Autumn Fruit and Nut Brittle

Let’s put fall baking aside for today, and instead venture into the world of candy-making! This brittle celebrates the many autumn colors and flavors, like pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, enrobed in crunchy, sweet candy.

If the precision of making candy intimidates you, never fear! This was my first attempt at candy-making as well, and I was thrilled to realize it is easier than it seems! Just use a candy thermometer and pay attention to the temperature. Not only is the final product delicious, it looks beautiful, guaranteed to impress anyone you choose to share it with!

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Autumn Brittle
(Recipe source: Adventures in Cooking)

1 C whole almonds
1 C whole cashews
3/4 C whole pumpkin seeds
2/3 C dried cranberries
2-1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C honey
1 C water
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP butter

Heat the sugar, honey, water, and salt in a large pot over a low-medium heat. Use a pot that is larger than you would think necessary, because when the mixture begins to boil, it will foam up and increase in size.

Stir every five minutes or so. Using a candy thermometer, continue to heat the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 310F. This is very important because this is the temperature at which sugar hardens into a rock-like state after it cools. It can take up to an hour for the mixture to reach that high of a temperature, so don’t get too worried if 15 minutes go by and the thermometer is still at 175F.

While the sugar mixture is boiling, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a shallow 9×13 pan, and grease the parchment paper. Set aside. After the sugar mixture reaches 310F, turn off the heat and allow it to cool to 302F. Immediately stir in the butter, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries until they’re coated in the mixture. Work swiftly, as the candy will harden quickly.

Immediately pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and spread it out into a large rectangle using a rubber spatula. Try to keep the surface relatively even and no more than 1/2 inch in height. Place the pan in the refrigerator and allow the brittle to cool for one hour.

Once it has finished cooling, remove the sheet of brittle from the parchment paper and break the brittle into pieces using a meat tenderizer or clean hammer. Arrange the pieces on a serving platter and serve. Store excess brittle in a cool dry place.

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