magazine and The Los Angeles Times newspaper. Here is an adaptation of one of Marie’s bar recipes — great for tailgating or the upcoming holiday season.