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Pecan Brittle

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | August 30th, 2010 | Desserts, Recipes
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Although summer is nearing its end and school has begun again, the current weather is in denial of these facts.  With temperatures in the mid-90s yesterday and today and staying that way for a few more days, it feels more like the middle of July.

As a person who has seasonal food preferences, the heat of summer spurs my craving for ice cream.  While I could eat ice cream daily, I treat it as an indulgence and enjoy it a few times throughout the summer.  However, since I treat it as an indulgence, when I do eat it, I indulge!  No single scoop of ice cream on a plain cone here.  If I am going to eat ice cream, I want it to be delicious, so I order a waffle cone or sprinkles or both.  When I am at home, I make assorted toppings for ice cream.

On a recent day of cooking, my husband and I bought several pounds of peaches to make peach salsa.  As there were two peaches left, they became the base for an ice cream treat.  Sauteed in a little butter and sprinkled with sugar, they were topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream.  While that could have been enough of a treat, it was a day of cooking, so how much effort would it take to make a little pecan brittle to top the ice cream?  Not much at all.

Pecan brittle is very simple to make and can be used in a variety of ways.  At the holidays, it could be placed in a decorative tin and given as presents.  It could be served atop ice cream to provide a little sweetness and extra crunch to your dessert.  It also can be eaten as is!

Pecan Brittle


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Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 cups pecan halves
  2. 1 cup white sugar
Instructions
  1. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place pecan halves in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes or until pecans are slightly toasted. Place pecans in a bowl.
  3. Wipe pan with a towel, return to stove, and lower heat to medium-low. Add sugar to pan. Occasionally shake the pan to keep the sugar distributed evenly. As the sugar begins to melt and turn brown, use handle to swirl the liquid.
  4. When sugar is fully melted, return pecans to pan, and stir with a spatula. Transfer sugar/pecan mixture to lined baking sheet, spreading so that pecans are not clumped. Allow to cool completely, then break into pieces.
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