Over the weekend I participated in a Christmas cookie exchange with some friends. It’s a fun tradition that my friend Katie has been organizing and hosting for the past 6 years and it’s always a good time! I usually feel the need to include one (or more) of our maple products in the recipe I decide to make, and this year was no exception. Instead of a cookie recipe, though, I thought I’d try something new – maple brittle! I had never made it before and was a bit nervous. The original recipe I tried did not turn out as it should have, so I did some research and looked at several other recipes before coming up with my own, which I will share below. The second attempt was much better, and pretty delicious if I do say so myself. (My friends at the exchange agreed, and some of our NMS family taste tested as well!)
Toasting the pecans
Boiling to 300 F
Letting it cool
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 C real maple syrup
1/4 C water
1 stick unsalted butter
1 C toasted pecans
1/2 t baking soda
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat and set aside.
Mix first four ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot/pan (I used cast iron) over medium heat until melted/combined. Put a candy thermometer in it and let it boil. Once it boils, do not stir (it will cause the sugar to crystallize and the mixture to thicken too soon, making it likely to burn).
Let come to 300 F (about 15-20 minutes). Take off heat, and immediately stir in toasted pecans and baking soda before pouring it onto your prepared cookie sheet. Try to spread it out with a silicone spatula, or cover with another piece of parchment paper and use a rolling pin. Sprinkle coarse salt across the top and let it cool.
Once it has cooled and hardened, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.