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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

I’ve always loved Halloween. It’s one of the only times of the year when we truly celebrate imagination and ingenuity. The most creative costumes, and the best pumpkins are praised, encouraging us to aim higher each year! This creativity has even permeated my kitchen, nudging me to find some outside the box ideas to use those glorious pumpkin seeds from my jack o lantern.

I first saw this recipe a few years ago on chef Bob Blumer’s show Glutton For Punishment. However, I love toasted pumpkin seeds so much, I didn’t dare to try it until this year when I had 3 pumpkins worth of seeds to play with. Boy am I sad I didn’t take the plunge earlier! The seeds themselves are nutty and spicy like a traditional recipe, but the brittle takes away some of the overly chewy nature of the husks. This is a tasty treat all on it’s own, but make sure to save some to garnish your pumpkin pie!

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Prep time: 5 minutes
Roast time: 25 minutes or until the seeds are crispy
Makes 1½ cups

Ingredients: Seeds of a pumpkin (1 pumpkin yields about 1-2 cups of seeds) 1½ tablespoons of olive oil ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika ¼ teaspoon of dehydrated onion ¼ teaspoon of allspice ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper½ teaspoon of salt

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
2. Rinse the pumpkin seeds well and remove all the pumpkin pulp. Pat dry.
3. In a bowl, combine everything and toss well.
4. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a lined (for easy cleanup) lipped baking sheet. Make sure they’re laid out flat and not on top of each other.

Pumpkin Spice Seed Brittle

Ingredients: 1 cup of white sugarToasted, spiced pumpkin seeds of one pumpkin

Directions:
1. Follow recipe for spiced pumpkin seeds above.
2. Add white sugar to a small pot over medium heat.
3. Stir constantly until it melts and turns light brown, approximately 3-5 minutes.
4. Stir in spiced pumpkin seeds and spread on parchment paper or a cookie sheet.
5. Let cool, then break into pieces.

-I cooked my seeds for roughly 20 minutes, giving them a good stir every 5 minutes, and found a parchment lined sheet was unnecessary if you use a good nonstick jellyroll pan.

-The sugar melting will take closer to 20 minutes, and will at first appear very granular, just keep stirring and it will smooth out!

-I would highly recommend a silpat (professional grade silicone baking mat) for the brittle portion of the recipe, the cooled brittle comes off like a dream, and there’s no chance of getting any parchment paper stuck in your candy.