Every year we try to make a gift for Christmas. Most years we do a clay project, like ornaments since my father's a potter and it's so much fun to play in clay. We also love making food gifts like rubs, cookies, or herbed salts. This year, I thought we would go the sweet route with a salted pistachio brittle. The recipe comes from Bon Appetit. I revamped the recipe to make it vegan, swapping out the unsalted butter for coconut oil. I also swapped out raw pistachios for salted, roasted ones. I found they retained more crunch than their raw counterpart. Obviously, this is one of those recipes that once you start, you don't walk away from it. The brittle can go from perfect to burnt very quickly.
To finish the gifts I wrapped the brittle in pretty cellophane bags, then tucked them in craft paper bags tied off with a Christmas ornament. I think all the folks on our list will be thrilled with the sentiment AND the delicious treat inside!
Adapted from: Bon Appetit
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup salted, roasted and shelled pistachios, very coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Coarse sea salt (such as fleur de sel or sel gris)
- A candy thermometer
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; spray with nonstick spray and set aside.
Mix the sugar, corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Fit saucepan with candy thermometer, bring mixture to a boil, and cook until thermometer registers 290°, 3-4 minutes.
Using a heatproof spatula, stir in pistachios, coconut oil, and kosher salt (syrup will seize initially, but will melt as it heats back up). Continue to cook syrup, stirring often, until thermometer registers 300° and pistachios are golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Caramel should be pale brown (it will darken slightly as it cools). Sprinkle baking soda over and stir quickly to blend caramel thoroughly (mixture will bubble vigorously).
Immediately pour caramel onto prepared baking sheet and, using a heat- proof spatula, quickly spread out as thin as possible. Sprinkle sea salt over and let caramel cool completely. Break brittle into pieces.
Brittle can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight between sheets of parchment paper (to prevent sticking) at room temperature.
One recipe makes approximately 10 bags of brittle for gifting.