Pumpkin seeds are fun to make after carving jack-o-lanterns or roasting sugar pumpkins. However, they tend to be chewy and hard to eat. I found this recipe from Martha Stewart a couple of years ago and never looked back.
The trick is to wash them well, dry them thoroughly in a low temperature oven
and then caramelize them on the stove with oil and sugar
Next pour them into a bowl full of sugar and spices which will coat the pumpkin seeds with flavorful toppings that won’t come off.
The result is crispy pumpkin seeds coated in seasonal flavors of your choice. For this version I deviated from the recipe because we are in Tahoe and don’t have all my spices available. I used a little oil, butter, sugar and a pinch of salt. They were sweet and buttery which was nice. I do prefer the flavor combo in the recipe below though with a slight kick of cayenne.
Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Makes 1 cup
1 medium pumpkin
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin open from the bottom, removing seeds with a long-handled spoon. Separate flesh from seeds, and reserve the flesh for another use (see Pumpkin Pie). Pumpkin should yield 1 cup seeds. Spread seeds on parchment in an even layer. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let cool.
In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook until sugar melts and pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer to bowl with spices, and stir well to coat. Let cool. These may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
The jack-o-lanterns were fun too!