One of my favorite and yes, easiest recipes from my Sis, is her "Microwave Peanut Brittle." She sent it to me back in the 80s (remember that decade!) and I've made it every year since for Halloween. Although, I've made peanut brittle the traditional way--standing over a hot stove for what seems to be an eternity, watching hot sugar reach the hard crack stage (295-310F [149C]-degrees) before adding butter, vanilla and the leavening agent (baking soda), this recipe is just as good and fits in to our busy schedules.
Today, keeping with my Pumpkin theme, I decided to substitute pepitas for the peanuts; an easy substitution that I've made before using almonds, pistachios, or cashews instead of the usual peanuts. Pepita is actually the little green seed inside the white hull you see when you're scraping out those pumpkins for carving. They are a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine, but in the United States, we also love them for snacking. They are a good source of protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium. I don't really have the time to crack the hulls to retrieve the pepita, so I bought them already roasted and lightly salted at Whole Foods.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Light Karo Syrup
1 cup roasted, lightly salted Pepitas
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Baking soda
Lightly butter a baking sheet. Set aside.
1. In a 1 1/2 quart Pyrex bowl, stir together the sugar and Karo syrup. Microwave at High for 3 mins. 30 secs.
2. Stir in pepitas and microwave again on High for 2 mins. 30 secs. until light brown.
3. Add the butter and Vanilla extract to the mixture, blending well and microwave for 45 secs. more.
Mixture will be a golden (caramel color).
4. Add the baking soda and gentle stir to combine--the sugar mixture will foam!
5. Quickly pour mixture onto the sheet, using a spatula to spread. When cool, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
*Time is based on a Microwave of 1000w or more.
I found these adorable Halloween Take-Out boxes at one of our party stores and they'll be perfect for giving these wonderful confection as a gift. Make sure you save some to munch on--Enjoy!