First Friday Food began with me guest-posting on another blog, so it seems fitting to host a guest recipe of my own.
Today, fellow author Beth Cato (as you may know, we shared a table of contents in OOMPH) stops by as part of the Clockwork Cookie Blog Tour to talk to us about her new book, as well of two of the most wonderful things in the world: bacon, and toffee.
I think I might have just picked out the first recipe for Baconfest next year…
Hi! I’m Beth Cato. I’m here to share some sweet-salty-savory goodness and to introduce you to my book.
My debut novel, THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER, comes out September 16th from Harper Voyager. It’s a steampunk novel with airships, espionage, and a world tree that seriously plays favorites. Here’s the back cover summary:
Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.
Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.
You can also read the full first chapter over at Tor.com. It can be found at Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most any independent bookstore.
Now, on to the Bacon Crack!
I’m an author, but I’m also somewhat infamous for my cooking. Every Wednesday over at my site, I post a new recipe in my Bready or Not series.
This recipe makes bacon into addictive candy. The first thing you taste is chocolate, then the sweet of toffee, and then the smoky, salty taste of the bacon. The pieces are small and it’s easy to keep popping them in your mouth.
It’s called bacon crack for a reason.
Chocolate Covered Bacon Toffee (aka Bacon Crack)
Modified from Wine and Glue
- 2 cups butter
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (should make about one cup)
- 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Prep the bacon and have it ready. Layer a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and make sure you have a space where it will fit in the fridge.
- It’s toffee time. In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, and salt. Stir regularly until the mixture boils and comes to a 285 degrees F. (Yes, a candy thermometer is necessary here.) The temperature is slow to start but once it gets above boiling, it goes up quickly.
- Once the mixture has reached the right temperature, quickly stir in the almonds, and then the bacon. The fat is going to melt off the bacon immediately and separate from the rest of the mixture.
- Pour it all into the jelly roll pan. It will start to set quickly, and the bacon fat will be liquid and on top. If you can, lift the pan with one of the corners pointed down and pour off the fat into the glass measuring cup. Get as much of it as you can, turning the pan and dripping from the opposite corner as necessary. OR–because my mixture didn’t set and wanted to slide off–grab some paper towels and blot the fat from the top.
- Let the toffee set for at least two hours in the refrigerator. Move to the freezer for an hour. Once frozen, break it apart and store it in there as you prep the chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate using the microwave or a double boiler. Taking a few pieces of toffee out of the freezer at a time, dip it in the chocolate, setting it on wax paper to set.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
OM NOM NOM.
Beth Cato’s the author of THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER, a steampunk fantasy novel from Harper Voyager. Her short fiction is in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Daily Science Fiction. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat.