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brittle without nuts?

Seeing all the posts about traditional holiday treats you give away has started me thinking. I always try to make one new thing, and I was interested in trying a brittle.

However, I am allergic to nuts, as are a number of family members. Is is possible/worth to try making brittle w/out nuts? Are nuts the very essesence of brittle and too important to remove?

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  1. Seeds come to mind; you may wish to experiment with them. (And/or steel cut oats maybe?)

    1. Without nuts it would be very hard, very sweet candy, not very interesting IMO. I think I would make toffee instead. But seeds are a good idea if you can eat them, I think pepitas would work well (I think there are recipes for pepita brittle out there).

      The nuts or seeds add (relative) softness to the candy as well as flavour.

      1. The recipe for pepita brittle in the latest Martha Stewart sounds very good. Also I have had brittle with sesame seeds and really loved it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bolivianita

          I have been thinking about making pumpkin seed/pepita brittle for Halloween. I will look online for the Martha recipe. I was wondering if I could just substitute pepitas for peanuts in my peanut brittle recipe? Also, I was thinking about lightly some of the pepitas for a spicy batch and tossing them with cayenne and salt before adding them to the brittle recipe. Any opinions or thoughts are appreciated! Thanks everyone.

          1. Sesame brittle is a standard Asian sweet and absolutely delicious, as already said.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cheryl_h

              I always make pumpkin seed brittle around this time

              1. re: sugarbuzz

                Second that fully. Can even add chili powder to the sweet.

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Oops, guess I should have read all the posts before posting my reply. Sorry! A couple of questions on your pumpkin seed brittle sugarbuzz, and the chili powder Sam. Do you have a recipe you use, or do you just sub pumpkin seeds for peanuts? When do you add the chili powder? Should I toast the pepitas first with chili or add to the mixture? Thanks so much for your help.

                  1. re: ScarletB

                    Sorry for the delay. Just--as you guessed--sub toasted pumpkin seed for peanuts, add chili powder when toasting.

            2. Are they allergic to all nuts and seeds? Nuts are just big seeds. I know of some cases where a person is allergic to a type like pecans and walnuts but almonds and pistachios are okay or cashews. And peanuts are not nuts at all so if it is peanuts that is the problem substituting sliced almonds might work. There is a chocolate coated almond brittle in Desalunier's Death By Chocolate which is pretty decadent.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Candy

                I make Mario Batali's slivered almond brittle every year for Christmas. It is soooo good.

              2. maybe dried soybeans would work. . . . . The bulk store sells honey roasted soy beans that are actually quite tasty. They would add the same crunchiness without the allergic reaction.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pancake

                  Thank you for the suggestions! Soybeans are a great idea--in fact, Soybutter is the closest we get to peanut butter.
                  There are two types of allergies in the family, peanut and tree nut (almonds, brazil, hazel--yep, all the good ones).
                  Coconut is fine, as are sesame, sunflower and pumpkin--they don't seem to trigger the allergic reaction.
                  I love the idea of pumpkin brittle--perfect for halloween!!I am going to try it this weekend!

                2. Espresso (or coffee) bean brittle. Delicious, and a nice buzz!

                    1. re: babette feasts

                      I like a challenge..... I wonder if the candy shell on M&Ms would keep them intact in the hot sugar - melt in your mouth (from moisture), not in your hand (from heat). I think it would be worth a try. I also thought rice krispies because Pierre Herme has a recipe that calls for caramelized krispies, but maybe something more substantial like cocoa pebbles would be fun.

                    2. I second Babette's suggestion for Bacon Brittle. I had some a couple of years ago and it was delicious. A little weird at first, but once you got over the initial shock, it's just great.

                      1. What about broken up salted pretzels? Has anyone ever tried this? That seems like a possible analog to the nuts. Thoughts?

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: magiesmom

                            cooked to a light brown hard crack stage, it would basically be toffee. High quality butter would be a must for this.