I would like to tell you that this is healthy. I mean I used nuts with no salt, so that is a good thing right? But it is hard candy that is full of nuts. So pretty much NOT. Nevermind that, it’s freaking delicious…
It doesn’t take very long to make, and the only advice I can give you from the get go, is when you have the nuts mixed in and are putting it on the pan…work FAST. It hardens up fast and you will have issues getting it spread out if you lolly gag around. Oh, and have a good spatula ready to go. Don’t run around looking for it when you are ready to spread…trust me on that one.
So here we go!!!
- 1 Cup Almonds
- 1 Cup Cashews
- 3/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 2/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 2 1/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Golden Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
What you do…
Heat the sugars, honey, water and salt in a large pot over a low-medium flame. 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 exactly 302 degrees Fahrenheit. This is important because this is the temperature at which sugar hardens into a candy texture after it cools. Pay close attention not to go very far above 302, otherwise you will burn the sugar. 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 175.
While the sugar mixture is boiling, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a 9 x 13 pan, and grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
Once the sugar mixture reaches 302 degrees immediately remove it from heat and stir in the butter, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries until they’re coated in the mixture.
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 about 1 inch in height (I would actually recommend a bit thinner if you can, I found it a bit hard to bite this thick).
(Do not try to put ungreased parchment paper on top and cheat by flattening it with an oven mitt…it doesn’t work. Still tastes good though, apparently I will do whatever it takes to try it before it is actually ready to eat.)
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 (I used a cloth over the brittle so my wee hammer didn’t smash the hell out of the nuts). Arrange the pieces on a serving platter and serve. Store excess brittle in a cool dry place.
Make sure you have company coming over so you don’t eat it all yourself…trust me here.