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
Special Equipment: Instant-read thermometer
Pine Nut Brittle
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes about 24 piece
- 3/4 cup (about 100 grams) raw pine nuts
- 1/3 cup unsalted mixed seeds (such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds), toasted or untoasted
- 1 1/4 cups (300 grams) superfine sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) cold water
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 28 grams) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey or corn syrup
- Fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) 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.