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Spicy Peanut Brittle for Holiday Care Packages

Spicy Peanut Brittle for Holiday Care Packages
Home » Holidays & Celebrations » Spicy Peanut Brittle for Holiday Care Packages

Lots of baking going on during the holiday season, but how much of that goodness can you ship as a gift and have it arrive fresh and in one piece?  Peanut Brittle enhanced with a little Mexican chile spice is one treat that ships well and tastes great upon arriving. I shipped them to my kids as winter care packages when they were in college. The thank you calls confirmed they were a hit with the suite-mates as well!

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Peanut brittle, chocolate bark and bourbon caramels on a tiered candy dish
Spicy peanut brittle, chocolate bark for care packages

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Tips for Easy Candy Making

Sometimes candy-making is avoided because using a candy thermometer is a kitchen tool that isn’t used very often.  I rarely make candy, but the recipe below was easy and turned out great the first time around.

Two main things to be aware of that will help immensely:

  1. You have to work fast once the candy has reached the right temperature, so make sure and have all utensils, potholders & baking sheets prepped and ready;
  2. The candy gets really, really hot so be careful not to get any on your skin (it will burn).  Make sure the thermometer is secured well on the pot (an alligator clip works well for the round thermometers) so you don’t have to be moving it around;
  3. make sure the pot is the right size so the thermometer reaches down to the candy syrup;
  4. try to get someone to help you when it is time to pour it out onto a baking sheet.

Spicy Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Basket of spicy pumpkin seed peanut brittle
Basket of spicy pumpkin seed peanut brittle

Other Sweet Treats that Ship Well in Care Packages

Here are a few other recipes of favorite treats that my kids have enjoyed in their college care packages:

  • Ritz Cracker Chocolate Bark
Sheet of ritz cracker chocolate and dried cherry bark
Sheet of ritz cracker chocolate and dried cherry bark

Spicy Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Basket of spicy pumpkin seed peanut brittle
This is a delicious and unique peanut brittle that adds the smoky heat of chipotle spice and the seasonal crunch of pumpkin seeds for a holiday treat that lasts for a month. It’s great for holiday care packages or make-ahead holiday treats.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 240



  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • cup corn syrup light
  • ½ cup unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups toasted pumpkin seeds (1/2 cup saved out for the topping)
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder can use red pepper flakes if you don’t have chipotle
  • 1 tsp maldon sea salt a flake salt for topping


  • Prepare a 10 x 15 rimmed baking sheet by lightly coating it with oil or lining it with foil.
  • In a heavy saucepan that will be the right depth for your candy thermometer to hang off the edge of the pot and still reach the bottom, mix together the sugar, corn syrup, butter and 2/3 cup water and stir until sugar is wet.
  • Clip the candy thermometer onto the pot and turn the heat to medium-high.  Let the mixture cook without stirring until the candy thermometer reaches 310°.  It will take about 13 to 15 minutes and the mixture will be foaming and tan around the edges.
  • Moving quickly, turn off the heat, remove the thermometer, and use a slotted spoon to whisk in the baking soda and salt.  It will foam up so be careful.  Stir in 1 cup of the pumpkin seeds and the chipotle spice.
  • Pour the brittle mixture from the pot onto the prepared baking sheet, tilting the pot to spread the brittle out over the baking sheet.  It cools quickly and it is messy to spread with a knife after it is poured, so try to get the brittle in a sheet the thickness you like as you pour.  Pouring instead of spreading will give it a smooth surface.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds and the flake salt evenly over the brittle.  Cool completely on the baking sheet at room temperature.
  • Invert the brittle onto a cutting board and use your hands to break it up into pieces.  The brittle can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.


Calories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 1gFat: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 45g
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