Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sunflower Seed Brittle #recipe from Stirring the Plot by @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl aka Avery:

Hooray. Great news. Thanks to all of my fans, Stirring the Plot is a national bestseller! While it did not hit the NYTimes list (not sure quite how to pull that off!), it hit the Barnes and Noble mass market mystery at #6 and Bookscan at #14. Wahoo! So thanks, to one and all!

In Stirring the Plot, I've included a number of Halloween-ish recipes. What could be better during the month of October, right? The story centers around the Halloween season. I had so much fun researching recipes. I tested dozens of candies and orange-y recipes. I read lots of cookbooks with Halloween treats. The Betty Crocker Halloween cookbook was particularly fun to peruse. Great for kids!

However, right now, I'm going to let Jenna, the protagonist in the series, tell you more about this deletable and EASY recipe. {She and her pals often leave comments with the recipes included in the books.}

From Jenna:

I found a brittle recipe in a cookbook with the incredibly long title: Ghoulish Goodies: Creature Feature Cupcakes, Monster Eyeballs, Bat Wings,Funny Bones, Witches’ Knuckles, and Much More!, but I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I experimented and came up with this recipe. The author of the recipe mentioned that tons of recipes for candy brittle include a big baking soda addition, which can make the hot sugar puff up too much and get sort of cloudy looking. The puffiness looks cool, but the candy doesn’t have the crispness that brittle-lovers crave. So, note that this recipe doesn’t have a ton of baking soda. Also note, you need a candy thermometer. Luckily, I had one because my aunt was wise enough to furnish my little kitchen with one. She knew I had a sweet tooth. The recipe is easy. The candy flavor is divine.

Sunflower Seed Brittle

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sunflower seeds (shell-less)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with butter. Put on oven mitts.

In a large saucepan (heavy, if you have it), combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly while the sugar dissolves. Cook until the mixture comes to a full boil. This will take about 3-5 minutes.

Slip the candy thermometer along the side of the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue to boil without stirring until the temperature reaches 260 degrees on the candy thermometer. This will take about 10-12 minutes. [Note: the temp gets to 200 fast…but then be patient.]
Sorry this is blurry. Hard to photograph while stirring!

Remove the pan from heat to stir in the butter and sunflower seeds with a wooden or heatproof spoon.  [Don’t use a plastic spoon; it could melt.] Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the temperature reaches 295 degrees on the candy thermometer. This takes about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and quickly stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Be careful; the vanilla will spatter. Yipes!

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it as thinly as possible, using the back of the wooden spoon or spatula, and let the brittle stand until completely cool. 

Break the candy into serving pieces [I gently whack with a mallet…] and store the candy in a plastic zip-style bag. Remember to squeeze out the air before sealing. The candy holds for up to 2 weeks, if you can keep from eating it that long.


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STIRRING THE PLOT is available for order: order here.

Next up:
6th Cheese Shop mystery, February 2015

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  1. Congrats on those wonderful book sales Daryl! And Jenna, the brittle looks yummy!

  2. Well done on the boo--it's a good seller and a great read!
    This looks pretty tasty, too.

    1. Oh, dear. Sorry.
      That's supposed to say "book"!

    2. LOL. Boo! to you! Perfect typo for the season. :)

      Daryl/ Avery

  3. Delicious! Sunflower seeds are my favourite.

    1. Wonderful. I like them, too. So easy to keep around for a quickie snack.

      Daryl / Avery

  4. What a clever idea. I love sunflower seeds. Great way to get kids to eat them!