Pumpkin seed brittle–A flash from the past

Every year, we host a pumpkin carving party. And every year I hunt down recipes and plan and scheme. The last few years have been more challenging, and I do my best to make sure that everyone has something, except gluten, of course. So everything is GF, but some are dairy, soy, egg, corn, grain, sugar free and vegan. And of course, there are a few things that avoid all of those so I can eat, too! But this year someone has a nut allergy and someone who avoids chocolate. Ah, a wrinkle in the matrix. I use a LOT of nuts to compensate for…let’s see, everything else. So it was time to get creative, and revamp a recipe from way back that is now top 8 free. I’d never heard otf pumpkin seed brittle, but it sounded like fun, and a lot of people enjoyed it.

I spent so many years mastering different recipes that are now hugely different than the way I eat. However, I still do make them from time to time and feel like I should pass on the accumulated knowledge! So this is the first of two “Flash from the Past” posts, and then we’ll be back to our normally healthy-ish endeavors.

Making nut (or seed) brittle is fun once you figure out the secret. I have absolutely no patience for sitting there wetting a pastry brush and stirring. But you can just put it in the microwave and poof! All done. But if it goes too long, you have burnt goop, so it’s important to be vigilant for the last minute or so, and once the mix is done, you have a very small window of opportunity. That’s also why I don’t have a picture of the perfect color you’re looking for. I didn’t have enough hands!

Pumpkin seeds AKA pepitas are a great, seasonal treat! Despite the fact that this is a complete sugar bomb, pumpkin seeds themselves are quite healthy. They’re good sources of magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, and portable sources of fiber rich protein.

This recipe does not work when doubled. Trust me on that one!

1 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup water

1/3-1/2 cup roasted and salted hulled pumpkin seeds
splash of vanilla extract, optional

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and then grease well with oil.
Place sugar and water in a medium sized glass microwave safe bowl. Put on high for 5 1/2 minutes. It often ranges between 5 and 6. Start peeking at 5 minutes. You should be able to tell without stopping it. The key is looking for a medium amber color. Too light and you have sugar crystals in your brittle, too dark and it’s burnt.

Remove from microwave with gloves, toss in seeds and extract, stir and quickly pour out on to the prepared cookie sheet. Let it sit until dry, break into pieces and peel off paper.

This ode to pumpkin seeds is my weekly submission to Weekend Herb blogging, the “baby” of Kalyn’s Kitchen. Our host this week is Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska. She’s got a great picture of her garden up, so check it out!

About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
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17 Responses to Pumpkin seed brittle–A flash from the past

  1. VeggieGirl says:

    Ooooh, divine! I LOVE pumpkin seeds (especially in pumpkin-seed-butter).

  2. Ricki says:

    What a great idea! I’ve got a huge bag of those pepitas sitting in my fridge, so I might even stretch back into my past, too, and make something with sugar! (If only agave would caramelize/harden that way . . . !).

  3. Kalyn says:

    What an interesting idea for pumpkin seeds. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten them!

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  5. Great recipe! I agree with you completely about the pleasure of making sugar syrups in the microwave. It really simplifies the process. I’d make this right this minute if I had any pumpkin seeds in the house!

  6. Maggie says:

    Brittle in the microwave, brillant! I love making homemade candy but haven’t heard that you can caramelize sugar in the microwave. I have to give this a try.

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  13. pdw says:

    How funny; today I “accidentally” made pumpkin seed brittle, and was going to look for a proper recipe tonight, and then your recipes was on my feed.

    (I accidentally made it by topping some cooked squash with raisins, pumpkin seeds, and brown sugar, then put it under the broiler to melt the sugar. It was starting to caramelize when I took it out, and it hardened and tasted just like pumpkin seed brittle!)

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