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lizztwozee

Bird Seed Brittle

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Greetings, all. I've recently been introduced to an incredible confection called "bird seed brittle", made by a local bakery. It's a tender-crisp brittle populated with sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and the ingredients that hold it together are noted as simple syrup, honey, vanilla, cream and oil. The texture is so interesting, because it has no hint of chewiness, but a tenderness somewhere in between a crumbliness and shatter-crispness. Incredible! It speaks of a rigid formula that includes a specific temperature in order to get the right amount of crispness without chewiness or hardness. It's spread very thin, and so is bound to be more tender because of that. The cream makes the binding material opaque, and it has a hint of oil on the bottom, telling me it's spread on parchment, then cut, or cut just after spreading, as the cuts are rectangular, and not random, as if it had been broken. Whew! Did I give a good description? I'd love your thoughts on recreating the recipe.


Lizz

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"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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Making a brittle is just another type of sugar work, all of the usual rules and warnings apply.

I'd just use a regular brittle recipe, making simple syrup first seems like a waste of time. All that extra water also just adds time to the cookdown period, there's no point in using it if you're going to boil it out.

The oil on the bottom isn't for parchment, it's from the bare sheet pan. You don't want to use parchment because it will stick or get embedded.

What usually makes the binding material opaque in a brittle is air pockets caused by the addition of baking powder at the end. Most brittles need this or they'd be almost impossible to eat.

For comparison, here is my brittle formula:

14 oz Sugar

6 oz Water

10 oz Corn Syrup

2lb Peanuts, blanched

¼ oz Salt

1 oz Butter

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Baking Powder

Oil a half sheet pan very well, keep warm in a low oven. In a 6 qt pan cook the sugar, water and CS, washing down the sides occasionally. When the mix gets to 265° add the peanuts. Cook, mixing once or twice, until the mixture is dark and the peanuts roasted, just at 318°. Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Add the baking powder and stir thoroughly and quickly. Pour into the warm pan and spread with a large palette knife. Pull with gloved hands, if necessary, to make an even layer.

You can sub honey for the CS. And you can sub other raw nuts for the peanuts.

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Theres a recipe for this in Chocolates and Confections, "Bird Food." Let me know if you want the formula, I can pm it to you.

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Minas: Yes, please! I'm not sure this is a straight brittle, Lisa. It's so tender, without a hint of sugar-chewiness, and it is opaque without the air bubbles. Looking forward to trying the recipe!


Lizz

---

"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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Wow this sounds good! I've never seen something like this; do you think you could take a photo so we can see it?

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Pm sent. The pictures online dont looks too great, basically like a brittle with a bunch of seeds mixed in, which is basically what it is. lizztwozee, I'm sure the recipe from Chocolates and Confections will produce something great, but I wouldnt be too quick to assume it will turn out like the one at your bakery, theres a whole lot of little variables that can be changed with candy, producing different results. Just give the recipe a try and experiment by making small changes with things you dont like.

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Thanks, I'll have fun experimenting! And sorry I didn't get a photo before I snarfed the whole bag down, everyone. I'll take a trip to the Farmer's Market on Feb. 4th, to get more, you can bet.


Lizz

---

"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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I'm not familiar with this but our first clue that it isn't just a multi-seed brittle is that you listed cream as an ingredient. I'm wondering what cooking something like a New Orleans style praline base (which includes butter but you could use the oil you mentioned being in their ingredient list) to a higher temp would lead to. That type of praline is in the "crumbly tenderness" range when done traditionally but they're not cooked to a very high temp. They get the opaqueness from the stirring as the base cools before depositing. I'm actually curious enough to try cooking a base to a couple higher temps and see what happens. Maybe stop the stirring process after it begins to go opaque but before it starts getting too much of the grainy-ish texture of the pralines and pour.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Tri2Cook: Sounds like you're on to something! Do you have a good source for a praline recipe? I had a thought that it was not a brittle, as soda is not in the ingredient list. We're getting close, I can feel it!


Lizz

---

"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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Minas, thanks for the great recipe!

Anyway It came out fantastic, although not exactly like the confection I discovered, but absoloutely delicious, and shatter-crisp, with toasted nuggets of seeds, highlighted by a zing of salt every other bite. Incredible! I had to send them off to a friend, in order not to eat them ALL as they cooled. Wonderful, thank you!


Lizz

---

"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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Glad it came out well, now I want to make it! Try to post the pics if you can, I'm able to find pics of alot of Greweling confections, but cant seem to find a finished version of this one. Sometimes the upload feature lags for me too, but I eventually get it going. Glad you liked it.

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Ok, what does it take to get this great recipe released to the public? I want to try!

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