Monica's favorite gear forbrmaking Pumpkin Seed Brittle
These high protein seeds are shelled, salted, and roasted.
These are non-stick for easy-release brittle and can be often used in place of parchment paper. This set of 3 mats fits perfectly in half and quarter sheet pans, and they cost less than one similar Silpat mat (see below).
This 13 by 18 inch pan is called a "half sheet" and is sized perfectly to pair with the silicone mats. It's a versatile pan for all kinds of baking and roasting, and the lid is great for convenient storage.
This is a blend of sweet spices that taste like Fall. It gives a distinctive flavor to this brittle.
These small clear bags are perfect for making gift bags of brittle.

Easy Pumpkin Seed (Pepita) Brittle

Dusted with pumpkin pie spice, deliciously sweet and salty, no corn syrup, no candy thermometer.


Pumpkin Seed (Pepita) Brittle

By Monica              approx. 50 pieces
Easy Pumpkin Seed (Pepita) Brittle. Dusted with pumpkin pie spice, deliciously sweet and salty, no candy thermometer needed. From TheYummyLife.com.

This is an easy method that doesn't require a candy thermometer. The cooled brittle is dusted with sugared pumpkin pie spice--a perfect sweet and salty complement to the nutty pumpkin seeds.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (increase to 1 teaspoon if using unsalted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups salted dry roasted shelled pumpkin seeds*
  • 2 cups sugar
  • FOR TOPPING**:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions
*If your pumpkin seeds are raw, roast them on a baking sheet in a single layer at 350 degrees for approx. 10 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.

Generously spray or butter a large baking sheet and set aside. Or, place a silicone mat (like Silpat) in a large baking sheet--no buttering required. Also spray or butter a wooden spoon or spatula to use later for spreading out the finished brittle; set aside.

In 2 quart saucepan, melt butter on low heat; add salt, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and pumpkin seeds and stir to evenly coat seeds with butter mixture. Keep stove at lowest setting, stirring occasionally so that all of the seeds remain warm but don't scorch on bottom of pan.

Add sugar to large (12 inch) heavy skillet over medium heat. (NOTE: Don't use high heat to speed up the process; the mixture will burn if it cooks too quickly. Cook it the entire time at a medium heat setting.) Stir the sugar constantly using a flat-ended spoon or spatula for scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir. After a few minutes you will see the sugar begin to melt and form clumps. Gradually, the clumps will start to melt and stir into a smooth, amber brown syrup. Continue stirring to prevent burning.

As soon as the last lumps melt into the syrup, remove skillet from heat, add the warm nut mixture and stir quickly to combine. Work quickly so the mixture doesn't burn. Immediately, pour onto prepared baking sheet. Use a greased/sprayed silicone or wooden spatula to quickly spread the mixture into a thin, even layer.

Total cooking time is approx. 10-12 min.; time may vary depending on your pan and stove heat.

Let cool completely and break into pieces. For topping, combine sugar and pumpkin spice in a small bowl. Use a spoon to lightly scatter the mixture evenly over the tops of the broken brittle pieces. Shake off each piece to remove excess sugar mixture so that each piece is lightly dusted. Store in airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

**FOR CHIPOTLE PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE with a spicy twist, add 1/4 teaspoon ground dried chipotle to sugar and pumpkin spice topping.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION per serving: 50 calories, 1.7g fat, 29mg sodium, 8.5g carbs, 8.2g sugars, .7g protein, 0g fiber
Weight Watchers PointsPlus:  1


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This recipe uses an easy method that, unlike other brittle recipes, doesn't use corn syrup or a candy thermometer. I've tried a lot of brittle recipes through the years; believe me, this one is as easy as it gets. You simply melt sugar in a skillet, add pumpkin seeds that are mixed with melted butter, vanilla, salt, and pumpkin pie spice, pour it onto a baking sheet, and let the brittle cool and harden. It's hard to believe that such amazingly scrumptious brittle can be this easy. But it really is.

  • NOTE: Pepita is a Spanish culinary name for pumpkin seeds. The two terms are used interchangeably. 

Sprinkled with happy dust! For a unique twist, the cooled brittle is dusted with a blend of sugar and pumpkin pie spice that gives it a distinctive flavor and texture. I added this to my brittle recipe after trying (and loving) some similar sugar-dusted brittle from Trader Joe's. The finished brittle is a perfect sweet and salty combo that complements the nutty pumpkin seeds.

Like it spicy? Add ground chipotle powder to the happy dust for a flavor twist with some kick. 

For seasonal Fall eating and a Mexican menu dessert. This brittle is great eaten all by itself,  but it also makes a tasty accompaniment to other desserts.

  • Try dressing up a piece of pumpkin pie or cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a piece of this brittle stuck in the top. 
  • Because pepitas are popular in Mexico and used in a variety of Mexican dishes, this brittle makes a fun and tasty dessert when you serve a Mexican meal. A simple bowl of vanilla ice cream with a piece or two of this brittle stuck in the top is a hard combination to beat. 

Nutritional Information per serving: 50 calories, 1.7g fat, 29mg sodium, 8.5g carbs, 8.2g sugars, .7g protein, 0g fiber
Weight Watchers SmartPoints:  3

Step-by-step photos for making
Pumpkin Seed (Pepita) Brittle

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:

  • roasted, salted, shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas); if your pumpkin seeds are raw, roast them in a 350° oven for 10 minutes 
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • butter
  • vanilla
  • pumpkin pie spice (buy it or make your own with my easy recipe)

view on Amazon:  roasted pumpkin seeds,  pumpkin pie spice

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Step 2. Generously spray or butter a large baking sheet and set aside. Or, place a silicone mat (like a Silpat mat) in a large baking sheet--no buttering required.

  • TIP: Silicone mats are highly recommended! If you don't have a silicone mat, this might be the time to get one. They have many uses and are particularly helpful in making brittle. I've made this brittle both on a buttered baking sheet and with a silicone mat. The brittle is a breeze to effortlessly peel off of a silicone mat; however, it can be difficult to get it off of a buttered pan if there are spots where you don't grease it enough. (I speak from experience!) The brittle always releases easily from the Silpat mat without any buttering or spraying at all. If you don't have a mat, be careful to grease or spray your pan really well.

view on Amazon: 

  • 13x18 baking sheet with lid (half sheet); 
  • Silpat mat for half sheet pan (the "original" silicone mat); 
  • economical set of silicone mats--HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (I recently purchased these, and love them--they have rounded corners for a perfect fit inside half and quarter baking sheets, and they are considerably more economical than the Silpat brand mats--3 mats for less than the cost of 1 Silpat)

Pumpkin_Seed_Brittle.jpg

Spray or butter a wooden spoon or spatula to use later for spreading out the finished brittle; set aside.

Step 3. In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter on low heat; add salt, cinnamon, vanilla and pumpkin seeds and stir to evenly coat the seeds with the butter mixture. Keep the stove at it's lowest setting, stirring occasionally so that all of the seeds remain warm but don't scorch on the bottom of the pan. Keep these warm on the stove top while you make the syrup for the brittle.

Pumpkin_Seed_Brittle1.jpg

Step 4. Add sugar to a large (12 inch) heavy skillet over medium heat. I have used both stainless steel and non-stick skillets for making this brittle, and they both worked fine.

  • TIP: Don't use high heat to speed up the process; the mixture will burn if it cooks too quickly. Cook it the entire time at a medium heat setting. (I tried upping the heat on one batch, and the brittle had an unappealing burnt taste. Lesson learned!)

Stir the sugar constantly using a flat-ended wooden or silicone spatula for scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir. As pictured below, after a few minutes you will see the sugar begin to melt and form clumps. Gradually, the clumps will start to melt and stir into a smooth, amber brown syrup. Continue stirring to prevent burning. Be patient; it shouldn't take more than 10-12 minutes for the sugar to completely dissolve. (Actual time can vary depending on your pan and stove heat.)

view on Amazon:  flat-end bamboo spatulaflat-end silicone spatula

Pumpkin_Seed_Brittle2a.jpg

Step 5. As soon as the last lumps melt into the syrup, remove the skillet from the heat, add the warm nut mixture and stir to combine. Work quickly so the mixture doesn't burn. Immediately, pour it onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a greased/sprayed silicone or wooden spatula to quickly spread the mixture into a thin, even layer.

Pumpkin_Seed_Brittle3.jpg

Step 6. Let the brittle cool completely and use your hands to break it into pieces. I normally get about 50 pieces from a batch. 

Pumpkin_Seed_Brittle6.jpg

Step 7. Combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Use a spoon to lightly scatter the mixture evenly over the tops of the broken brittle pieces. Shake off each piece to remove excess sugar mixture so that each piece is lightly dusted. 

Pumpkin_Seed_Brittle5.jpg

STORAGE: Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks (possibly longer if sealed well and not exposed to humidity or heat).

CLEAN-UP TIP: A soak in hot sudsy water is all you need to clean the skillet, pan, and utensils. The hardened brittle will dissolve and release.

squareIMG_0676.jpg

A Fall treat that can be gifted. This is a perfect treat during the Fall holidays. Take it along to a party or work to share--a sure hit. The brittle can also be bagged in cellophane treat bags for party favors or gifts.

The combination of sweet, salty, nutty, and pumpkin pie spice makes for a recipe that has become a favorite around here. It's kind of dangerous that it's so easy to make; because I'm warning you that this stuff is addictive! 

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Make it a Yummy day!

Monica

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Pumpkin Seed (Pepita) Brittle
By Monica              Servings: approx. 50 pieces
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (increase to 1 teaspoon if using unsalted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups salted dry roasted shelled pumpkin seeds*
  • 2 cups sugar
  • FOR TOPPING**:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Directions
*If your pumpkin seeds are raw, roast them on a baking sheet in a single layer at 350 degrees for approx. 10 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.

Generously spray or butter a large baking sheet and set aside. Or, place a silicone mat (like Silpat) in a large baking sheet--no buttering required. Also spray or butter a wooden spoon or spatula to use later for spreading out the finished brittle; set aside.

In 2 quart saucepan, melt butter on low heat; add salt, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and pumpkin seeds and stir to evenly coat seeds with butter mixture. Keep stove at lowest setting, stirring occasionally so that all of the seeds remain warm but don't scorch on bottom of pan.

Add sugar to large (12 inch) heavy skillet over medium heat. (NOTE: Don't use high heat to speed up the process; the mixture will burn if it cooks too quickly. Cook it the entire time at a medium heat setting.) Stir the sugar constantly using a flat-ended spoon or spatula for scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir. After a few minutes you will see the sugar begin to melt and form clumps. Gradually, the clumps will start to melt and stir into a smooth, amber brown syrup. Continue stirring to prevent burning.

As soon as the last lumps melt into the syrup, remove skillet from heat, add the warm nut mixture and stir quickly to combine. Work quickly so the mixture doesn't burn. Immediately, pour onto prepared baking sheet. Use a greased/sprayed silicone or wooden spatula to quickly spread the mixture into a thin, even layer.

Total cooking time is approx. 10-12 min.; time may vary depending on your pan and stove heat.

Let cool completely and break into pieces. For topping, combine sugar and pumpkin spice in a small bowl. Use a spoon to lightly scatter the mixture evenly over the tops of the broken brittle pieces. Shake off each piece to remove excess sugar mixture so that each piece is lightly dusted. Store in airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

**FOR CHIPOTLE PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE with a spicy twist, add 1/4 teaspoon ground dried chipotle to sugar and pumpkin spice topping.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION per serving: 50 calories, 1.7g fat, 29mg sodium, 8.5g carbs, 8.2g sugars, .7g protein, 0g fiber
Weight Watchers PointsPlus:  1
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Posted on Sunday, October 4th, 2015








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