This might sound totally crazy, but a candy thermometer reminds me of the ball that drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Perhaps that is because we all focus on the ball coming down in the same way we focus on the thermometer temperature going up. And it’s hard to pinpoint which one is more exciting or nerve-racking.The simple anticipation of what’s coming makes us all feel that way.
So, a few days ago, I set out to make brittle for the first time, all equipped with my heavy pot, ingredients and of course, my candy thermometer. I was hoping to do it right and not burn the sugar or myself.
Talk about anticipation! My little feet were glued in front of the stove and my eyes were focused on the pot and thermometer all at the same time. I simply couldn’t move or turn away from my future masterpiece.
You see, I bake, I cook, I steam, and I roast, but making candy or brittle has never been my thing–until now.
Here’s my pumpkin seed brittle. I did it! It’s amazing how conquering a new challenge gives you such a sense of accomplishment. Silly, I know.
So I will end this post by returning to that New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball and ask you one thing: Are you ready to go around the sun one more time?
Happy New Year!
Quick Tip: You don’t have to be as obsessed as I was with the pot and thermometer, but you do need to keep an eye on it. Just make sure you don’t walk away. And please be extremely careful so you don’t burn yourself.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Adapted from Bon Appetit. January 2013
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Coarse gray sea salt (such as fleur de sel or sel gris)
You’ll also need a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
In a heavy large saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and 3 tablespoons water, attach candy thermometer. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil stirring until candy thermometer registers 290°F.
Add in pumpkin seeds, butter, and kosher salt. Continue to cook syrup, stirring often, until thermometer registers 300°F and pistachios are golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Mixture will darken slightly as it cools. Carefully add in the baking soda over and stir briskly to mix caramel thoroughly (mixture will foam up and change color a little bit).
Immediately pour out onto prepared baking sheets and, using a heatproof spatula, quickly spread out. Sprinkle sea salt over and let stand until completely cold and hard. Break brittle into pieces.
Store airtight between sheets of parchment paper (to prevent sticking) at room temperature.