Allspiced, Maple-Candied Toasts
These are the perfect little bases for any dinner party app or charcuterie/cheese board. I call them "toasts" because they are, essentially, fried bread—candied from maple syrup, which turns them hard, chewy, and lacquered. Adapted from Amy Thielen's "Maple Bread with Soft Cheese," which she got from an old Shaker recipe.
16 slices baguette, 1/4 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
Fat pinch salt
In a large pan, fry the allspice berries for a minute or two in the oil, allowing it to heat up gradually. Add the maple syrup and salt, and stir or swirl the pan so it combines with the spiced grease. Let it bubble up for a few seconds and reduce slightly. Then, quickly toss in the baguette slices, turning to coat both sides evenly. Fry on low heat until slightly darker in color, just a few minutes—don't overdo it. Transfer to a serving platter (the maple syrup will harden as it cools).
Great with cured meats, smoked fishes, soft cheeses, pickles, or on their own.