My friend Alyson and I had a holiday-cooking-and-jam-making session this past weekend! It was super fun, and we got to try out some new recipes, and use them as homemade Christmas gifts. :)
One of our FAVORITES was this brittle recipe that Alyson found online. It sounded so savory & decadent, and we jumped at the chance to make it (especially since I had an abnormally large back stock of pine nuts for some reason). It turned out SO amazing and SO ridiculously delicious (a wonderful blend of salty & sweet - so decadent), that I had to share the recipe!
Pine Nut Brittle with Rosemary
Makes enough for one big tin or about 6 little bags of treats
We actually doubled this recipe so that we could split it in half & share it! If you double the recipe you could probably fill about 6 large glass jars with brittle (it took up 1 large cookie sheet when we got it all flattened out).
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups pine nuts (I thought this was WAY too much. We used what it called for, but you may want to just add about 1/2 of this and see how it looks in the mixture when you have everything going.)
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter (I thought this was way too much too! I'd half it next time, and see how it goes.)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (definitely use FRESH rosemary, not dried. I think this made a huge difference in ours!)
1 tablespoon finely ground sea salt or grey sea salt (same with this one - finely ground is essential, and the fact that it's sea salt makes the flavor so much better)
Place the sugar in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until sugar begins to melt. (The directions said to start it on high heat then lower it, but we burned the sugar the first time around BIG time! Definitely keep your eye on it, 'cause if it burns, it's over! The 2nd time around we kept the heat at medium - it took a little longer, but it didn't burn.) Keep the heat on medium to medium-high and keep stirring just until the sugar is melted. Stop stirring (but keep a close eye on it!) and watch for it to turn a medium caramel color. About 10 minutes total.
Stir in pine nuts, and then butter. Allow pine nuts to cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in half of the rosemary and half of the sea salt.
Turn the mixture out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (not wax paper - there is a big difference), and spread it evenly to the desired thickness with a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula. Sprinkle remaining rosemary and salt on top, while brittle is still warm.
Allow to cool completely--at least one hour--then break the brittle into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature. If your brittle isn't brittle enough to break into pieces, pop it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, until it hardens enough to snap easily. (we put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, and it broke apart perfectly!)
It really was much easier than I thought it would be (except for the sugar-burning, of course), and it turned out to be something super gourmet-tasting. Really REALLY yummy. :)
On another random yet cute note - this is how I found Fudge sleeping the next day. Apparently he stretched out and decided to stay that way! He's so freakin' cute.
Hope you're all enjoying the holiday season, and Happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish friends! :)