I also made some pine nut brittle. I started out wanting something to garnish the white chocolate-rose geranium ice cream I made to take to my book group the other night. I always add a fresh sprig of rose geranium but wanted a little something else. Brittle sounded like a good idea, but I was out of peanuts or (my favorites) shelled pistachios.
But I had a big batch of pine nuts roasting on the stove for a batch of pesto I was making. There's something delicate and soft about pine nuts, and it turns out they made a lovely brittle.
It's important to cook the syrup mixture to 300 degrees. It takes a while, and the only way I know it figure out whether you're there yet is to use a candy thermometer.
A Silpat mat is perfect for this, but any buttered surface will do.
ANY NUT BRITTLE
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup toasted nuts—peanut, pistachio, or pine nut
Lightly butter a large baking sheet.
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Bring to a full boil. Cover and boil for two to three minutes. Uncover and without stirring, start testing for temperature.
When temperature reaches 300 degrees, remove from heat and add baking soda, vanilla, and nuts. Mixture will bubble and foam.
Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread in a thin layer with a buttered spatula or knife. Let cool for five minutes and then break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container for one week or in the refrigerator for one month.