This pine nut brittle is made with sugar, butter, honey, and seeds. This is so good, it topped our list of holiday noshes to make for gifts and set out for cocktail parties. And it takes just 30 minutes to make.
This pine nut brittle is perhaps the ultimate sweet, salty, crunchy holiday indulgence. And it comes together in just 30 minutes, which makes it quite practical to toss together, especially if, like us, get a little carried away with sampling and find yourself needing to make another batch (or three) pronto. Actually, you may just want to start with several batches right away seeing as it disappears so darn quickly, whether you set it out at a cocktail party or fancy it up with cellophane bags and ribbon as a gift. It’s also endlessly customizable with whatever nuts and seeds you happen to have on hand. Originally published November 27, 2016.–Angie Zoobkoff
Pine Nut Brittle
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes about 24 piece
Special Equipment: Instant-read thermometer
- 3/4 cup raw pine nuts (3 1/2 oz)
- 1/3 cup unsalted mixed seeds (such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds), toasted or untoasted
- 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 oz)
- 2 tablespoons honey or corn syrup
- Fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon orange flower water (optional)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 2. Scatter the pine nuts on the baking sheet and slide it in the oven just until the pine nuts are barely golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a bowl and add the mixed seeds. Keep the baking sheet handy.
- 3. Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Wait until the sugar dissolves and then add the butter and honey or corn syrup and stir until the butter melts. Carefully attach the sugar thermometer to the pan and bring to a boil. Continue to cook over medium heat, without stirring, until the mixture is a dark amber and reaches 349°F (176°C), 10 to 15 minutes. (It can feel like an eternity while you’re waiting for the mixture to reach this temperature, but keep in mind, once it goes over 284°F (140°C), it will shoot up pretty quickly. Consider yourself warned and be prepared to move swiftly when the moment arises. You may even want to pull the pan from the heat a couple degrees before 349°F as the residual heat will kick the temperature up even after it’s off the heat.)
- 4. When the mixture in the pan reaches the proper temperature, remove the pan from the heat, add the salt and orange flower water (if using), and stir to combine. Add the nuts and seeds and mix vigorously so they’re evenly coated with caramel. Working quickly, scoop the mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and use the back of a spoon or offset spatula to spread the mixture evenly. Let cool completely until it’s hardened, about 1 hour.
- 5. Break into pieces and serve.
Recipe Testers Reviews
Woah. Someone take this pine nut brittle away from me. Cannot stop eating it! This brittle recipe delivered and then some. I was impressed with how easy it is, although you definitely need a candy thermometer. And even though my caramel went to a bit hotter than the recipe calls for—nearly 20˚F more because I had accidentally turned off the alarm on my digital thermometer for when it reaches the desired temperature—it was pretty perfect. It’s the best thing to have hanging around over the holidays. It’s also pretty easy to make another batch and I love how customizable it is! I used what I had on hand in place of the seeds, which was pistachios, but I think I’d use half pumpkin seeds and half peanuts next time
Crunchy, sweet, salty, buttery, and nutty all in one bite. At the rate we’re snacking on this brittle, this batch will never make it to the upcoming holiday and I’ll have to make another batch or two. The recipe makes 20 to 30 pieces, depending on how you break them up. Cooking the sugar to the correct temperature will take about 10 minutes—not exactly an eternity, but constant vigilance is required and, as the recipe states, you must move swiftly when the mixture approached the hard crack stage. I took the pan off the heat at 340°F and let it rise to 349°F on its own. If you leave the pan on the stove to the very end, there is a possibility that the mixture will rise above the correct temperature or could burn rendering the entire mixture unusable. If you have it on hand or can buy it, don’t skip the orange flower water. It will give a subtle boost of orange flavor which pairs beautifully with the nuts and the sugar.
This pine nut brittle was very easy to make, looks pretty enough to gift, and was exceptionally tasty as a not-too-sweet treat! Will be making again and again. I used an even mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as the pine nuts. I used toasted unsalted seeds because that's what I had.
This pine nut brittle has been one of the best recipes I've tested so far! The brittle itself was super tasty. I used honey instead of corn syrup and included the orange blossom water and I loved the flavor combination. The recipe is well written and to the point. I followed it exactly and had no hiccups.