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!
- 1-1/2 cups pecan halves
- 1 cup white sugar
- Line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.