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Making Pistachio Brittle with Toni Roberts

By Anthony Todd in Food on Dec 15, 2009 7:00PM

Our trip behind the scenes at C-House with Pastry Chef Toni Roberts was just so much fun that we had to give you another look. We spent about an hour watching her work, and we took pictures of everything that looked interesting. Rather than the usual "food pron," most of these are more about the day-to-day work of a busy kitchen; breaking down ingredients, cleaning prep stations, visiting the walk-in coolers, filling out forms. The organization needed to keep a high-quality establishment going seems pretty daunting to an outsider.

During our visit to the pastry kitchen at C-House, Chef Roberts was nice enough to give us one of her recipes. This Pistachio Brittle is excellent, and appears in the 'candy bar' section of the dessert menu. Some of the pictures in the gallery are of the brittle, and you can get a pretty good idea of the process. Try it for your holiday gatherings!

Pistachio Brittle
Courtesy of Toni Roberts and C-House

1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups shelled pistachios
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp butter

Toast the pistachios in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes. Place the pistachios in a bowl with the butter, salt, and baking soda. Mix the water, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed pot and cook over high heat until the sugar turns to an amber caramel color. Remove from the heat and immediately dump in the pistachios, salt, baking soda and butter. Stir with a wooden spoon until the bubbles dissipate and the butter is melted in.

Pour the whole mix onto a Silpat or aluminum foil coated with oil. Spread out using the back of the wooden spoon. Put on kitchen or latex gloves and carefully stretch the brittle. Use the back of the spoon to slide under the brittle.

Cool completely and break into pieces. Wear gloves to avoid getting cut by the sugar. Store the brittle in an airtight container at room temperature. Serve and enjoy!