Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
I have wanted to make this Pumpkin Seed Brittle for a long time. I could just picture it’s amber tiles of caramelized sugar, as translucent as glass. I could imagine the transformation of a little sugar and water cooked into a golden syrup coating the seeds and suspending them inside. In my thoughts those seeds from fall's most iconic fruit captured the essence of autumn.
So why has it taken so many seasons to make this simple candy? I have suffered a fundamental misunderstanding with the seeds themselves. I have read in the fall issues of magazines about the fun and wholesome pleasure of roasting pumpkin seeds and sharing them as snacks. I have read about their nutritional fortitude and was even aware of their status as an American Superfood. I had admired the beauty of their tear-shaped form freed from the pumpkin's internal goo. I just had never figured out how to toast them and eat them without harboring a secret fear that I would get a splinter in my tongue or esophagus.
A New Approach
While many people seem to have been roasting and enjoying pumpkin seeds for years I was never able to swallow more than a few. I would clean them, rinse them, toss them with oil and seasoning and pop them in the oven. Some time later they would come out of my oven having taken on the consistency of shoe leather or balsa wood.
This year I took a new approach. Instead of roasting my own seeds I began with a bag of Lightly Salted Organic Pumpkins Seeds from CB’s Nuts. They came in an assortment of holiday ingredients I received at a Whole Foods Thanksgiving Preview dinner. I was assured that these seeds were specially bred not to be too fibrous and were carefully roasted in small batches with only the lightest dusting of sea salt.
Not only were these pumpkin seeds just right for making my long-awaited Pumpkin Seed Brittle, they were perfect for snacking too. Toasted but still chewy these seeds fell shy of splintery while remaining optimal for slow paced enjoyment.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
1 cup granulated cane sugar
½ cup water
½ cup pumpkin seeds
Generously grease a baking sheet and set aside.
Combine water and sugar in a heavy medium sized pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. When the mixture boils stop stirring and continue to cook until the syrup turns a golden brown.
When syrup is golden, remove from heat. Quickly add pumpkin seeds, swirling the syrup to coat the seeds. Immediately pour mixture onto the well-greased baking sheet.
When the brittle is cool break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.