Pumpkin Seed BrittleI wanted make something a tad less involved than making toffee that could be used as a crunchy appendage to dessert. Something that could be made in under an hour. The answer: Nut brittle. Basically, you make a dry caramel (meaning no water added), stir in the nuts, and then spread the nut caramel over a Silpat.
Once cooled and hardened, the brittle is ready to be broken into pieces. With an exception for cashews, the formula for nut and seed brittle stays the same. It's only a matter of substituting one nut or seed for another while keeping the sugar and cooking time the same.
I broke my batch of brittle up, put it in a mason jar, and capped it shut to keep it from softening from humidity. If you do want to give this away as gifts, one batch of brittle approximately fits a 1-pint mason jar. Or just keep it for yourself and make cookies or pumpkin seed brittle ice cream.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Makes about 2 cups of brittle shards
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
Line a baking sheet with a Silpat (or similar nonstick silicon surface).
To make the caramel, heat the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once the sugar starts to melt (it will become clear around the edges and start to look wet), start stirring the sugar with a heatproof rubber spatula.
Continue to cook the sugar, stirring frequently, until the caramel has a reached a deep amber color, about 4 minutes. If you’re not sure how dark your caramel has become, pull it away from the stove and swirl the pan. If it’s a tan color, it is not dark enough.
Once the caramel has reached the desired color, remove the pot from the stove and stir in the pumpkin seeds. (Be careful, they may pop a bit in the sugar.) Working fast so the sugar doesn’t harden prematurely, spread the caramel in a roughly 9 by 13-inch rectangle. Let it cool completely. Once cool, break into pieces as large or small as you’d like and store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.