Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin Seed Brittle - the Perfect Hostess Gift

In preparation of hosting our first Thanksgiving, Nick and I flipped through a bunch of magazines and blogs for inspiration. While we have our schedule and menu ready to go, a recipe for Pumpkin Seed Brittle from Bon Appetit caught my eye.


I rationalized adding this to our Thanksgiving menu by making it on the Sunday before, and I figured it could be an added dessert or a lovely take-home gift for guests. That is, if the turkey and massive amount of food is not enough!  However, this brittle would make a lovely hostess gift for any of you that will be guests at someone's home; a little autumn colored ribbon could go a long way to making your friends think you are crafty.

Brittle Close-Up
The recipe can be found on the Bon Appetit site here, but the main thing you need for this recipe is a candy thermometer (preferably one that clips to the side of the sauce pan) and patience (getting to 290 degrees takes more than the suggested 3-4 minutes). I doubled the recipe and it made two good size sheet pans of brittle.

The Ingredients
Patiently waiting for the corn syrup, sugar and water to reach 290 degrees
Stirring while the seeds, salt and butter are added and climbing to 305 degrees - about to add the cinnamon and baking soda 
Poured the HOT brittle over a parchment lined sheet pan sprayed with canola oil and sprinkled with salt
After the brittle cooled for a couple of hours, I broke it into a bunch of little pieces and placed them in an air-tight container.

This came our surprisingly well. My past attempts at making caramel have been somewhat terrible, so I was happy this came together in the end. I had never used the candy thermometer before and think it made a ton of difference. I was much more confident in moving through the recipe because there was no guessing of whether the mixture was ready. However, I think we'll have to purchase a new candy thermometer that securely clips to the side of the pan.

The brittle was not nearly as sweet as you would assume based on the amount of sugar in the recipe, but you taste a great spiciness from the cinnamon which I think makes it taste even better. Depending on the dessert situation on Thanksgiving, the brittle may be a dessert or a take-home. If I were going to make this a hostess gift, I would wrap it up nicely in a cellophane bag and tie it with some ribbon. No one has to be the wiser that it took you only 20 minutes to put together!


  1. I'm going to make apple cider caramels, but I do have a lot of pepitas, so if I have time, maybe I will try this too. You can never have too much food at Thanksgiving. ;)

  2. I love homemade gifts for the holidays. This is a great idea! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. this is very clever! i'm not one to just munch on plain toasted pumpkin seeds, but when they're surrounded by decadence like this, i'd really love them!


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