Marshmallows, cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches--are there any old-fashioned desserts that haven't been retooled into a modern-day sweet?
Max Lesser thought of one: peanut brittle. With a background in fine arts, the private chef applies a clever sensibility to this quintessential American treat for Morning Glory Confections.
To make his not-too-sticky candy, Lesser starts with high-quality ingredients, then adds different nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Each flavor results in a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, salty and crunchy.
First there was the closest-to-classic peanut spiked with fleur de sel, which outshines any prefab, store-bought brand. Then things got interesting: His roster now includes chai tea and cashew; cocoa nib, coffee bean and pecan; and Indian curry and pistachio. All are available at local gourmet markets and online.
But to try the latest Morning Glory creations, go to the Melrose Place Farmers' Market on Sundays. It's only here that you'll find limited-edition brittles like Thai curry and peanut--which is full of mellow, sweet heat from lemongrass, kaffir lime and Thai chiles ($5 for two ounces, $10 for five ounces).
He's even jumped on the bacon bandwagon with a Niman Ranch bacon, Spanish paprika and cashew brittle. "The challenge is having it be bacony but not overwhelmingly so," Lesser explains. If only all experiments could work out so well.