Autumn Crack

I'm warning you now: this stuff is addicting.  It's an in-your-face, fall inspired take on peanut brittle...without the peanuts.  The inclusion of maple syrup gives this brittle its deep amber coloring and the apple cider and pumpkin pie spice add a depth of flavor that will make you think you're standing in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains watching the leaves change.  The addition of the pumpkin seeds and salt help to break up the sweetness of this delicious snack.  Keep some on hand for an afternoon pick me up or give away as a thoughtful gift!

Yield: 1 baking sheet worth of brittle

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces maple syrup
  • 4 ounces light corn syrup (we recommend the Karo brand)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 ounces apple cider, room temperature
  • 4 ounces toasted pumpkin seeds, warm
  • 5 ounces toasted walnuts or pecans, warm
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces dried apple chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:

  1. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with silpat.  Set aside.
  2. In a 3 quart sauce pan, heat sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup, apple cider, pumpkin pie spice, and salt over medium heat.  Adjust salt now, before the mixture is too hot to taste.
  3. Once the mixture comes to a boil, cover with a lid and let boil for two minutes.  
  4. Remove lid and continue to cook until the temperature on a candy thermometer reached 265 F.
  5. Stir in pumpkin seeds, walnuts/pecans, and butter.  It is important that the nuts are still warm so that the temperature of the mixture doesn't drastically drop.  Stir frequently and heat to 315 F.
  6. Stir in apple chips and remove from heat.  Quickly and vigorously stir in baking soda.  The mixture will foam and slightly lighten in cover.
  7. Pour mixture onto baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.  Let cool completely.
  8. Once completely cool, haphazardly break the brittle into smaller pieces.  You could methodically cut the brittle, but that's just not as fun.
  9. Enjoy or package and give away!

Serving suggestion: Crush and serve over vanilla ice cream