I decided to try something new tonight; making a brittle. While I’ve certainly had brittle before, I’ve never made it until now.
When I started looking up recipes, I thought I might not be able to, since they all included corn syrup. This is something I don’t normally have in the pantry. However, I did find some without corn syrup, so it worked out in the end.
Before I share the photos and recipe, here are some important notes.
Second, make sure you have a baking sheet or pan oiled/buttered and ready before you start. If it’s not well oiled first, it will be next to impossible to get the brittle off once it hardens.
It would also be preferable to use a heavy bottomed saucepan, if you have one, for even heating, as sugar can burn easily.
And finally, have a trivet or pot holder near the pan. When the sugar caramelizes, you will need to work quickly to remove it from the heat and add the final ingredients, so make sure to have a safe place where you can put your hot pot, stir things in, then immediately pour it onto your prepared pan.
For this brittle, I used a mix of pecan pieces and roasted, salted sunflower seeds, because that’s what I had on hand. Since the sunflower seeds and butter were both salted, I was lighter on the added salt. I also used kosher salt; being a coarse salt, there’s a bit less in the measuring spoon than when using table salt. If I were using table salt, I would reduce the amount by about half, unless I were using unsalted butter and none of the nuts/seeds were salted.
Nutty Seedy Brittle Ingredients (makes about 2 – 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups nuts and seeds (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp baking soda
2. Bring the syrup mixture to a gentle boil, then set timer for 10 minutes.
3 . Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, watching for the colour to change.
4. Continue to boil until the colour changes from clear to a light amber colour. This may take another 10 minutes, depending on your stove.
5. As soon as the colour changes (or the temperature reaches 300F on a candy thermometer), remove from heat.
6. Quickly add the butter, vanilla and baking soda, while stirring constantly. The mixture will foam up. Continue stirring until the foam subsides and the mixture begins to look glossy.
7. Quickly stir in the nuts and seeds, then pour the mixture onto the prepared pan.
8. Flatten the mixture, as needed, and allow to cool for about 20 minutes, or until brittle.
It’s a simple recipe, using some pretty basic ingredients. It’s just a bit finicky on technique. Well worth it!