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Gingered Molasses Pecan Brittle

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger*
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  1. Pour the pecans into a glass pie plate or other microwave-safe shallow dish, and microwave 3 minutes to begin toasting. (When done, chop the pecans if you're using pecan halves).
  2. While the pecans toast, stir together the sugar and ginger in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl (preferably a 2-quart glass measure with a handle).
  3. Add the corn syrup and molasses, and stir to mix.
  4. Add the toasted pecan pieces and microwave, uncovered, on HIGH for 4 minutes.
  5. Using oven mitts, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir.
  6. Return to the microwave and cook, uncovered, on HIGH for 4 minutes more.
  7. Meanwhile, grease a cookie sheet well with butter and set aside.
  8. Use oven mitts to remove the nut mixture from the oven. (It will be very hot.)
  9. Stir in the butter, vanilla and salt. Stir until the butter melts completely. Continue to microwave, uncovered, on high, 2 more minutes. The mixture should bubble furiously.
  10. Use oven mitts to remove the mixture from the microwave.
  11. Add the baking soda. Stir quickly until the baking soda is mixed in thoroughly. (The mixture will lighten in color and become airy.)
  12. Immediately (and very carefully) pour the brittle out onto the prepared cookie sheet, and shake the sheet to spread the brittle out a bit. (The brittle will be fairly thick.)
  13. Let the brittle stand until completely cool, at least 30 minutes.
  14. Break into pieces and serve.
  15. Store leftovers in an airtight container, preferably a tin, up to 2 weeks, depending on the humidity.

Makes 16 pieces, about 2 1/2 inches by 3 inches each.

* The ground ginger needed here is dry, powdered ginger found on the supermarket spice aisle. The hot candy will be easier and safer to pour if you use a 2-quart glass measure with a handle. Be sure to use oven mitts, as the candy is very hot. This recipe was tested using a 600-watt oven. Adjust the cooking time (more or less) depending on your oven's wattage. Also, to make cleanup easier, run very hot tap water in the glass measure immediately after completing the, or run the measure through the dishwasher immediately.

Nutrition values per piece: 189 calories (53 percent from fat), 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 3 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 169 mg sodium


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