Neil Patrick Harris Shares His Signature Holiday Recipe & His Hilarious Rule For Halloween Candy Rationing
Neil Patrick Harris is very into the holidays, in case you couldn't tell. His Halloween parties are the stuff of legend: “My backyard haunted houses [typically] involve six fog machines, buckets of fake blood and two weeks of preproduction,” Harris boasts. While the sitcom star decorates, his beau, David Burka, a gourmet chef and director of catering company Gourmet M.D. (perhaps a nod to the role that brought his fiancé to fame?), helps out with the spread. The couple's favorite dubious-looking, yet delicious-tasting recipes include “Mini Brains” (wontons filled with ginger-y pork) and “Bat Wings" (crisp fried chicken wings bathed in an inky glaze of black-bean and soy sauces), among other finger foods.
However, with Halloween fever—and Neil’s nine-year engagement as Barney on CBS' How I Met Your Mother—winding down, the former child star chatted with another celebrity foodie, Rachael Ray, about his plans for the future. Harris is currently focusing on donning an even more elaborate get-up than this year’s Frankenstein—that is, prepping for his starring role in the Broadway adaptation of John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (Tickets for the show just went on sale, by the way—you can get ‘em here.)
At home, he’s busy making sure fraternal twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace don’t overdose on sugar. How do Harris and Burke keep the three-year-olds' energy levels stable amidst the post-Halloween sugar surplus? A carefully devised potty-training reward system, of course. “They’re only allowed to eat candy when they poop. That’s the treat. They don’t eat chocolate and cookies and stuff. So they either get like a chocolate chip or an M&M,” Harris explained. To this Rachael Ray chuckled, “One M&M is kind of sad, no?!” Harris’ defense? “I’m not gonna give them a whole candy bar every time they take a dump! They’re kids. They go to the bathroom a lot! So my point is Halloween comes, they get a whole bag of candy, and we take it away from them—because they’re not allowed to eat the candy— so they’re just trying to poop in their costumes all night long.”
We wonder if this policy still stands when it comes to Neil's Ooey Gooey Bars. Harris' trademark Christmas cookie recipe is chocolate-free (if not sugar-free), which could be good news for little Gideon and Harper, as far as the potty quid pro quo goes. Regardless, these treats are worth the, um, effort. The mélange of smooth cream cheese, crunchy pecans, and fluffy white cake makes this holiday dessert totally legend—wait for it—dairy! (Sorry, had to.)
Neil Patrick Harris' Ooey Gooey Bars
•Nonstick spray, for pan
•1 box pound-cake mix (16 oz.)
•1/2 cup butter, softened
•8 oz. cream cheese, softened
•3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
•1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan; set aside.
3. In a large bowl combine cake mix, butter, and 2 eggs. Mix until smooth.
4. Spread mixture evenly in pan.
5. In a medium bowl combine 2 1/2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, and cream cheese. Mix until smooth.
6. Carefully spread cream-cheese mixture evenly over first layer and sprinkle with pecans.
7. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.
8. Dust with remaining sugar and cut into 2" squares.
By Cordelia Tai
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