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Monica's favorite gear for makingSunflower Seed Brittle
This is enough sunflower seed kernels to make 4+ batches of this brittle.
These are non-stick for easy-release brittle and can be often used in place of parchment paper. This set of 3 mats fits perfectly in half and quarter sheet pans, and they cost less than one similar Silpat mat (see below).
This 13 by 18 inch pan is called a "half sheet" and is sized perfectly to pair with the silicone mats. It's a versatile pan for all kinds of baking and roasting, and the lid is great for convenient storage.
Just a hint of cinnamon is used in this recipe.
These small clear bags are perfect for making gift bags of brittle.

Easy Sunflower Seed Brittle

A quick method with no corn syrup, no candy thermometer. Deliciously sweet, salty, and nutty.


Looking for holiday gifts for the foodie in your life?
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Sunflower Seed Brittle

By Monica              approx. 50 pieces
This is an easy method that doesn't require a candy thermometer. The result is a delicious, toasted, nutty brittle. A great Fall party or shower favor, school or office treat. From The Yummy Life.

This is an easy method that doesn't require a candy thermometer. The result is a delicious, toasted, nutty brittle.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups salted dry roasted shelled sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups sugar

Directions
Generously spray or butter a large baking sheet and set aside. Or, place a silpat mat in a large baking sheet--no buttering required.

In 1.5 or 2 quart saucepan, melt butter on low heat; add salt, cinnamon, vanilla and sunflower seeds and stir to evenly coat seeds with butter mixture. Keep stove at lowest setting, stirring occasionally so that all of the seeds remain warm but don't scorch on bottom of pan.

Add sugar to large (12 inch) heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir the sugar constantly. As you stir, you will see the sugar begin to melt and form clumps. Gradually, the clumps will start to melt and stir into a smooth, amber brown syrup.

As soon as the last lumps melt into the syrup (this takes approx. 10-15 min.), add the warm nut mixture and stir to combine. Work quickly so the mixture doesn't burn. Immediately, pour onto prepared baking sheet. Use a silicone or wooden spatula to quickly spread the mixture into a thin, even layer.

Let cool completely and break into pieces. Store in airtight container.  


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This recipe, like my Pumpkin Seed Brittle, uses a much easier method than other brittle recipes. No candy thermometer is needed. I've tried a lot of brittle recipes through the years, and this one is as easy as it gets.

The corn syrup used in other brittle recipes is absent here. You simply melt sugar in a skillet, add sunflower seeds that are mixed with melted butter, vanilla, salt, and a hint of cinnamon, pour it onto a baking sheet, and let the brittle cool and harden. It's hard to believe that such amazingly scrumptious brittle can be this easy. But it really is.

Dress up desserts with this brittle. Although great eaten all by itself, this brittle also makes a tasty accompaniment to other desserts.

  • Try dressing up a piece of pie or cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a piece of this brittle stuck in the top. 
  • A simple bowl of ice cream with a piece or two of this brittle stuck in the top is a hard combination to beat. 

Nutritional Information per serving: 47 calories, 1.6g fat, .5g sat. fat, 28mg sodium, 8.4g carbs, 8.1g sugars, .4g protein, 0g fiber; Weight Watchers SmartPoints:  3

 

Step-by-step photos for making
Sunflower Seed Brittle

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:

  • roasted, salted, shelled sunflower seeds; if your sunflower seeds are raw, roast them in a 350° oven for 10 minutes 
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • butter
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon

view on Amazon:  roasted sunflower seeds,  cinnamon

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Step 2. Generously spray or butter a large baking sheet and set aside. Or, place a silicone mat (like a Silpat mat) in a large baking sheet--no buttering required.

  • TIP: Silicone mats are highly recommended! If you don't have a silicone mat, this might be the time to get one. They have many uses and are particularly helpful in making brittle. I've made this brittle both on a buttered baking sheet and with a silicone mat. The brittle is a breeze to effortlessly peel off of a silicone mat; however, it can be difficult to get it off of a buttered pan if there are spots where you don't grease it enough. (I speak from experience!) The brittle always releases easily from the Silpat mat without any buttering or spraying at all. If you don't have a mat, be careful to grease or spray your pan really well.

view on Amazon: 

  • 13x18 baking sheet with lid (half sheet); 
  • Silpat mat for half sheet pan (the "original" silicone mat); 
  • economical set of silicone mats--HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (I recently purchased these, and love them--they have rounded corners for a perfect fit inside half and quarter baking sheets, and they are considerably more economical than the Silpat brand mats--3 mats for less than the cost of 1 Silpat)

Sunflower_Seed_Brittle.jpg

Step 3. In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter on low heat; add salt, cinnamon, vanilla and sunflower seeds and stir to evenly coat the seeds with the butter mixture. Keep the stove at it's lowest setting, stirring occasionally so that all of the seeds remain warm but don't scorch on the bottom of the pan. Keep these warm on the stove top while you make the syrup for the brittle.

SunflowerSeedBrittle3.jpg

Step 4. Add sugar to a large (12 inch) heavy skillet over medium heat. I have used both stainless steel and non-stick skillets for making this brittle, and they both worked fine.

  • TIP: Don't use high heat to speed up the process; the mixture will burn if it cooks too quickly. Cook it the entire time at a medium heat setting. (I tried upping the heat on one batch, and the brittle had an unappealing burnt taste. Lesson learned!)

Stir the sugar constantly using a flat-ended wooden or silicone spatula for scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir. As pictured below, after a few minutes you will see the sugar begin to melt and form clumps. Gradually, the clumps will start to melt and stir into a smooth, amber brown syrup. Continue stirring to prevent burning. Be patient; it shouldn't take more than 10-12 minutes for the sugar to completely dissolve. (Actual time can vary depending on your pan and stove heat.)

view on Amazon:  flat-end bamboo spatulaflat-end silicone spatula

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Step 5. As soon as the last lumps melt into the syrup, remove the skillet from the heat, add the warm nut mixture and stir to combine. Work quickly so the mixture doesn't burn. Immediately, pour it onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a greased/sprayed silicone or wooden spatula to quickly spread the mixture into a thin, even layer.

SunflowerSeedBrittle4.jpg

Step 6. Let the brittle cool completely and use your hands to break it into pieces. I normally get about 50 pieces from a batch. 

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STORAGE: Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks (possibly longer if sealed well and not exposed to humidity or heat).

CLEAN-UP TIP: A soak in hot sudsy water is all you need to clean the skillet, pan, and utensils. The hardened brittle will dissolve and release.

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A Fall treat that can be gifted. This is a perfect treat during the Fall holidays. Take it along to a party or work to share--a sure hit. The brittle can also be bagged in cellophane treat bags for party favors or gifts. A few years ago, I made little bags of this brittle for a Fall, sunflower-themed bridal shower for my friend Jillian. 

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The combination of sweet, salty, and nutty makes for a recipe that has become an annual favorite around here. It's kind of dangerous that it's so easy to make; because I'm warning you that this stuff is addictive! 

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Make it a Yummy day!

Monica

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Sunflower Seed Brittle
By Monica              Servings: approx. 50 pieces
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups salted dry roasted shelled sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups sugar
Directions
Generously spray or butter a large baking sheet and set aside. Or, place a silpat mat in a large baking sheet--no buttering required.

In 1.5 or 2 quart saucepan, melt butter on low heat; add salt, cinnamon, vanilla and sunflower seeds and stir to evenly coat seeds with butter mixture. Keep stove at lowest setting, stirring occasionally so that all of the seeds remain warm but don't scorch on bottom of pan.

Add sugar to large (12 inch) heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir the sugar constantly. As you stir, you will see the sugar begin to melt and form clumps. Gradually, the clumps will start to melt and stir into a smooth, amber brown syrup.

As soon as the last lumps melt into the syrup (this takes approx. 10-15 min.), add the warm nut mixture and stir to combine. Work quickly so the mixture doesn't burn. Immediately, pour onto prepared baking sheet. Use a silicone or wooden spatula to quickly spread the mixture into a thin, even layer.

Let cool completely and break into pieces. Store in airtight container.  
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Posted on Friday, October 21st, 2016

Looking for holiday gifts for the foodie in your life?
Here are a few gift guides I made to help:








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