This Cranberry Pistachio Brittle is basically a holiday brittle recipe that uses a unique flavored extract called fiori di sicilia that gives it a vanilla citrus flavor! (Jump directly to the recipe.)
Don’t tell my partner AJ about this, but one of the reasons I love listening to Christmas music is because he sings along to the songs. AJ doesn’t have the best voice in the world, but then, neither do I. But years ago, in another life, AJ’s ex once told him in an offhanded joke that he had a terrible singing voice. Ever since then, he’s a bit self-conscious about singing and thus, he just rarely sings.
It’s not a huge deal. But there’s something about his unconscious singing along to Christmas songs that makes them extra magical. I can never actually point it out to him, as I know he’ll become self-conscious about it, and stop singing along. But the joy of Christmas music is amplified by him humming and singing a line or two of any holiday song that comes up in random shuffle during the holidays.
While I fill our home with music and holiday decorations, I also find myself in the kitchen, baking and making treats. I don’t really need any excuses to bake and make food, but the holiday is always a fun one, where I am making old classic treats (like my chocolate crackle cookies or my gingerbread Christmas trees) but I’m also always trying to develop new and fun variations of recipes. And that’s how I ended up making this cranberry and pistachio brittle. It’s a fun take on the classic peanut brittle recipe I developed for Simply Recipes. But with a specific holiday touch. Pop a piece in your mouth, sing a few bars of Frosty the Snowman along with AJ and me, and just revel in the fact that we’ve all survived another year. Happy holidays folks!
Cranberry and Pistachio Brittle
This fun holiday take on peanut brittle uses dried cranberries and pistachios along with seasonal extracts and spices. Fiori de Sicilia is a specialty extract that is a combination of citrus orange and vanilla. You can find it online and at specialty stores. But if you can’t or don’t want to source it, you can substitute an equal amount of vanilla with the finely grated zest of a medium orange. You will want a candy thermometer for this recipe.
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup 150 g
- 1 cup white sugar 200 g
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 57 g or 1/2 stick
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia see headnote above
- 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts 135 g
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries/craisins 75 g
Combine the water, corn syrup, sugar and butter in a medium to large saucepan (the mixture will boil so use a pan larger than you think you need).
Stir until the mixture to a boil and then let it cook (without stirring) until it turns golden brown, anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. You want to bring the candy to 340°F.
While the candy is cooking, spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking oil and place on hot pads. Measure out the remaining ingredients, as you will need them quickly after the candy has come to the right temperature.
Once the candy is done cooking, remove from heat and immediately stir in the baking soda and salt.
Then stir in the extract, pistachios and dried cranberries. The mixture will steam, boil and bubble fiercely so be careful!
Pour the candy into the prepared baking sheet and spread out thinly with a heatproof spatula. Let the brittle cool for 1 hour then break the brittle into 2-inch pieces. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 2 weeks at room temperature, or in the freezer for up to a month.