Chipotle roasted pumpkin seed brittle is a sweet and savory, no-bake dessert made with home roasted pumpkin seeds. Chipotle pepper is added to give this treat a smoky, spicy kick.
Happy Birthday, Shana Zimmer!
Who is Shana Zimmer? She’s a friend of mine from my college days at School of Visual Arts. We met in a business of photography class and learned absolutely nothing because our teacher was THE WORST! But, hey, at least her being in class made it fun! Shana is now a fashion photographer, wedding photographer, and portraitist in NYC who’s covered fashion week every season since 2012, shot celebrities such as Aaron Carter (I was there for that one), and even does dating head shots (ATTN: all you single ladies ????). You can check out her work at www.shanaschnurphotography.com and her wedding portfolio at www.mindthemoments.com.
Why Am I Talking About Her?
Well her birthday was last week, the same day Prince died. It wasn’t her, I know because I was with her. Actually I was only with her half the day… I kid. Too soon? Anyway, what was I going to get her? Well I made her Chipotle Roasted Pumpkin Seed Brittle and oh my God was it delicious.
You can check out Shana’s work above and click the pictures if you want to see more.
So, There Was Talk Of Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Right! Brittle. What is brittle? Well brittle is a candy that is heated to the “hard crack”stage or about 309ºF. According to the Pedia of Wikis:
The names come from the methods used to test the syrup before thermometers became affordable. The “thread” stage is tested by cooling a little syrup, and pulling it between the thumb and forefinger. When the correct stage is reached, a thread will form. This stage is used for making syrups. For subsequent stages, a small spoonful of syrup is dropped into cold water, and the characteristics of the resulting lump are evaluated to determine the concentration of the syrup. A smooth lump indicates “ball” stages, with the corresponding hardness described. At the “soft crack” stage, the syrup forms threads that are just pliable. At the “hard crack” stage, the threads are brittle.
Now you can see why they call it brittle! Brittle Is a toffee like confection, which is usually made with nuts; almonds, pecans, peanuts, whatever and for this recipe we’re going to use pumpkin seeds (AKA Pepitas). Pumpkin seeds, when roasted, have a delicious, robust, earthy flavor. Naturally, adding them to the caramelized sugar in this recipe makes a perfect combination. We’re also going to add a bit more to that roasted flavor by adding some spicy, smoky, chipotle pepper powder. It really adds a lot to the taste, as it comes on sweet, moves to robust, and then finishes with a spicy kick.
Where Does One Get All These Ingredients?
One word: Anywhere. You can find raw shelled pepitas and chipotle powder in almost any grocery store. However, If you can’t, you can always hit up Amazon.com.
How Does One Brittle?
Making brittle is actually pretty easy. Start by generously greasing a cookie sheet with olive oil or butter. Next we need to toast the pumpkin seeds. Heat a large cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and let them cook until golden brown (About 4-5 minutes)
In a medium pot, combine white granulated sugar, Karo light corn syrup, unsalted butter, and water. Whisk briefly to combine. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture caramelizes and is a nice medium brown (about 15 minutes). The trickiest part of this whole recipe is keeping a very close eye on it around the 13 minute mark. DO NOT LET IT BURN. This can happen in the blink of an eye so once the mixture is a golden brown tone, take the pot off the burner. Immediately, whisk in the salt, baking soda, and chipotle powder. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they are fully coated. Working quickly, pour the contents of the pot out into the prepared baking sheet. Using a rolling pin, spread the mixture out about 1/4-1/2 inch thin. You don’t have to be too anal about the thickness as the seeds can vary in size, but you should have a single layer.
Once the brittle has cooled and hardened, break the pieces up with a little whack from a meat tenderizer or mallet. You could also just break apart with your hands but it’s way more fun to smash things. CETTA SMASH!!!
Currently Jamming To
She loves Queen. I’ve never met someone who loves Queen as much as her.
How could I reference Queen and not post this?
This recipe requires a little something special. Here’s a list of what you will need: