A Big Hunk ‘o Love (or Long Live the King)

caramels

If Elvis had made it to his 75th birthday January 8—and if he shopped at the Brooklyn Flea—he’d no doubt love the two ladies behind Liddabit, the queens of candy who produce the King.

Something like a Snickers on steroids, the $6 King is a fat handmade wedge of a candy bar: A layer of fresh banana ganache and a layer of soft peanut-buttery nougat in between two brown sugar and browned butter cookies, all dipped in dreamy milk chocolate.

And while there isn’t a layer of bacon on this special sandwich— though like just about everything related to Elvis, the addition of pork to his banana and peanut butter creations is up for debate—this is a treat that speaks to both your inner little kid and your inner fancy foodie. Or, to put it in Elvis terms, the King’s so good you’re likely to either swoon or croon.

Happily it’s just one of several hip-swingingly super sweets made by hand (and found at Marlow & Daughters, Bedford Cheese Shop, Spuyten Duyvil Grocery, Greene Grape Provisions, Brooklyn Flea and online) by Liz Gutman and Jen King, former classmates in pastry arts at the French Culinary Institute. But, as the ever-American Elvis would be pleased to note, these creations certainly aren’t French in inspiration: Think Brooklyn Brewery beer and pretzel caramels; pumpkin pie candy bars of pumpkin caramel ganache; marshmallow and crispy piecrust dipped in dark chocolate; and a pecan pie-flavored chocolate-dipped treat made with bourbon ganache and pecan dulce de leche using nuts from an organic growers’ co-op in Missouri. (Note to Elvis: That’s just one state over from Tennessee.)

You’d almost expect that one of the pair would have been reared, like Presley, below the Mason-Dixon, instead of in California (Gutman, who claims the Southern sweet tooth) or in a Korean-American household (King, who loves butter and sugar despite a lack of both in her upbringing). And beyond a passion for chocolate creations that combine the best of both new- and old-school, Gutman and King also lean toward the sustainable and the local—like bars of chocolate filled with pâtés de fruits made from seasonal berries, or locally sourced honeycomb gossamer dunked in chocolate.

Elvis probably would have opted for Skippy rather than grinding his own organic peanuts, but either way we know if he’d gotten to know the ladies of Liddabit, there’s no way he’d be squeezing into that spangled jumpsuit anytime soon.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.