All the wonderful crunch of a buttery brittle, Dark Chocolate Pistachio Brittle goes the extra mile, full of flavor and nutty goodness.
It’s fascinating how micro-trends pop-up on the interwebs. One day, Trend X is everywhere you look; the next, gone in a flash: Oreos in everything. Saffron in everything. Egg nog in everything.
This week alone, I’ve seen a dozen recipes for chewy, caramel-ly, nutty-somethings, just on the sites I regularly browse.
So I pinky-swear that I made this Dark Chocolate Pistachio Brittle before the deluge of nut caramels hit the interwebs. In fact, it started out as simple pistachio brittle, but then in subsequent rounds I added dark chocolate because it just seemed to be screaming for chocolate.
Or maybe that was me screaming. I can’t be too sure these days.
But then I scheduled this post for the week of Christmas because I thought no one would be doing a nut brittle just days before Christmas. Psych!
The interwebs always has a way of showing who’s boss (and it’s rarely me [pout]).
Caramel is so intriguing. You simply take sparkly, powdery sugar and melt it until it turns to a lovely brown liquid, and then heat it to the point where it’s guaranteed to harden when cooled. (Of course, sugary ingredients that are already in liquid form can help things along.) Add a little butter, a little vanilla, and you’ve got yourself some major league toffee.
Buttery caramel … all from innocent little sugar.
Pistachios are an entirely underrated nut, IMO. Look how pretty and festive they are atop the chocolate!
Oh, and nut brittles are also handy, last-minute Christmas gifts, as they store easily and last a long time. And who doesn’t love dark chocolate!
Make some Dark Chocolate Pistachio brittle and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas now!
Berger Cookies Recipe
Drunken S’mores Bars
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Brittle
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups pistachios , shelled and roughly chopped, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter , softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or paste
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa), chopped (or use chips)
- 1 teaspoon finishing salt , like Maldon's. Gray sea salt is also delicious.
- candy thermometer
- Line the back of a half sheet pan with a silicon mat (such as silpaor parchment paper (if using parchment paper, first spray the surface with non-stick spray — this will help the sheet to adhere to the tray as you pour the caramel). Lay the pan flat on a stable surface (lined side up).
- Heat sugar, syrup, salt and water in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and insert the candy thermometer. Leave mixture to simmer without disturbing until the temperature reaches 300°F (hard crack stage). The mixture should turn a light amber color.
- Remove pot from heat and place on a stable, heat-proof surface. Working quickly, stir in butter, vanilla, baking soda and 1/2 cup of the pistachios. Mixture will foam up - keep stirring. Beginning at one end of the lined pan, pour the caramel evenly onto the mat or paper. Use an offset spatula to smooth it into a solid sheet. Work quickly — the caramel will begin to hard in a matter of minutes. Let stand and cool for at least 15 minutes.
- While the caramel layer is cooling, make the ganache. Heat a small pot of water to a gentle simmer, then place a heat-proof mixing bowl on top of the pot (or use a double boiler). Add the cream and allow to heat (cream will begin to foam or swirl). Add the chocolate, heat briefly, then stir until chocolate and cream are thoroughly combined, smooth and creamy. Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer and use an offset spatula to spread and smooth out.
- Sprinkle the finishing salt and remaining 1 cup pistachios over the chocolate and use the flat of your hand to gently press the nuts into the chocolate. Set the pan aside to cool and set completely. (For a faster result, place the pan in the fridge, or outside if the weather is dry and cold.)
- To break apart, gently bend up one end of the mat or parchment paper while pressing down on the center of the layer to create the first crack. From there, it should be easy to break by hand. Store in an airtight container.