Sweet and Spicy Pepitas Brittle

Wow, this month is quickly flying by! With birthday celebrations, yup recently had a birthday, holiday dinners and planning for my Christmas Eve dinner, time has just slipped away and my little blog has taken a direct hit. There’s just so much to juggle but I wanted to share  with you this super easy sweet and spicy pepitas brittle recipe I made. Pepitas are raw pumpkin seeds and they add a nice chewiness to this crunchy brittle. You can easily whip this up in 15 minutes and send your guests off with a sweet and spicy treat this Christmas.

pepitas-brittle

I found a peanut brittle recipe online and switched up ingredients for a more chewy brittle using seeds and nuts. When making brittle, make sure you prep all ingredients and have a candy thermometer on hand. It’s very easy to burn candy as temperature can climb quickly so you want to keep an eye on it, I’ve burned plenty of candy recipes before! Also stoves, altitudes, saucepans vary so if your candy reaches a nice caramel color and temperature hasn’t reached 300 you’ll want to remove from heat quickly. Once you add the nuts and butter the temperature will go down again so you don’t necessarily need it to come up to 300 if your candy is darkening quickly. Candy will continue to cook in pan once you remove from heat.

I plan to leave small bags for guests in case they want to take some home because I have way too much to prep for but you can fill a small bag and give away as a party favor. All in all, a sweet and spicy treat everyone can enjoy.

Merry Christmas and may your days be filled with love and happiness!

 

Spicy Almond and Pepitas Brittle

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds pepitas
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and grease well.
  • In copper pot or heavy bottom sauce pan, add sugar, light corn syrup and water and stir until well mixed. Cook on medium heat, stirring until mixture comes to a boil.
  • When temperature reaches 290 degrees (use a candy thermometer) add the pepitas, almonds, butter and salt. Candy will bubble but stir until well mixed.
  • When temperature reaches 300 remove from heat, stir in baking soda, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon well mixed. Candy will bubble again.
  • Immediately pour onto lined cookie sheet. Spread evenly and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top. Let cool then crack brittle into pieces.

 

Merry Christmas and Many Blessings

Merry_Christmas_2012

Etsy Finds – Gifts For The Spicy Food Lover

Still looking for gifts for that spicy food lover in your life? Etsy is a wonderful marketplace for finding handmade and vintage gift items. I perused the site for cool gift ideas for the spicy food lover and picked a handful that I thought you would enjoy unwrapping!

Etsy finds 1_2

1. This Mortar and Pestle is perfect for grinding spices and chile peppers. It’s a must in every foodie’s kitchen! This one is handmade and one of a kind from the Mary Carol Perez shop. 2. How about spicy hot mustard to slather on warm pretzels? This hot little number has one of the hottest peppers in the world and surely a little will go a long way. Spicy ghost pepper mustard from Evolutionary Farms.

Etsy Finds 3_4

3. Spicy chocolate sweets are always a nice little treats. Get these Chile cake ball sampler from Cake Works by Jen or some of her other spiced cake balls. 4. These letterpress cards are so sweet! Chile lights Christmas card from Letterpress Light.

Sriracha_iPhone_Etsy

5. Now for the real Sriracha fans, how about this Sriracha iPhone case from Expresso Print?

Well happy shopping! If you can’t find that perfect gift then give the gift of time! Time spent with friend and family enjoying a nice home cooked meal is sometimes all you need!

Hope you all have a happy holiday!!

Ginger Tea Time! Or as my family would say “Jengibre!”

I started getting the house ready for the holidays this past week. I bought my Christmas tree, started putting up decorations, and turned on my chili pepper lights! Yes, I’ve had those lights for about 10 years and they still light up.

To kick off the festivities that always surround the holidays I hosted a ginger tea party at my place last night with a small group of family members. Ok, this was not of the pinkies raised variety with cute little sandwiches (which I love) but a traditional Dominican holiday gathering that has gone on in my family since I was a kid. Visit any Dominican household in the month of December and you’re sure to be offered a very spicy cup of jengibre (which by the way just means “ginger” and also the name of event). Usually the events are held weekly with someone from the family hosting at their home and is done until Noche Buena (Christmas Eve). Jengibre is always served with plain soda crackers but I always use it as an opportunity to try new appetizers or desserts before serving the tea. This breaks a little from tradition since the tea is the main focus of the event but it’s a nice way to keep everyone around a bit longer and marks the beginning of the holiday season. This is a time to sit back and relax, catch up with friends and family, and enjoy a hot, spicy drink on a chilly December evening. It’s such an easy drink to make and the house smells wonderful afterwards.

To make Jengibre, add about a pound of mashed up ginger root to a pot filled with water and let boil for about an hour. You’ll boil off about half the mixture. You can also add a couple of cinnamon sticks if you like but I usually go without. The longer you let it boil, the spicier the tea. Be sure to mash up the ginger well with a wooden mallet or anything heavy that will break up the root. You want to extract as much of the spicy juices as possible when it’s boiling. I can tell it’s done when color turns a dark caramel or dark amber. Pour yourself a cup and sweeten however you like.

Enjoy the holidays! Traditions are so important in our family and looking forward to our next Jengibre! What are holiday traditions in your family? Please share, I’d love to hear about them!