[Photograph: Maura McEvoy]

The desserts of The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook are something else. They're simple, almost starkly so. You might find yourself asking, is that all it takes to make something that looks that good? In the case of chocolate covered toffee, the answer is a resounding yes. It doesn't get simpler than semi-dark chocolate and buttery caramel. Adding toasted pumpkin seeds amps up the fat, and sea salt gives it that addictive quality that makes such treats disappear so quickly.

Tips & Tweaks: A touch of smoke or spice would elevate this toffee. While there's already the classic sweet/salty contrast, compounded by the toastiness of the pumpkin seeds, there is room to play with the chocolate or the sea salt. Smoked sea salt, the likes of which can be found at a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, would be worth trying here. If you can find flaky smoked salt, so much the better.

As for the chocolate, experiment using chili chocolate, or adding the smallest touch of cayenne powder to the melted chocolate during tempering. Start with 1/8 teaspoon, taste, and increase if desired. A final note: don't even think about not toasting the pumpkin seeds.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook to give away.

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