Don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds from your jack-o-lanterns or your last recipe of pumpkin puree! You can combine those delicious pumpkin seeds with a few simple ingredients to make a fall take on the Christmas classic, peanut brittle.
It’s also really similar to a dessert that Costco sells, so if you’re addicted like I am, make this instead and save yourself a bit of money. One batch whips up in about 20 minutes, not including time for hardening.
How to Make Perfect Pumpkin Brittle Every Time
Peanut brittle can be a tricky dessert to make. Cook it for too little and you have a sticky mess on your hands. Cook it for too long and it gets so hard that you worry you’ll chip a tooth eating it. There are three ways to avoid this:
- Use a candy thermometer and wait until the mixture reaches exactly 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make friends with a glass of cold water.
Wait. . . what?!?
Perfect Candy Without a Gadget!
I hate having kitchen gadgets that I don’t use, so I don’t own a candy thermometer. Instead, I dip a small amount of the sugar mixture that holds everything together into a cold glass of water every couple of minutes. How the candy cools lets me know if I’ve cooked it for long enough.
Here’s a good video that shows the correct stage.
In my climate, that means boiling my sugar mixture for around 15 minutes. However, this time can vary greatly depending on how fast your stove heats, altitude, and humidity.
An Easy Treat for Holiday Gifting
Once you get over the fear of messing up your pumpkin seed brittle, the recipe is very easy. Pumpkin seed brittle makes a lovely addition to your fall or Christmas baking, a unique item in a cookie exchange, and makes a nice gift for your neighbours, church friends, or whoever you want to thank with a little something special.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup coconut
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 2 tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- butter, for greasing
- Grease a large baking sheet with some butter.
- In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to boil. Stir in pumpkin seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, and allspice.
- Cook and stir until temperature reaches exactly 300ºF or a bit of the mixture dipped into cold water reaches the hardball stage. This will take about 15 minutes.
- Immediately remove from heat and stir in butter and baking soda vigorously. Pour onto the greased baking sheet. Spread with spatula, until it almost fills up the baking sheet.
- Cool and break into pieces. Store in tin or another airtight container.