It’s always Snacky Hour somewhere, at least according to snack-obsessed SAVEUR senior editor Ellen Fort. Follow along as she discovers the best bites that fall outside the confines of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Savory, salty, spicy, sweet, sour: everything’s fair game during Snacky Hour.
Growing up, I was lucky to be the child of parents with friends who loved my twin sister and me like their own. Dinner parties, cocktail hours, and weekends with friends were some of our favorite times to impress grown-ups with our comedy routines, fashion shows, and general antics. They tolerated all this gracefully and left their own impressions by including us in the festivities. As is the custom in the South, almost every group has its own signature delicacy, whether it was Molly’s homemade mustard, Diana’s toffee, or Sybil’s Bread. This recipe is one of those signature treats, with exotic ingredients that my vegetarian, natural grocery-loving mother usually did not have on hand: Velveeta, liquid smoke, and sausage being key ingredients. I only knew this as “the thing Toni makes” until recently when I aspired to include it in Snacky Hour. Only then did I find out it had a name and an origin: Hanky pankys, an appetizer hailing from Cincinnati. All of this makes sense now—Toni grew up in Ohio—but I’ll always remember eating it on a screen porch in Tennessee with the clink of ice and grown-ups laughing in the background.
Note: There are no substitutions allowed for any part of this hanky panky recipe, particularly when it comes to Velveeta. We're partial to Pepperidge Farms' Dark Pump party bread, but S. Rosen's is a great option too.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. bulk sausage, mild or hot
- 1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 sleeve party-size rye or pumpernickel bread