pepita brittle

Saying that you don’t usually care for brittle because it is, well, awfully brittle is definitely grounds for mockery.

But it’s true! I can’t tell you how unappealing I find stained glass-like sheets of amber caramel that you’re supposed to willingly bite into. You either get alarmingly sharp shards that stab you like a serial killer on the loose in your mouth, or it gets so gunked into the scoop of your molars, it takes a chisel to extract it.

brittle miseraw pepitasthere will be foamgetting there

Right, so where were we? My grievances with brittle in no way mean it can’t be good, just that it’s usually not. And previously, I never liked the stuff enough to find The Recipe, the one that will be all you need. Fortunately, with such inspiration as Luisa and Karen Demasco, this was perfect on the first try: buttery with an awesome depth of flavor that came from some accidental slightly overcooking and sea salt. Taking a bite, the pepitas just crackle within the caramel, and not so hard that it shatters everywhere.

done!spreading it thinslicing the brittlebrittle drips

This stuff is seriously good, and do you want to know how, above all else, that I know this? Not even once did my husband suggest it could be improved with chocolate.

pepita brittlepepita brittle

Want more pumpkin inspiration? Check out our archive of pumpkin and winter squash recipes.

One year ago: Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

Two years ago: Ina Garten’s Cole Slaw

Pepita Brittle
Adapted liberally from Karen Demasco of Craft and Craftbar via and Wednesday Chef

You can make this brittle with anything: peanuts, cashews or another nut, sesame instead of pumpkin seeds or perhaps even your leftover pumpkin seeds from your jack-o-lantern (not that I’ve tested that out, so do let us know if it works for you). But I love it with pepitas because they’re light and crisp, and with a tiny air pocket in the middle, they snap, crackle and pop delightfully when they hit the hot syrup.

The best part of this is that you don’t need to use a candy thermometer, you can simply eyeball it.

Vegetable-oil spray or 1 teaspoon butter, for lining the tray
2 cups sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) salted or unsalted butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse or flaky sea salt (use less if you’re using salted butter)
1 1/2 cups of raw, unroasted pepitas (they toast in the syrup) or 12 ounces (3/4 pound) roasted, salted nuts, not chopped

Line a 12x16x1/2-inch sheet baking pan with parchment paper and lightly coat it with vegetable spray or butter.

Put the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water to a large saucepan, and stir together until all the sugar is wet. Cook over high medium-high, but watch it carefully as it will foam up quite a bit and you might need to dial back the heat to medium until it begins to thicken.

Once the mixture turns a medium golden (takes at least 10 minutes) immediately remove from the heat, and carefully whisk in the baking soda followed by the salt (taking care, as the caramel will rise in the pan and bubble some more). Switch to a wooden or metal spoon, and fold in the pepitas or nuts.

Quickly pour the mixture onto the sheet pan, and spread it out over the pan using the back of the spoon before it starts to harden. Alternately, you can slide the parchment paper out of the baking pan and onto a counter, cover it with another sheet, and use a rolling pin, pressing down hard, to roll it out as flat and thin as you would like.

At this point you can either let it cool completely (pulling off the top sheet of parchment, if you use the rolling pin technique) and break it into bite-size pieces with the back of a knife or other blunt object or, while it is still fairly hot and pliable, cut it into a shape of your choice (I went for long, thinnish strips) and let the pieces cool, separated on parchment paper.

The brittle can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to two weeks. I like to separate the pieces between layers of parchment or waxed paper, as a little humidity can cause them to stick together.

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101 comments on pepita brittle

  1. Isn’t this stuff the best? I think my cashew version was the best x-mas gift I gave last year. And so deceptively simple! Yours looks deliciously dark – yum.

  2. I didn’y know you’re supposed to bite them. I thought licking is more doable.
    But I don’t like caramel anyway (besides saying the name – caramel) and am cooking sugar is the one thing I haven’t done in the kitchen yet.

  3. and your photos look so gorgeous! how do you do it? (I know you have posted about it, but still…)
    I looked over at the Wed. chef page, the photos there don’t even come close to yours.
    You have a magician behind the camera!

  4. deb

    Yep, eliza is right. Sorry I didn’t mention it sooner… Pepitas are pumpkin seeds that have had their white hulls removed, so they’re green and much more delicate. And wonderful. They’re used a lot in Mexican cooking and are absolutely fantastic roasted and salted.

    It is hard to tell from these pictures, but the green of the pepitas gorgeously plays off the copper of the brittle–another reason why this could make a very pretty gift. Um, if your husband doesn’t eat it all first…

  5. Liz

    Beautiful! I’ve always loved how brittle shines and sparkles on a platter. Makes for a wonderful holiday treat — even as just a decorative garnish for the dessert table.

  6. aj

    I have been following your blog since you were on Martha. I can’t wait to try your B+W cookies. This brittle looks amazing! We are a peanut-free house b/c of my daughter’s allergy. Pepitas are a staple for us, and my husband has totally been missing eating peanut brittle. Thanks so much for all the awesome inspiration

  7. Deb,
    Everyone did a pepita post this week or a butternut squash post, including ME!
    I hate candy, but the only candy I am addicted to is PLANTERS PEANUT BRITTLE!

    I secretly have a stash in the kitchen closet….shhhhhhhh.

    I like your recipe for peanut free zones.
    I know some schools no longer allow peanut butter in the lunch room.
    Stacey Snacks

  8. deb

    By the way, does anyone remember the faux-fruit treat that the shape of these reminds me of? I’ve been drawing a blank–fruit leather? not a fruit roll-up… fruit bar? Kids eat them, and I think I still occasionally see them (er, organic, all natural, HFCS-free, cane juice sweetened) at Whole Foods.

  9. Susan

    Stacy are a girl after my own heart. I love the “Munch” bars which are similar to Planters.. and have a stash of those. Both are light in color, crisp..yet tender, and oh so buttery in flavor! That’s been my quest when looking for brittle recipes.

    Now that I’m smitten (from the smitten kitchen) with caramel..I am willing, no..anxious, to try this recipe. And I just happen to have some recently purchased pepitas in the house! Did I know this was coming..or was it because I knew I wasn’t going to carve a jack-o-lantern this year and love pumpkin seeds?
    Whatever…thanks for this timely recipe, Deb!

  10. Robyn

    Fruit leathers is what I most often see them referred to as. These look so very tasty. I have some pepitas sitting around and now I know exactly what I am going to do with them!

  11. Kristie

    Deb – Was it a Fruit Chew? I remember eating those back in the day. I don’t believe they were natural though! The ones you see at Whole Foods are probably the Stretch Island Fruit Leather. They’re alright, but not as thick and gummy as a good ol’ Chew. Oh, the 80s! Does anyone remember Dandy Bars?
    Love your site, BTW. :-)

  12. Wow, that looks seriously good. A big peanut brittle fan. Your version still looks like it could break a tooth, but it would be worth the dental bills.

  13. beth

    Dan Barber had a pumpkin seed brittle recipe in the NYTimes the other day too, but it was in the “health” section, so there was water added and much less butter. I think I’ll stick with this one, though. If your going to munch on what is essentially a big mouthful of sugar, why kid yourself that it’s healthy?

  14. Ah, taking on NaBloPoMo yet again, I see?? As if one or two other crazy blog-filled months of November aren’t enough.

    I love pepitas and use them in lots- they work great in rice pilafs and with a cumin-scented quinoa that we love to throw together. I kinda like the idea of them in brittle. This recipe looks pretty amazing, and I’m sure my dentist would love me to make a whole lot.

  15. I just discovered this great site by accident , I will be making the great appearing brittle to send to my son in the Air Force . I wondered if anyone has an old fashioned fudge recipe requiring sugar ,butter,vanilla and cocoa powder ? I think they were the ingredients my Mom used to make this grainy type fudge it was delicious but, I don’t have an accurate recipe . Please help

  16. Nancy from PA

    Oh My Gosh!
    I just made this using sliced almonds I toasted with a bit of butter and salt. We’re going to a birthday party tonight, so I thought this would make an appropriate gift. It will, if any of it gets there, that is. This stuff is outrageously good!

  17. Sarah

    Hey! Loving the look of this recipe – BUT here in the UK we can’t easily get Corn Syrup. Can anyone suggest something else that can be used as an alternative?

    We have Golden Syrup which is a ‘Partially Inverted Refiners Syrup’ – whatever that means – which we use on toast, or pancakes. It’s basically like Maple Syrup but it’s a manufactured syrup. I wonder if that would do?

    Also, I’ve never seen pepitas anywhere – but that’s easier to substitute wioth other things :)

  18. Hey Sarah…I just found pepitas (labeled pumpkins seeds) at the Waitrose in Canary Wharf so you should be able to get them there if not at other Waitrose locations. As for the Corn Syrup…Rosslyn Delicatessen ( has several different varieties of Karo (light and dark corn syrup) – best tube is Belsize Park or Hampstead. Now if only I could find hominy for less than 20 bucks a bag… :) Cheers!

  19. The brittle looks delish… I am definitely adding it to my Election Night menu (which, admittedly involves more booze than food, but oh well).

    Which reminds me, what’s YOUR menu for Election Night?

  20. ripley

    longtime reader first time commenter. that looks delicious!

    I use pepitas to make a pesto (with arugula), I like the taste better and it makes my nut-allergic friends happy.

  21. Sunshine

    My comment is not directly related to today’s post but to your site in general. I have been following your blog for months and receive such joy, inspiration and laughs from it.

    I have a chronic illness that has gradually been depleting my body of energy and ability. I used to cook and bake with ease, but it is so difficult to work in the kitchen now. However, I HAD to try making the recipe for your Mom’s Apple cake. I got on my motorized scooter and one day I peeled and chopped the apples. Another day I used my energy to put together the dry ingredients. On the third day I assembled the cake and it turned out perfectly. My house smelled heavenly and I felt such pride.

    Next on my list is your Mac and Cheese. My husband is thankful for my renewed energies in the kitchen and I feel more like the old me. I can’t help but be moved to action by your passion and your beautiful pictures. Lately, I have enjoyed vicariously visiting Paris with you.

    I’m sure the blog has been a wonderful source of joy and benefits for you. But, on the days it seems like a chore, please know that it is one of the things that keeps other people going despite their challenging circumstances.

    Many thanks and eager expectations for future smells and tastes!

  22. Looks incredible, I like them in that long stick form.

    By the way, when you click on the main picture it goes to a “Did you break my site” page, looks like the picture does has the wrong permalink associated with it.

  23. AK

    Made the Jewish Apple Cake yesterday to take to a party – it was a hit! It is the recipe I have been looking for – one taste and I was taken back to the jewish bakery of my childhood. Forgot to add the nuts (didn’t miss them) and added a cinnamon crumb topping (the butter, flour sugar kind I use on apple crisp) – it was out of this world delicious! Just discovered SmittenKitchen and love the site.

  24. Dang. Just tried this and failed. I substituted molasses for corn syrup, and everything looked good until I added the salt. The whole mixture just kinda dried up into a crumbly mess, no smooth, glassy glob like it should be. Any idea what I can try to fix this? Did I not cook long enough or hot enough?


  25. When I lived in Illinois i made peanut brittle every yeqr. Now, in Florida, it always comes out sticky – too much humidity. I’d love to try this brittle, but I’m afraid it would be the same. I don’t make divinity any more for the same reason. Any suggestions?

  26. Hi Deb!

    You must be a great cook… First win at the first try!!

    Your brittle came out with such a tasty look… Perfect for a snack!

    I’ve never tried do make brittle but after reading your post and seeing the results I’m really interested…

  27. Ben

    Great idea and I made a batch last night that turned out very well. And then another batch using almonds that was also very delicious.

    My only comment about your information would be that I have always done brittles to somewhere between the soft (270-290) and hard crack stage (295-310). The 240-255 range you gave would be more of a caramel or possibly taffy than a rigid confection you pictured (though overcooking it did make it look a delightful rich brown there).

  28. These look scrumptious! I absolutely love the idea of cutting them while they are still pliable instead of breaking them once they are hard. Although the broken shards can be rustic, your long strips look so elegant and unique. I can see these displayed on my holiday table — or presented as gifts for all those parties coming up the next couple months. Thank you for the recipe and ideas!

  29. Konna

    These look great! I like the idea of something other than peanuts, and I do agree with you about the sugar getting stuck in your teeth!

    I live at 10,000 feet… you have any idea if I would need to change the amount of baking soda at this altitude?


  30. I just made a batch of the pepita brittle. It turned out very nice. It wasn’t as dark as yours but it is “golden”. I’m going to try to put a picture of it on my blog. I did use a candy thermometer and cooked the mixture to 250 degress which on my thermometer is between soft ball and hard ball. I started to spread the finished candy on the parchment but found that it was getting stiff pretty quickly and I was tearing holes in it. So I did slid it to the counter and put another piece of parchment over it and used the rolling pin. Nice trick! It worked wonderfully. I cut my candy with a knife to make even edges and it looks nice even though none of the pieces are the same size. This tastes really great and I will make it again for Christmas gifts. Next time I think I will take it to about 240 degrees. Hopefully I will have more time to spread it and cut it then.

  31. amanda

    I tried this recipe tonight and unfortunately it didn’t work at all. I think you need to let the caramel get to much higher than the recommended 240 to 255 degrees. I let mine get to 255 and took it off right at that point because I was worried about over-cooking the caramel (which I’ve down before). Unfortunately, this resulted in under-cooking. It had thickened, but wasn’t nearly dark enough–it’s a very, very creamy light brown. The resulting brittle practically re-arranges your teeth once you bite into it (it’s hard at first bite, but then turns into sticky cement). Anyway, don’t mean to sound lame here, I just wanted to let people know to judge doneness by color, not by temp!

  32. deb

    Eeks! So sorry that it didn’t work out. Honestly, this is a fine time for me to remember that my terrible $3 candy thermometer runs really low. I’m going to edit the temp out, as the color should be enough to guide you, as you mentioned above. Again, apologies!

  33. Zerfall

    I made this about a week ago and brought them into my office. They were a huge hit. One person commented that they tasted like October. I kind of mixed this recipe with one from chef at home for peanut brittle. I put the pepita in at 220F and then the baking powder at 330F. I decided to add in some cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves to the mix when I added the backing powder and I think it really brought it up to another level.

    This post really inspired me to do it, Thanks :D

  34. I made this today. It tastes FABULOUS but unfortunately I was out of parchment paper and didn’t grease the waxed paper I had well enough and I now have a whole batch with wax paper stuck to it. Guess I’ll have to make more for gifts and eat this whole batch myself.

  35. Amy

    I just tried this and it’s awesome! Unlike the mixed nut toffee I’ve made in the past that’s temperamental and expensive, this was so easy and cheap. I also love the pepitas and it’s great for peeps who can’t have nuts! Thanks!

  36. Lee

    did anyone else experience the parchment sticking irreparably to the brittle?? i rolled it out between parchment and the paper is totally stuck. so sad.

  37. I thought this was really good, and easy. I cooked the mixture to 290 degrees. It was perfectly brittle. I didn’t have a problem with the parchment sticking. Actually, I didn’t use parchment, I think I rolled it out between a silicone baking mat and and greased wax paper.

  38. Lisa

    This looks great and I want to try it but I have a son with a nut allergy. I have been looking for raw pumpkin seeds (prefer organic if possible) but have had no luck. Do you know of anyone who sells nut free pumpkin seeds? Thanks

  39. Kate D.

    I made this over the weekend. So, so good. I too think mine went a bit too far but now it has a nice dark, deep flavor. I also loved all the popping as the pepitas toasted in the sugar mixture. Thanks for helping me get over my brittle/candy making fears.

  40. Martyna

    Want to make this as soon as possible – have lots of seeds left over from yesterday’s pumpkin soup – just one question – do you have some kind of magic method for removing the hulls? Knowing me, it will take hours just to get those white ******* off.

  41. Sally

    Just tried this last night, using only the color as a guide and it turned out great and you’re right about the little air pocket in the pepita its pretty awesome.

  42. Marla

    I made this over the weekend. I used the 10-minute time and it came out a golden color and not a dark brown like in the picture.It was hard to the tooth but quickly broke down and got sticky and gooey (still tasty, though). It was my first attempt at brittle so I did want to push it. Now I know I can cook it longer. To what temperature should I cook it to get that fab amber color?

    It was still delicious and I received many compliments.

  43. Bryan

    I’ve made this twice now in a week for two different parties. This has got to be one of my favorite things I’ve made in some time! Yum yum yummy yum!

    As far as technique, the rolling pin method worked really well to help smooth it out. On top of that I used a pizza roller to cut the brittle into strips. Mine was a little dull, so perhaps that was why it worked so well, but not a bad idea for those interested in trying!

  44. lostinsimulation

    mine stuck to the wax paper. i think i would do better on a silicone baking matt or directly on a well greased metal pan. any other suggestions? it was delicious,however, and the texture was perfect. to check for texture, i just periodically dribbled a little in cold water and sampled that until the chewiness disappeared.

  45. deb

    lost — Waxed paper is not interchangeable with parchment. The wax on wax paper comes off when heated (and ends up in your food); parchment is silicone-coated, and stays non-stick up to 425 degrees. A silicone baking mat will work the same as parchment.

  46. Woweee. Well, I used a thermometer to 300 degrees, per the hard crack stage recommendation of another reader. The candy that stuck to my thermometer came out nice and brittle, but the bit we mixed all that salt into is real crumbly and super salty. We used unsalted butter, but some really old-timey sea salt that might have been more salty than normal. Not sure what the problem is, but I think next time I’ll limit to a tablespoon of salt and dial back the pepitas too.

  47. Nabeela

    Hi Deb! Just wanted to let you know I made this brittle with blanched roasted peanuts. I used 1 1/2 tsp sea salt…..and that was still too much, unfortunately. I’ll use 3/4 tsp salt the next time….but other than that, the recipe is awesome, especially since it doesn’t require a candy thermometere :)
    Thank you for posting awesome recipes!
    P.S: Used agave nectar instead of corn syrup…that’s all I had

  48. Meghan

    I’ve been making peanut brittle for Christmas for years and decided to try out this recipe this year. Totally glad I did – it’s really fantastic!

    I made a few different variations, the best of which used peanuts and pepitas and had about a 1/4 tsp cinnamon and at least 1/8 tsp each cayenne pepper and chili powder for a subtle heat. I also found that swapping out the water for beer added a good flavor (just let come to room temp before adding to the pot to avoid foaming) and, when using peanuts – get the Spanish red-skinned type and add at least half to the pot about a minute before taking off the heat. That lead to the brittle syrup taking on some extra peanut flavor.

  49. Jen

    I had big plans to make this for Christmas gifts this year. The first time I attempted this brittle it turned out perfectly. PERFECTLY (except I missed the 1/2 cup of water part and only put in the 2 T of water – but it still seemed to turn out just fine! I also used sunflower seeds, which I really liked). But like the moron I am, I made the same mistake as a previous poster and assumed that wax paper is interchangeable with parchment. So I ended up with a big batch of wax paper brittle. Yuck. However, the small edges that didn’t have wax paper melted to it were quite good! But in the garbage can it went…

    Second time around (an hour later – I was determined to not let this beat me), I made sure to use parchment paper and to add the correct quantity of water. I must have taken it off the heat too early, because my brittle was not…brittle. It never got glossy, and it turned out to be sort of crumbly. It still tasted pretty good, but needless to say that I was thoroughly disappointed that I couldn’t master it. SO! Word to the wise – listen to Deb, use parchment paper, and just watch for it to turn a golden brown.

  50. Charlotte

    Delicious! I swapped half the white sugar for brown, which, coincidentally, made judging the readiness of the brittle on the basis of color a tad difficult. But I used the water test (does a drop of the hot brittle harden immediately when submerged in a cup of cold water?), and all went fine. Now I have a serving of perfect brittle — thanks for the foolproof recipe!

  51. Oh wow. I just made this (my first crack at making anything in the candy/caramel categories) and it is amazing. I was thinking to take some of this batch to Thanksgiving next week, but I don’t think it will last that long. Thanks, SK!

  52. Emily

    I’m wondering the same this as Jennifer #74. Most pepitas I find are manufactured on the same equipment as tree-nuts and peanuts, and often state that they may contain trace amounts of those things. I have not found a company that processes pepitas in a nut-free facility. Does anyone know of a brand?

  53. Jennifer

    Jennifer (74), Deb, and Emily –
    I purchase peanut free pepitas (not processed on the same equipment/in the same facility as peanuts/tree nuts – a must for allergy families!) directly from the manufacturer (SunOpta). The brand was formerly known as Dakota Gourmet Pepitas, now they are called SunRich Naturals Pepitas. The phone number to purchase is 800-727-6663. They are roasted and salted, packaged in 1 oz bags. You have to buy a case (150 bags), but they are well worth it – they are my go to nut substitute when I bake, on salads, in pesto and my husband likes them as a quick and easy protein pick me up to keep in his work bag. Hope this helps – I’m making the brittle this afternoon!

  54. I made this with Pumpkin Ale (trying to mimic a $14/7 oz. Williams Sonoma gift) instead of water and added 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. of cayenne, a pinch of cloves, a hefty 1/2+ tsp. of fleur de sel, 1.5 tsp. of vanilla and 1.5 cups of roasted, UNsalted nuts. Things move EXCEEDINGLY quickly once the room-temp peanuts are added; next time I might try warming the nuts in the oven so the brittle doesn’t seize up so wickedly once they’re added (I’m fast, but I’m not THAT fast. I had pieces that were thicker than I would’ve liked). I tried the “smoosh-and-spread” and the “greased offset-spatula spread”, but what worked best after a certain point was the “two-fork pull & spread.” Whatever you add, HOWever you make it, just DO be sure to make it. And wear GOOD oven mitts. This stuff is just ridiculously fabulous.

  55. Lisa

    i just made two batches tonight because my first batch turned out horribly bitter. for the first batch, i did not use a thermometer and instead based the doneness on color. however, i must have waited too long because the caramel started burning as i was stirring in the baking soda, salt and seeds (despite being off the stove). so my first batch of brittle was gorgeous in color and looked exactly like the pictures above; however, it was inedible. for my second batch, i used a thermometer just to be safe as well as the cold water technique. when the mixture finally reached 300F, the candy became hard when dropped in water. however, the color is very light (resembling peanut butter). the batch is cooling right now, but the drop i tested in cold water tasted good. i’m disappointed it didn’t turn out prettier as i was hoping this would be this year’s christmas gift to friends/neighbors.

    so, moral of the story is if you’re going to eyeball it, it’s safe to also use the cold water test. i think i could have left the mixture on the stove a little longer to achieve the deep amber color, but i was too paranoid about wasting yet another batch. also, it’s a good idea to try to get the mixture onto the parchment paper as quickly as possible after it’s removed from the stove since it’ll still continue to cook in the pot.

    good luck everyone! hope this helps someone else.

  56. Ashley

    I made this for the holidays and it was a HUGE hit! So easy to make and the pumpkin seeds have such a delicious toasty flavor. Super versatile recipe!

  57. Alison

    This is literally the best brittle I’ve ever made. The salt and the seeds are perfect. I would never go back to peanuts. Wonderful!!!

  58. I’m continuously creating cakes therefore with this I created a pumpkin spice & initial cake created the brittle in one sheet & placed it inbetween the layers with creamcheese spice filling-it was smart however thus onerous to chop thus then I did it once more & fragmented it thruout the layers; on prime for deco. individuals cherished it, everybody likes a crunch issue & this was excellent.

  59. Maro

    hrm — i think i’m going to have to try making this one again. for science, of course. i was too chicken to let mine go even close to as dark as yours, but “medium golden” definitely seemed like an accurate description of the color and it looks a lot like typical brittle color.

    i accidentally put in baking powder instead of soda (argh!), so i ended up putting in both, and then salt. i didn’t feel like the pepitas really toasted…all that to say the result is tasty but not WOW.

    so, these might end up going to coworkers and i’ll try a new batch tomorrow to keep for the halloween party. i may try half-toasting the pepitas in the oven both for warmth as another commenter suggested, and for that extra bit of crunchy toastiness.

  60. Maro

    i’m calling it redeemed tonight, with a couple of cheats. i pre-toasted the pepitas a little bit (i also used only 1 cup this time), and i used a darker sugar because i wanted that depth of flavor and gorgeous color but was still too scared of overcooking (especially once i had the darker sugar, since that made it harder to judge doneness based on color — water tests helped there). it’s pretty damn yummy and now i have exactly ONE thing ready for the halloween party we’re hosting in (gulp) 8 days.

  61. Michele

    I was so excited to try this recipe… The only changes I made to it was to substitute maple syrup for light corn syrup. Not sure what I did wrong, but after I poured it out onto the parchment paper (that I had sprayed with Pam) and rolled over it everything just became a mishmash of granulated bits. It came out looking more like loose granola then a solid sheet that I could slice into bars. I cook more then I bake so I’m sure this has something to do with my skill at executing this recipe – I’m just so sad… I was really excited to make & bring these to our Halloween party tomorrow. Can anyone give me insight on what I did wrong? I followed her recipe to a T… Although it did take me longer than 10 minutes to get the color to a medium golden color, perhaps that was due to me using the maple syrup? I don’t know.

  62. CanadianShe_Wolf….

    Michele …..not sure you will see this BUT I think maybe the issue may of been that you used ALL Maple syrup instead of….”you could substitute some of the corn syrup for maple syrup”?
    Not sure of the portion ratio but maybe a full third of a cup was too much.

  63. This is a great recipe! I ended up using a candy thermometer just because I had it. Super quick to make and glad to have found a recipe to use up my bulk supply of pepitas I over-excitedly bought 2 weeks ago. Can’t wait to give it out to my friends as a little treat to take home after our Fall themed brunch tomorrow. :)

    I’ll definitely keep this on file for the holidays too!

  64. Jacqueline Luce

    this sounds amazing! so excited to try this recipe!! couple of questions I’d love to have answers to
    first, if anyone might be able
    to help out. I’m an inexperienced brittle-maker and don’t want to botch the first batch of brittle I’ll have made since I was a kid in home-ec class…

    (one): since my family loves really toasty (and I mean browned) pepitas, would it be a good idea to lightly toast the raw ones first? or would that be overkill/would they end up burning during the sugar cooking phase? brown is good, but burnt would ruin the whole batch.

    (two): is it possible to substitute honey for the corn syrup? I’ve googled it, and the results are mixed. wondering if anyone has tried honey with this specific recipe? I have both “regular” honey (the normal, golden, runny kind) and raw honey (which is thicker, spreadable, and opaque).

    thank you in advance for any input!

    1. deb

      Toasting pepitas — all depends on how toasted, if at all, they are when you get them. But I don’t think there’s harm in bringing them a shade or two darker before brittle-ing them. Re, honey, if you’re new to brittle, I wouldn’t recommend doing anything (like this) that could make it harder. I’d get the hang of it this way; honey can work but also be trickier.

      1. Jacqueline Luce

        thanks, Deb! I’m finally going to be making this tomorrow! I browned the pepitas tonight (started with raw ones) and have purchased corn syrup since originally asking these questions. I really appreciate your getting back to me! good idea about not throwing in too many new/potentially sticky (har-har) variables (honey;) with something persnickety like candy-making. I’m already thinking this’ll make great host/hostess gifts, if I get it right! one addition I might add: a tiny hit of cayenne. thanks again for your reply. and thank you for creating this blog, which I (and so many) greatly enjoy… it’s an incredible thing you do here!! very, very grateful to have a resource like smitten kitchen at my fingertips (both here and on my bookshelf)! much love.

        1. Jacqueline Luce

          to be more specific: I “goldened” the pepitas tonight… I left room for more toastifying in the brittling phase. :D

  65. Jessica

    Wham am I missing?? I cannot get the caramel to brown…cooked 12 mins STIRRING then figured I should stop that, then let it sit, bubble and foam another 10 and it’s still not changing color….

    1. Jessica

      Well! Answered this myself about 3 mins later…crank that heat up! Despite bubbling and foaming already, it could still go higher, and that, it needed to ;-)

  66. Amy

    I made this once a while back and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread and more addictive than….well name your drug. For some reason a few years passed without making it but I always wanted to try it again. This time I made it and did not have success with the texture. I think maybe I overcooked it. It offered too much resistance to the teeth and was difficult to consume. It seemed slightly greasy and the flavor wasn’t as amazing as I remembered. I’ll try again at some point but I wonder what all went wrong (besides overcooking).

  67. Susie Kirkwood

    Has anyone ever tried this with vegan butter? I have close vegan family and am always dying for festive vegan recipes! This looks great for halloween…

  68. Ellen N.

    I made this yesterday, but unfortunately I overcooked the mixture and had to throw the candy in the trash because it tasted burnt. The color looked like your photos to me, but color tends to get distorted in photos.

    Would you be willing to update the recipe with the temperature the mixture should be cooked to?

    Thank you very much.