Barley Pepita Brittle

Buttery, malty, nutty, sweet, vanilla. These flavors are all classically whisky, so it would only make sense that a buttery, malty, nutty, sweet and vanilla flavored treat would serve a nice glass of the drink well (it also goes really well with beer). This brittle is not only easy to make, but the unusual use of barley is sure to make a very memorable impression on your guests.

You can find malted barley at your local brewing supply shop. The malt comes in a variety of roasts, from light to dark. You can use any level of roast you’d like, but I like to stick with lightly roasted caramel malt, around 20L (the folks at the store will know what that means). If you get completely unroasted barley the flavor contribution won’t be very strong, but if you use one that’s too dark you might end up with a bitter flavor that not many guests will appreciate. Feel free to experiment, though. A sprinkle of darker malt over a base of light malt may be just what you’re looking for.

You will need:

  • 1 + 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lightly roasted malted barley 
  • 1/2 cup roasted pepitas
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter cubed and brought to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Candy thermometer 
  • Silpat or other silicone mat and the same sized baking sheet 
  • Silicone spatula

In a covered pot over high heat bring sugar, salt, corn syrup and water to a boil. Resist the urge to stir unless noted to. Turn the heat down to medium, uncover and put in your candy thermometer. Bring the mix to 260*F. Add the pumpkin seeds and barley. Gently and slowly stir with a silicone spatula to coat all the dry ingredients and then lower the heat a tiny bit. Don’t rush this part or you may burn the sugar. If you see smoke take it off the heat for a minute and turn it down a little more before resuming. Without stirring, slowly bring the mix to 300*F. Remove from heat. Gently mix in the butter and baking soda and pour onto your Silpat lined baking sheet. Spread it around a little bit with the spatula. Let it cool. Once the brittle is room temperature just smash and serve. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container. Cheers!

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