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Pumpkin Seed Brittle Tested Recipe

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Pumpkin Seed Brittle Recipe

There is always a small bag of raw pumpkin seeds in my freezer. They are there for when I make granola or to toast a small handful for a salad. But they are there for another reason, and that is for this Pumpkin Seed Brittle, a delicious confection made of toasted pumpkin seeds encased in a cooked sugar syrup. Pumpkin Seed Brittle is hard and brittle, yet crunchy and sweet. It can be eaten alone or ground and sprinkled over a bowl of ice cream, as a garnish for frosted cakes or it makes a nice topping for a pumpkin pie.  

 

All brittles use the most basic of ingredients (sugar, corn syrup, and nuts/seeds). The formula for brittles is about equal volumes of sugar and nuts/seeds, with the volume of corn syrup about half that of the granulated white sugar. What's important to know is that the corn syrup controls the grain of the brittle so adding too little and you have a grainy textured brittle, while adding too much will result in a stringy and sticky brittle.

When making this Pumpkin Seed Brittle you first need to toast the raw pumpkin seeds until brown. This can be done in a large skillet over medium heat. Once that is done the next step is to bring the water, corn syrup, and granulated white sugar to a boil. Then a candy thermometer is clamped on the side of the saucepan and the sugar syrup is cooked, without stirring, until it reaches 285 degrees F (140 degrees C), just above 'soft crack' stage. Stir in the toasted pumpkin seeds and continue to cook the sugar syrup, stirring often, until it reaches the 'hard crack' stage (300 degrees F, 149 degrees C). Remove from heat, and carefully stir in the baking soda, vanilla extract, and butter. The brittle will immediately puff up but just keep stirring until all the ingredients are incorporated. (The reason baking soda is added is that it aids in browning and gives the brittle a lighter and crunchier texture. Butter and vanilla are added for flavor.) The brittle is then poured, as thinly as possible, onto a cookie sheet. If you want a thin brittle, then while the brittle is still very hot, use clean gloved hands to stretch the brittle to how thin you want it. Do this by gently pulling the edges of the brittle, working your way around the entire mass. Let the brittle completely cool and then break into irregular sized pieces. Store up to two weeks in an airtight container or a plastic freezer bag to prevent the brittle from becoming sticky and breaking down.

 

Pumpkin Seed Brittle: Generously butter a large baking sheet. Set aside.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, toast the raw pumpkin seeds until lightly brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Have ready the baking soda, vanilla extract, and butter.

In a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat, bring the water, corn syrup, and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Then clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan and, without stirring, cook until the candy thermometer reaches just above soft crack stage (285 degrees F) (140 degrees C). Then stir in the toasted pumpkin seeds and continue cooking the sugar syrup, stirring often to prevent the pumpkin seeds from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, until the the candy thermometer reaches hard crack stage (300 degrees F) (149 degrees C).

Remove from heat and carefully stir in the baking soda, vanilla extract, and butter (the brittle will puff up) stirring until the foaming almost stops. Immediately pour the brittle, as thinly as possible (but do not spread), onto the buttered baking sheet. If you want a thin brittle, then while the brittle is still very hot, use gloved hands to stretch the brittle until you get the brittle to how thin you want it. Do this by gently pulling the edges of the brittle, working your way around the entire mass. Let the brittle completely cool and then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container or a plastic freezer bag as this will prevent the brittle from becoming sticky and breaking down. Store at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Makes about 1 1/2 pounds. Preparation time 1 hour.

References:

Bloom, Carole. 'Truffles, Candies, & Confections'. The Crossing Press. Freedom, California: 1992.

Jones, David. Candy Making for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc. New Jersey: 2005.

Weinstein, Bruce. The Ultimate Candy Book. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. New York: 2000.

Pumpkin Seed Brittle

1 1/2 cups (225 grams) raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup (120 ml) water

1/2 cup (120 ml) light corn syrup

1 cup (200 grams) white granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

 

 
 
     
 

 

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