There are several schools of thought about Halloween candy, based on conversations I’ve been a part of and observed online. I’ve seen plenty of Screw it! It’s Halloween, I am not going to make a big deal about my kids eating crappy candy once a year. While some people are horrified by just the thought of the rancid, low quality oils, corn syrup, and who knows what else.
And then of course there are the in-betweeners; those who participate in trick-or-treating, but maybe confiscate some or most of the candy and (maybe) trade for something else, like something homemade or a non-edible gift.
Where do I fit into this conversation?
To be completely honest, I am not in charge of what any children eat, so I don’t really give a shit. Hah! I’m half kidding. Basically my rule of thumb is to not judge how parents parent, because I don’t need to be one to know that people judging every decision you make is extremely exhausting.
I’m just here to give you an option, if you want something that is still candy but is homemade and does not have rancid oils or corn syrup or hidden allergens that you might be concerned about.
This Maple Pepita Brittle is simpler to make than you might think, but you will need a candy thermometer. Don’t let that discourage you though! Once you have it, you’ll be one step closer to making Marshmallows, and that’s a good thing in my book.
- ¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon ghee or butter ((see note))
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- coarse sea salt, such as Maldon
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spread the nuts and pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until fragrant and the pumpkin seeds puff up a bit, about 4-5 minutes.
- Set the nuts and pumpkin seeds aside, and line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small sauce pan, Combine the maple syrup, ghee, and cream of tartar. Once it’s warm, whisk to combine. Heat until it reaches 290ºF on a candy thermometer. Refrain from stirring while it heats, as this can cause crystals to form. This will probably take 10-15 minutes depending on your stove.
- Quickly stir in the nuts, pumpkin seeds, and cinnamon. Pour out onto the prepared baking sheet, working quickly to spread it as thinly as possible with a wooden spoon- it hardens up fast! Sprinkle with a liberal amount of salt.
- Allow to cool completely before breaking it into pieces. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
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