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 shareΒ  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.

 

New Lollipop Flavor just for Valentine’s Day

Hi all, been working on a new lollipop flavor for Valentine’s Day that I think you all will love! Cinnamon Spice lollipops have a nice spice flavor and come with a little cinnamon candy heart. The lollipops are made with cinnamon sticks and hot, spicy cinnamon candy which also give them their lovely pink color. A perfect treat for your special Valentine or just get them for all your friends! Lollipops are now available at my Etsy shop!!

heart_lollipops

Last Minute Gift Idea: Hibiscus and Ginger Simple Syrup

Attending a dinner party and forgot to get your cocktail loving host/hostess a gift? Instead of rushing to the wine shop and getting the usual, impress them with something homemade! This hibiscus and ginger simple syrup will add a nice personal touch and will only take minutes to make!

hibiscus_simple_syrup

All you need is a pretty bottle and nice ribbon, labels or tags. I’m sure the cocktail enthusiasts and non-drinkers alike would be pleased knowing you took the time to make them something special.

This hibiscus and ginger simple syrup can be used to make hibiscus mojitos, or mixed with vodka and seltzer for a cocktail spritzer or added to sweeten your lemonade or ice tea. The recipe ideas are endless!

Hibiscus & Ginger Simple Syrup
yields 2+ cups

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup dried hibiscus
1 inch piece of ginger, cut into small pieces and mashed
2-3 cinnamon sticks

1. Dissolve sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep stirring until liquid turns clear as water. Add the hibiscus, ginger and cinnamon stick and let mixture simmer for about 2 minutes. Do not allow mixture to boil. Remove from heat and let syrup cool down completely.

2. Wash and dry two 8 oz bottle or a few smaller size bottles. Add a couple of ginger pieces and cinnamon sticks from mixture into each bottle and pour in the cool syrup. Decorate bottles as you like.

Here are a few more simple syrup flavors you can make!

Mint and Lemon Simple Syrup
Add a bunch of mint leaves, juice of a lemon and lemon rind to the syrup.

Spicy Thai Basil Simple Syrup
Add a bunch of Thai basil and a Thai chili to the syrup.

Raspberry Jalapeno Simple Syrup
Add 1/4 cup of mashed raspberry to syrup with a 1/2 jalapeno sliced. You can strain the syrup to remove the raspberry seeds but add the jalapenos back and into bottles.

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!!

Gifts for your Valentine’s Day Hottie

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away so I scoured the web looking for adorable, peppery gifts that would appeal to almost anyone. Forget the flowers and typical boxed chocolates, spice things up with unique gifts your honey will truly enjoy. I decided on a few items that weren’t overly kitschy. It’s no secret I love spicy foods and the beautiful colors and shapes of hot peppers but you won’t see me wearing chile paraphernalia. If you walked into my home you’d never know about my spice addiction unless of course you poked around my kitchen. I usually go for the understated so when I found these little gems I just had to share…

1. These cards are so cute from Etsy shop PrinterettePress. What can I say, you’re a hottie!

2. Sterling silver capsaicin chili pepper molecule necklace from Etsy shop MolecularMuse. I love this! …or is that just the nerd in me? Either way, its cool and cute for your science buff…and it’s handmade.

3. Handmade silver and resin chile cufflinks from Etsy shop BirdcageCreative. If your man loves chiles he may dig these stylish cufflinks.

4. Three Chili Hot Chocolate sticks from The Ticket Kitchen. How clever and cool are these! Dip the spicy chocolate sticks into your hot milk and stir for a spicy, chocolaty treat blending chipotle, ancho and cayenne peppers. Pair this with cute mugs and homemade marshmallows for the perfect gift.

5. Forget all the restaurant hoopla and make a romantic dinner at home or cook for your friends. Who says us single folks can’t enjoy Valentine’s Day? Make your favorite dishes together, have a little wine while you’re cooking and make this sinfully delicious easy to make spicy chocolate cupcake from AllRecipes.com – photo credit: Cookinbug.

6. While your at it with # 5, make it a dinner and a movie night! Queue up one of my all time favorites movies, Chocolat with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche on Netflix or get the DVD. This movie is full of romance, comedy and chocolate! I must have seen this movie over a dozen times and it never gets old. It think its time for me to get my digital copy though since I don’t know how much longer my VHS is going to last! Hey, I figured if my VCR still works, why get rid of it?

Let me know if you find any other awesome spicy gift ideas!