What turned me into such a Halloween bore? I blame the abundance of sexy kitten and sexy bumblebee outfits. Like, gag me with a spoon.
Nonetheless, a sugar-driven individual such as myself finds it difficult to ignore the saccharinepalooza aspect of the (sexy) witches-and-broomsticks eve and thus, I bring you a monster-sized, cocktail nut-and-apple encrusted, spicy, brittle-based, chocolate-covered, and caramel corn and pepita-sprinkled candy bar. Make an appointment with your (sexy) dentist 'cause you'll need a cavity search after you sink your fangs into this wicked good slab.
- Yield:8 to 10
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:1 hour, 45 minutes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups salted mixed cocktail nuts
- 3/4 cup dried apple rings, chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup caramels, each cut into quarters
- 1 cup popped kettle or caramel corn
- 2 tablespoons roasted and salted pepitas or sunflower seeds
Line a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or heavy-duty foil lengthwise with one sheet, then crosswise with a second sheet to create a sling; grease with butter.
Combine nuts, chopped apples, sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne in large heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring with wooden mixing spoon, until sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and boil, stirring frequently (to prevent nuts and apples from sticking and scorching), until mixture is thick and deep amber and temperature reads 295°F on candy thermometer, 8 to 12 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately stir in baking soda and salt. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan and quickly spread into even layer.
Sprinkle hot brittle with caramel and chocolate chips and let rest until chips melt, about 3 minutes. Swirl chocolate in even layer with back of soup spoon and sprinkle with kettle corn and pepitas.
Refrigerated brittle until cool and hardened and chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Pull brittle out onto work surface with help of sling, and using a meat mallet or other blunt object, break brittle into pieces and serve.