But I started thinking about that idea and although I was in there for a "push yourself so hard you can't move after class" type of feeling, I wasn't prepared to take on these deep philosophical notions; after all, it was a spin class and not Philosophy 101. But I pedaled on, breathless, and began thinking of my latest cooking conundrum that had been bothering me for the past several weeks, and wondering if perhaps, the key wasn't pushing myself out of the way so that I could bake this brittle the way I wanted it to be.
I hate it when I overthink things, become over wrought and then all twisted up inside and out when essentially things are far more simple if I just let them be. My own personal nature is to get in the way of myself instead of letting myself get to the top on my own. I've been making this brittle for the past few weeks and every single time I make it, I'm trying to recreate the the result I got from the FIRST attempt (weeks ago) and have failed miserably, repeatedly, over and over. Various people have been the beneficiaries of my attempts as I've been handing out this brittle left and right and everyone has LOVED it. Everyone except me, only because it didn't do the thing that I thought I wanted it to do.
Today, with the spin instructor's deep thought in my head, I just let it go. I wanted another try, another attempt and just another visit with this brittle and perhaps it would be like the one I wanted, or perhaps not. At any rate, I was going to stop agonizing over it and stop giving myself a hard time about it. I was, so to speak, going to push myself outta the way.
Today's brittle is pretty close to the perfection I've been striving for these past few weeks. It's truly simply ingredients with simple preparation to make something delicious. It'll be in a lot of the food gifts I do this holiday I think, only because it is so simple to make and it takes little effort to make it. Prepare to wow yourself and if you need to, push yourself outta the way to enjoy!
Pepita Graham Cracker Brittle
Makes 30 or so pieces
15 graham crackers
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds, available at Trader Joes)
1 cup golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sea salt (optional) to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet (half sheet) with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking oil for easy of clean up. Lay 15 graham crackers on the tray. (I break apart a few for the end to fill the tray, but this is optional)
In a medium saucepan over high heat, add butter and pepitas. Stir until butter is all melted and then add brown sugar all at once. Cook until brown sugar is melted about 90 seconds- the mixture may not be completely uniform but that is okay. Add vanilla extract and cook for another 10 seconds. Remove from heat and pour mixture over graham crackers.
Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and slightly darkened. Remove from oven and cool completely. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
Cut or break into chunks. Oftentimes it breaks up unevenly so jagged pieces end up being really attractive.
It's on my list of easy gifts to make to give away this year.