Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle

I call the below recipe "Aunt Ruthie's Microwave Nut Brittle."  She gave me a microwave cookbook for a wedding present and she specifically pointed out this recipe as being good.  Boy, was she right.  25 years later I still make it every holiday season.
I started a bit early this year as I saw a possible variant that sounded so good.  The recipe had pumpkin seeds, which are my new love this year.  I put them on salads, but thought Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle sounded wonderful.  It was great!  Loved the flavor of the roasted pumpkin seeds and the cinnamon.

I decided to just add the new ingredients to my microwave nut brittle recipe since it's so easy.  To the below recipe I add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 cup of roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds as the nuts.
The cinnamon goes in when I add the butter, vanilla and nuts.  And of course pumpkin seeds in for the nuts.  Make sure when the cinnamon goes in you stir quickly and get the lumps of cinnamon stirred in.
What I found facinating (yes I'm easily entertained in the kitchen) is when roasting the pumpkin seeds at 350 degrees F they pop.  They looked like Mexican jumping beans!  The pumpkin seeds only needed 5 minutes in the oven and they are plenty roasted.  I took a pretty poor video as it had to be done through the oven window, so the heat would make them pop.  You can totally see them pop though.

So, below is the basic brittle recipe and the method I use to cook it.  Just remember to add the new ingredients for a wonderful holiday treat.
Microwave Nut Brittle

1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup roasted nuts (peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts are all very good)
1 teaspoon baking soda

Lightly grease a cookie sheet (or get out your Silpat). In a 2 quart ovenware with handle, combine corn syrup and sugar. Stir well. Cook on high for 4 minutes. Do not cover. (Yes, I microwave my wooden spoon. Then I don't have a sticky spoon to lay down between steps. Use a hot mitt though the spoon gets scalding hot.)

Add butter, vanilla and nuts, mixing well. Cook on high for 4 minutes.

Stir in baking soda. Quickly, (I DO MEAN FAST) pour mixture onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Allow to cool 1 hour. Breaks into bite sized pieces. Yields - 3/4 pound.

(To break up I pick it up by the edge and tap it gently on the Silpat. Break into nice size pieces.)

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