Now that I look at this photo, that toffee looks pretty yummy. Good thing I have a tin of it at the office with me for snacking (not so good for my waistline). My story starts with this toffee. On short notice I decided to stop by the Brooklyn Swappers 2nd Anniversary Event at 3rd Ward over the weekend. I started making this just the night before, a recipe I’d never tried from a brand-new book. It turned out to be tricky because my candy thermometer broke. It looks solid, and it broke into pieces just fine, but I could barely transfer it into bags for the swap without making a mess. I needed a plan B.
This is how it comes out of the oven. I probably should have drained off some of the extra coating mixture before roasting the nuts, but I like those chewy, sugary bits in the middle. Clearly, my waistline hates me right now.
Once cooled, you break it into pieces, and there you have them, spiced up with cinnamon, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Highly recommended.
But wait, there’s more (spiced nuts, spiced nuts that is). As I was making Shauna’s recipe, I decided I needed a Plan C, just to be really safe. (Umm, why am I such a control freak?) I turned to my friend Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan’s Good Food to Share. Maple-Bacon Spiced Nuts? Yes, definitely, but I’m going to say something that will get me booted from the “Cool Foodies Club” forever. These spiced nuts are so good, you don’t even need the bacon! But I was determined to follow the recipe…
There’s the bacon, in all it’s glory. You brush it with maple syrup and cook it in the oven. Then you try to resist eating the bacon straight from the pan.
Finally you toss the bacon with the spiced nuts and you’re set.
Since both of the nuts turned out so great, I wrapped them up in little baggies and headed off to Brooklyn Swappers. If you’ve never been to one of these events before, here’s how it works — if people want to trade, they write their names on a card like this, with the item they have to offer. Fun, right?
I showed up early while it was still quiet and there was space on the table. By 4pm that changed, a lot. The tables were overflowing with goodies.
This event was special because there were speakers on a variety of topics. This is a photo of the amazingly talented Liza de Guia (far left) of Food Curated for a panel she led with some of the great people she’s featured on her site. Shown are Keavy (middle) from Kumquat Cupcakery and Liz (far right) of Raganella’s Botanical Solutions. Other speakers included Debbie Koenig, Jackie Gordon, and Emily Hanhan.
As the tables filled up, I snapped a few photos of the treats — really great stuff. There was so much I would have enjoyed trying, like these turbinado caramels.
Vicky of Arirang Kimchi (who was also on that panel with Liza) was kind enough to give me a jar to try. I’ve tried a lot of so-so kimchi in my life, but this is the good stuff.
Ooh, more kimchi? I missed out on this one.