Dessert · Squash September

Pumpkin Seed Brittle

It’s  been a looooong week. I’ve had a ton of special shoots, edited a trillion stories for air on our multiple shows, and then just wrapped up working a 14+ hour day for the OU vs. Ohio State game.

In case you missed it, OU lost. Badly. But that’s okay with me—I always root against OU. When you’re born a Texan you don’t typically like OU. I also have first-hand knowledge that Bob Stoops is—well—not the nicest person in the world.

So, I was silently rooting for OSU to pull out the win while sitting across the street from Gaylord Memorial Stadium in Norman, waiting on our post-game show to start. Look at our slick set-up (that turned into a WET set-up when a storm came thundering in):


I’ve been working with these wonderful folks for 4 years now. We had the best possible crew working on our excellent pre-game and post-game show! Check out this story from OU’s 1977 win over Ohio State that I worked on so dilligently for weeks:

Anyway, that whole spiel is the reason why I haven’t updated all week. Sorry. I had my first foray into candy-making last weekend and haven’t gotten around to posting about it until now! I even invested (finally) in a candy thermometer. You really CANNOT make candy without one.


I decided to keep the theme of Squash September with this candy so I made a brittle out of pumpkin seeds instead of peanuts. It was quite the science experiment, let me tell you. It is interesting watching sugar melt and then the water dissipate as the candy reached new ;evels of firmness.


Soft ball, hard crack, soft crack—it’s all a foreign language to me, but thankfully this recipe guides you through it. I probably should have let my brittle sit at 290 degrees for a few seconds longer (I immediately took the pan off the burner when it hit that hot) so my brittle originally was a little tacky, but after sitting for a while it crystallized more and turned into the perfect brittle. Try it out!


Pumpkin Seed Brittle

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Print

A cinnamony, sweet & crunchy brittle made from pumpkin seeds.


  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pepitas (raw, shelled pumpkin seeds)


  1. Line a 9×13″ baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat paper with cooking spray and set tray atop a wire rack.
  2. In a medium pot fitted with a candy thermometer, bring sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1 cup of water to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar is just dissolved. Continue cooking (don’t stir unless needed) until temperature reaches 238 degrees, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in pumpkin seeds and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 290 degrees, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove mixture from heat and carefully pour onto your prepared baking sheet. Coat a plastic spatula with cooking spray and spread out your mixture so it is in one thin layer. Let cool completely for about an hour. Lift brittle from pan and peel away parchment paper. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Fit your candy thermometer over a medium sized pot and heat sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1 cup of water to a boil over medium high heat. Stir until sugar is just dissolved.


Continue cooking mixture until temperature reaches 238 degrees, about 8 minutes.


Add pumpkin seeds to the pot and stir. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally…


…until temperature reaches 290 degrees, about 5 minutes more.


Pour brittle on prepared pan (9×13″ baking sheet fitted with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray, sitting atop a wire rack).


Spread out brittle (with a rubber spatula that has been sprayed with cooking spray) until brittle is in a thin layer. Let cool for at least 1 hour.


Carefully peel brittle away from parchment paper and then break brittle into pieces. Store in an airtight container for 1 week.


Yum! Look at that beautiful brittle. I can’t believe how well it turned out, considering this was my first time attempting to make candy! This candy would be the perfect show-stopper at a family gathering, and it would make a cute little party-favor at a Halloween party for kids!

Enjoy 🙂


One thought on “Pumpkin Seed Brittle

  1. I enjoyed the story behind the story that you used to set the context for this post. The Pumpkin Seed brittle looks amazing. I never would have thought of using pumpkin seeds in a brittle recipe.

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