Mesilla Valley Chile Brittle

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors (yellow, orange, green, red, chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique, distinctively fruity flavor. It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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Ingredients

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried ground habaneros
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole pi├▒ones, peanuts, cashews or coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts or brazil nuts

Instructions

Boil together the sugars, corn syrup, water, chile and salt until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F. on a candy thermometer (hard crack). Stir the mixture only until the sugar is dissolved so it doesn’t scorch.

Add the butter and soda, stirring until the mixture foams up. Add nuts and quickly stir them in. Pour the mixture onto a greased heatproof flat pan. Spread the mixture until it is very thin. Loosen from the sheet before it cools and hardens. Break into crude pieces.

Recipe adapted from Pepper Fool, 1997