My grandma always made peanut brittle during the holidays – something most of us wouldn’t associate with Christmas, but I do. I love peanut brittle, but I also love pumpkin seeds, which are lower in fat than peanuts, and high in protein and fiber – their green color makes them more festive than peanuts, and ideal for gift-giving.
The addition of baking soda foams the mixture up a little, making it lighter and easier on the teeth. It’s great to package up in cellophane bags to bring to parties or give as last-minute gifts, and won’t dry out like baked goods tend to after a few days. It’s also great if you’re looking for a gluten-free, dairy free or egg free treat. (Or all of the above!)
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Package this brittle in small cellophane bags to give away, or serve in bowls at your party.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup or honey
3/4 cup water
2 cups green pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved do not stir, but swirl the pan occasionally until the mixture reaches 325°F on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat and stir in the pumpkin seeds, vanilla and baking soda – the mixture will foam up in the pan. Immediately pour onto a rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and spread out fairly thin with a spatula or the back of a spoon that has been sprayed as well.
Cool completely and break into chunks. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 10 servings.