Add a nice extra touch to your Thanksgiving dinner with this Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle. This recipe takes classic peanut brittle and swaps out the peanuts for pumpkin seeds and adds a touch of cinnamon. A perfect garnish for your pumpkin pie or simply served on its own.
It’s getting to be that time now when everyone starts thinking about their menus for the holidays, so I thought I’d share a little something extra for your Thanksgiving table.
I think it’s all the little extra touches and garnishes that make a holiday meal special. The special place settings and serving pieces. The special cranberry sauce or turkey gravy with a little something extra.
Along with the main dishes will be a homemade cranberry-orange sauce, a relish tray (pimiento cheese stuffed celery, pickled okra, olives, kosher dills), pumpkin pie, pecan cheesecake pie, and homemade barbecue sauce (it’s a family thing – just trust me).
This Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle will be one of those special little touches for the pumpkin pie. It’s almost identical to peanut brittle, but made with toasted pumpkin seeds and the addition of cinnamon. It makes a great garnish for your pumpkin pie. Just stand a little shard of it up in the whipped cream swirl you make on top of the slice of pie and it will really dress up the plate.
- Pumpkin Seeds (Look for “toasted hulled pumpkin seeds” or Pepitas at your grocery or online. Many people make their own roasted pumpkin seeds and if you’d like to use homemade, they’re work really great in this recipe.)
- Light Corn Syrup (I’ve used the Karo brand for many years and highly recommend it.)
You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Prepare the Pan and Gather Ingredients
To start, lightly butter a 10×15 inch baking sheet. Set it aside for later.
In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the vanilla until dissolved and set it aside. And In another bowl, stir together the pumpkin seeds, salt, and cinnamon.
Cook the Brittle
Now, in a 4 to 5 quart saucepan over medium heat, use a wooden spoon to stir together the sugar, corn syrup and ¼ cup butter until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
From this point on in the process, I just couldn’t get any photos because, well, do you have any idea what it’s like to cook with one hand and take photos with the other while trying to avoid getting 300 degree hot caramelized sugar on your hands? Seriously, be very careful with the hot caramelized sugar. If you get any on your bare skin it will burn immediately and it will hold on for dear life.
Increase the heat slightly and boil the sugar mixture, stirring occasionally, until it turns a deep amber and registers 293-295 (hard crack stage) on a candy thermometer. Or use the cold water hard crack test if you know how. It takes approximately 8-12 minutes to reach hard crack stage.
Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the vanilla-soda mixture and pumpkin seed mixture. The hot mixture will bubble furiously when you add the baking soda and vanilla – that’s normal.
Immediately pour the hot mixture into your prepared pan. Evenly spread the mixture to mostly fill the pan.
Cool and Break the Brittle
Let the brittle cool at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. Gently twist the pan to release the brittle then chop or break it into chunks. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Caramelizing Sugar: Watch closely. Sugar cooks quickly once it begins to brown, so have your ingredients measured and ready before you start.
Pumpkin Seeds: I used toasted, salted pumpkin seeds in my brittle, so I decreased the amount of salt to ¼ teaspoon. If you toast your own seeds, or purchase the unsalted ones, then use the full ½ teaspoon of salt in the recipe.
Cleaning the pan: It’s always a mess trying to clean the pot after a candy making session! The best way I’ve ever found to do it is to add water to the pan and put it back on the stove. Bring the water to a boil and it will melt the hardened sugar right off of there. Clean as a whistle!
Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle
- ¼ cup butter cut into chunks (plus more for pan)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- 1 ½ cups toasted hulled pumpkin seeds
- Lightly butter a 10×15 inch baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir baking soda in vanilla to dissolve and set aside. In another bowl, stir together pumpkin seeds, salt and cinnamon.
- In a 4 to 5 quart saucepan over medium heat, use a wooden spoon to stir together sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup butter until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Increase heat slightly and boil sugar mixture, stirring occasionally, until it turns a deep amber and measures 293-295 (hard crack stage) on a candy thermometer. Approximately 8-12 minutes.
- Remove sugar mixture from heat and carefully stir in vanilla/soda mixture and pumpkin seed mixture (candy will bubble up). Immediately pour into prepared pan. Evenly spread the mixture to fill the pan.
- Let brittle cool at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. Gently twist the pan to release brittle then chop or break it into chunks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.