This Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle swaps out the traditional peanuts for pumpkin seeds and adds a little cinnamon. A nice extra for Thanksgiving dinner.
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. Our menu this year will be roasted turkey, dressing (not stuffing - dressing), roasted carrots with thyme, butter beans (real southern butter beans, not limas), escalloped apples, and rolls.
Alongside 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 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 really dresses up the plate.
How to Make Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Prepare the Pan and Gather Ingredients
To start, lightly butter a 10x15 inch baking sheet. Set it aside for later.
In a small bowl, stir the baking soda in vanilla to dissolve and set 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!
More Candy Recipes on Never Enough Thyme:
- Haystacks - An Easy Homemade Candy
- Classic Peanut Brittle
- Quick and Easy Fudge
- Homemade Mounds Bars Candy
- Toffee Bars (a.k.a. Redneck Toffee)
- Bacon and Pecan Topped Toffee
Brittle Recipes from Other Bloggers:
- Peanut Brittle from She Wears Many Hats
- Quinoa Brittle from Minimalist Baker
- Sesame Brittle from Simply Recipes
- Bacon Pecan Brittle from A Spicy Perspective
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Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle
- 1/4 cup butter cut into chunks (plus more for pan)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tblsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups toasted hulled pumpkin seeds
- Lightly butter a 10x15 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.
Lana Stuart is the cook and occasional traveler here at Never Enough Thyme. Lana has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove and started this blog in 2009 to share her delicious home cooking recipes. You'll find about 700 recipes here so there's sure to be something your family will like!
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