My Armenian Grandmother must have had a wicked sweet tooth. Whenever I think of her, the first thing that comes to mind was her many candy dishes punctuating every flat surface throughout her living room. Each one had its own variety of candy in it. So, having inherited that sweet tooth myself, I knew that candy dish terrain like it was a map of my own hand. One dish in particular, was my favorite. It never disappointed. She always seemed to have an endless supply of sesame brittle. Little rectangles wrapped in clear cellophane. No print on the wrapper, nothing to complicate the simple package of perfection. Just simple ingredients that result in a crunchy, buttery, nutty and sweet candy.
So who am I to mess with that? I don’t know…but it came to me while dreaming of that brittle. My new favorite ingredient that has me adding it to lots of things lately, Sriracha, was calling to me from the fridge. I love the combination of sweet and spicy. It satisfies both cravings. I honestly did not know how this was going to work, but as soon as that boiling hot sugar cooled, my fingers were cracking bits of brittle off and my mouth started making the yummy sound!
If you are not familiar with it, Sriracha is an Asian chili sauce. Kind of like a spicy hot ketchup. Bon Appetit Magazine has an interesting article about how it all started and the company that produces it. You can read it here,
but come back and get this recipe. Guaranteed, you will be making the yummy sound too!
Sesame Sriracha Brittle
3/8 C. sugar
2 T. honey
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 t. water
1 T. Sriracha
1/2 C. unhulled sesame seeds
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 t. butter
slightly heaping 1/8 t. baking soda
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and get all of your ingredients together so you can work quickly.
In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, sea salt, water and Sriracha. Give it a good stir and place the saucepan over medium heat. After a minute of stirring, add the sesame seeds. Keep cooking, stirring pretty much constantly while the sugar starts to become golden amber.After 5 minutes, clip a candy thermometer to the side of your pan to start keeping an eye on the temperature. Keep stirring! Don’t let the bottom get too dark or the whole batch will have a burnt taste. Somewhere between 5 and 7 minutes, the temperature should reach about 275 degrees. When it does, remove the pan from the heat and working quickly, stir in the vanilla, butter and the baking soda. Combine well and immediately pour the mixture carefully onto your parchment lined baking sheet.Allow the brittle to cool for about 15 minutes. I know, I know, it’s going to be a long 15 minutes, but for safety reasons…you must control yourself! Once cooled, break the brittle into bite-size pieces and enjoy!
Notes: (These notes are important…please read!)
- Please be careful when working with hot sugar. Seriously, it’s the hottest thing your skin will ever meet in the kitchen. Do not attempt to lick any spoons in this recipe and I suggest not making this with children. They can help taste-test when fully cooled.
- As I stated above, getting all of your ingredients out and measured, or at least having all of your tools beside the stove top will help. You will need to stir continuously, and once the mixture gets to that point of being done, you will want to work quickly (but carefully).