I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween. Perhaps it’s because as a kid where I lived it was either too freaking hot for your costume or too freaking cold. It made trick or treating not so much fun. Also I don’t like scary things. At all. Except shark movies. I love that. And I am officially zombied out. I mean when a zombie is in a mobile phone commercial you know it’s reached its peak and it’s time to move on.
The one thing I do love of course is the fun sized candy (though this year I am not buying candy until the last minute…I’m trying to be good). The other thing is carving pumpkins. As kids we did this every year and then of course keep the seeds. My mom would make us kids sit and separate out the pumpkin goo from the seeds and place them onto a plate. Then we would soak them in salt water and bake them off.
The way I tend to get the seeds now is from roasting pumpkins. These seeds come out of sugar pie pumpkins that I used for a snack cake and bread pudding (yes those recipes will be up). If you have never roasted your own pumpkin it’s a wonderful thing to do (I’ll have a post about it this week)!
Anyway I saved the seeds and a friend of mine mentioned that her dad used to soak theirs in bourbon and that sounded like a fun and different way to make the seeds. I like to dry my seeds out a full day before I do anything to them. I think it helps with the crunch, especially when putting them into a wet mix. I have no idea what would happen if you skipped that step. Be sure to use decent bourbon (I found a good one that is the Trader Joe’s brand) as cheap booze equals not so good tasting in recipes…quality in…quality out.
The good news is that you still have over a full month of pumpkin baking to happen, especially with Thanksgiving being later this year. So start scooping out pumpkin guts and get to making some seeds!
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin seeds (fully rinsed, and set out for 24 hours to dry…on a pan)
- ½ cup bourbon (I used Trader Joe’s brand…pretty cheap and pretty good)
- 2 TBSP dark brown sugar
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter
- Sea salt to taste
- In a medium saucepan add the pumpkin seeds, bourbon, brown sugar, and butter. Bring to a boil.
- Once at a boil, bring heat down to just a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Lay parchment paper down onto a baking sheet (helps not stick and for clean up).
- Pour seeds out onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Spread them out as best you can trying to not have them stick together.
- Salt the one side with sea salt.
- Bake at 275F for 30 minutes.
- Take out of oven and flip them. They will be sticky. Try to make one layer again, a little harder than the first go. Sprinkle on more sea salt.
- Put back into oven and bake another 30-60 minutes. Mine went about 80 minutes total.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Some will be seeds…some will have stuck together more like brittle (because of the sugar). Best if eaten the same day but were good the next as well. Don’t know after that as they didn’t last after the first day. :)