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Spicy Pumpkin Seed Brittle

makes 1 1/2 pounds of brittle

Basic nut brittle goes spicy-sweet with cayenne and cinnamon coating the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Replacing the honey with corn syrup makes this candy favorite vegan. While using silpats makes for easy clean-up, greased parchment paper works just as well.


1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds


prep: 25 minutes
total: 35 minutes


parchment paper
large saucepan
candy thermometer
pastry brush
rolling pin


1. Prep the parchment by taping it to a heat-safe counter or to an inverted baking sheet. Make sure that the second sheet is the same size so that there is enough room to roll out the brittle.

2. Mix together the baking soda, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt.

3. Combine the sugar, water and honey in the large saucepan on high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The pan should be large enough to contain all the nuts with plenty of room for foam. Brush down any crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. (Alternatively, a tight-fitting lid will capture steam and help to wash down the sides.)

4. When the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage at 238F about 10 minutes in, add the baking soda, spice mixture and salt. Stir to combine and then add the seeds. Mix the nuts in very well with the spicy syrup. The mixture will still be light in color or colorless.

5. Cook until a deep caramel color is reached, 4 or 5 minutes. This will toast the seeds.

6. Carefully pour the seed and caramel mixture onto the prepared parchment and cover with the second sheet. Immediately roll out the hot candy as thin as possible, taking care to press down firmly and evenly.

7. When the candy has cooled to the touch and is no longer pliable, about 10 minutes, peel the parchment paper off and break or cut the candy into pieces.

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