“Sweet you rock and sweet you roll…”

by Katie Pizzuto on July 23, 2013

in Cookbooks

20090917-beerpretzcaramelThere are few things more difficult than trying not to take credit for something you want desperately to take credit for. Wait, OK, that is a far flung exaggeration, but it’s damned difficult, trust me. When I first tasted Liddabit’s Beer and Pretzel Caramels at a market where Fulton’s Fish Market used to stand, I thought, these women are geniuses. They are men, trapped in the exceedingly superior bodies of women. They have taken the classic combination of beer and pretzels, and made a candy out of it. What more could you demand of food? And with that experience having warped my sense of creation, I hunkered down in my kitchen and tried to replicate the recipe. I didn’t completely succeed, but came close enough to call it success…and then spent the better part of an hour wrapping the fucking things.

They were gooey. They were crunchy. They were salty. They were bitter. They were sweet. They were nirvana. Knowing full well that several dozen beer and pretzel caramels sitting in a tin on my kitchen counter would serve my soul much more kindly than they would by hips, I brought some into work. And that’s where the internal battle began. The place went nuts. The tin of candy quickly emptied. There were joyful moans heard from afar. And it was all to my credit…right? I mean, I made the blasted caramels didn’t I? With no help from anyone or anything other than my ninja-like palate. Right????? But it wasn’t my brainchild. It wasn’t my Stairway to Heaven, or my Breaking Bad, or my Exorcist, or my Infinite Jest. It was a really good cover version of a masterpiece. So I kept my mouth shut and took the compliments like any good cover band does.

But these women—these glorious, genius, devious women—put out a cookbook. And that, folks, is where I peed my pants. Alas, I thought. I shall have my Holy Grail! Finally, I’d get my hands on the “official” recipe for this food of the Gods. And apparently, I wasn’t the only one on an eternal quest for it, because here is how the recipe opens, “There was a lot of speculation about whether we would include this recipe in the book…Some said we absolutely had to include it; others said we absolutely had to leave it out.” For those in the latter half, stated quite simply, fuck you. I have had a half-dozen incredible candies from Liddabit Sweets. But had this recipe not been in the book, I have little doubt that I would have coiled up into a fetal position in a dark corner of my kitchen, cursing the women I had grown to love from afar.

But know that this is a proverbial drop in the bucket of what these two ladies from Brooklyn have concocted. This pair is the present and future of candy. Bacon Buttercrunch. Tropical Toffee. King Bars (yes, as in the King, with peanut butter nougat, bananas, white chocolate ganache and caramelized butter). Honeycomb Candy. And then some. The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook is the one that will make you want to take credit for the recipe, which you will likely get more admiration for than you will sympathy for the infernal wrapping of each piece.

And I can comfortably say that I have never…seriously never…wanted to take credit for a recipe so much in my life, as I wanted to for those beer and pretzel caramels. I have credited chefs left and right for the glories that have come out of my kitchen, but I sooooo wanted to keep this one and hug it and squeeze it and call it my own. And if that doesn’t merit getting the hell out to buy this cookbook, I don’t know what does.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Veronique Deblois July 23, 2013

Where’s the recipe?!

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2 Jason Thoma July 23, 2013

Break some copyrights and share the recipes! We’re always looking for a new weekend recipe to try.

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3 Katie Pizzuto July 23, 2013

Ahhh you guys are so easily teased huh?! I’ll talk to the ladies as i am not one to publish what isn’t mine 🙂

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4 coupe 60 July 24, 2013

Bacon Buttercrunch….holy smokes…I think that needs to be your next cover tune

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5 Katie Pizzuto July 24, 2013

Or the name of my cover band 🙂

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6 Katie Pizzuto July 24, 2013

And when you knuckleheads BUY THE BOOK, here’s the errata page. Not that geniuses screw up…editors do: http://www.liddabitsweets.com/cookbook/cookbook-corrections/

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7 coupe 60 July 25, 2013

I have my own method for beer reduction…unless they are using the phrase in a different manner than I would…

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8 Katie Pizzuto July 25, 2013

Dude, reducing an entire 6-pack of beer nearly broke my heart, LOL. I used 3 IPAs and 3 stouts.

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9 Liz Gutman July 25, 2013

Oh man, I’ve been re-reading this post all damn morning and laughing my ass off. THANK YOU, Katie, for the kind words — and, hey, reverse-engineering a recipe is no mean feat! Feel free to take credit next time you make ’em…I won’t tell 😉

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10 Katie Pizzuto July 25, 2013

Thanks Liz, and you are right, reverse-engineering is a bitch, especially with sweets! When I first reduced the beer to a syrup it was a bitter mess and I thought I ruined it all, but I had gone that far so I threw it into my caramel recipe and it all came together perfectly. You and Jen are mad geniuses and I’m grateful to now have the “true” recipe. Glad you enjoyed the post. I’m here all week. Tip jar’s at the piano. Try the veal 🙂

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11 Rebecca Fussman July 25, 2013

Feel free to take credit, Katie! I’ve had the cookbook since October of last year and haven’t had the balls to try out a single recipe…although will admit to a long-time love affair with the bourbon bacon beautifulness that is their caramel corn. Liz and Jen deserve the love…and this blog post is priceless! Can I say I actually flipped through the book to check to see if they dropped the f-bomb…just couldn’t fathom. Thank you for the laugh so hard I started to cry start to my morning…Liz and Katie!

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12 Katie Pizzuto July 25, 2013

I’ve had the book for months as well, I’ve just been pitiful about getting together this post because I wanted to try more recipes first. But my mad addiction for these caramels kept me shackled those first couple of months! But attack the cookbook, Rebecca…think of it as a Zen meditation in the kitchen. And no, they don’t drop the f-bomb (did I make it seem like they did??)…I’m the only one that has a penchant for using expletives 🙂

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