This week I will be sharing some of my favorite fall candies and caramels. Now that it is officially fall and I'm starting to get holiday- fever, I am pulling out all my favorite recipes to savor and share. Just like last week's Apple Butter recipe, these recipes can also be great edible gifts. Bring them to the hostess at your next pumpkin carving party or send them home with departing guests after Thanksgiving. And, of course, you can always make an extra batch for munching on and enjoying over football.
I used to figure that all homemade candy was difficult. Like any recipe that required cooked sugar, I used to run from making caramel and candies. However, after figuring out that I must at least try Italian meringue buttercream years ago, my fear of boiling sugar started to dissipate. Soon my candy thermometer was my best friend, and there was always a fresh batch of meringue-based buttercream being made for my old bakery, The Frosted Cake Shop. Since I love love peanut brittle and was no longer scared to cook sugar, I decided to try out some recipes. I've now been making cinnamon peanut brittle for the winter holidays for years.
Brittles and barks are easy to switch up to serve each season. For fall, I decided to change up the spices a bit and change the traditional peanut to a seed. With pumpkin-spottings everywhere, I went with toasted pepitas to makes a wonderfully crunchy and crisp Pumpkin Seed Brittle. I dry roasted the seeds on the stovetop while the sugars cooked down for a deeper flavor. In addition, I decided to add a touch of cayenne for some kick and rosemary for a sweet-meets-savory element. To finish, the brittle was dipped in a bit of chocolate and sprinkled with some chunky sea salt and extra rosemary. The flavor palette was interesting and unexpected, yet not too intense that I kept going back for more.