5 Ingredients or Fewer

Pine Nut Brittle with Rosemary

October 27, 2011
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Pine nuts and rosemary are two flavors that scream "holidays" to me. It's probably the closest you can get to eating the Christmas tree without getting tinsel in your teeth. So I decided to combine them here with another Christmas classic that dentists love to hate: brittle. Enjoy! —Ms. T

Test Kitchen Notes

We love pine nuts and rosemary together (could anything be more evocative of rolling Tuscan hills?), but the idea of combining them in brittle form struck us as groundbreaking. Ms. T has you cloak the pine nuts in a buttery caramel, and while it’s still hot you stir in plenty of chopped rosemary, which then infuses the brittle with its perfume. A shower of crunchy sea salt is the finishing touch. A word of caution: be careful, or you may find yourself demolishing half the batch in one sitting, like we did! – A&M —The Editors

  • Makes enough for one big tin or about 6 little bags of treats
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups pine nuts
  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground sea salt (I used grey sea salt)
In This Recipe
  1. Place the sugar in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until sugar begins to melt. Lower the heat to medium-high and keep stirring just until the sugar is melted. Stop stirring and watch for it to turn a medium caramel color. About 10 minutes total.
  2. Stir in pine nuts, and then butter. Allow pine nuts to cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in half of the rosemary and half of the sea salt.
  3. Turn the mixture out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and spread it evenly to the desired thickness with a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula. Sprinkle remaining rosemary and salt on top, while brittle is still warm.
  4. Allow to cool completely--at least one hour--then break the brittle into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature. If your brittle isn't brittle enough to break into pieces, pop it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, until it hardens enough to snap easily.

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A museum marketing professional 8 hours a day, and a gal who's dreaming, drooling, obsessing about food for the other 18 hours. Wait, that doesn't add up to 24? Oh, that's because I'm counting the hours I'm supposed to be working that I dream about food (don't tell my boss). Several years ago, I started a cooking club with six girlfriends...ten years later...many of our addresses and last names have changed, our palettes have gotten more sophisticated and the wine has gotten less cheap. We now usually sit at dining room tables like grownups instead of on cushions on the floor of studio apartments, and the conversations have shifted with the life stages...but we're still going strong, the food gets better every month, and nothing is more pleasurable than sharing an afternoon laughing, eating, and trading tips on recipes and life.