In the Southwest, where I currently call home, the transition into Fall is marked by finally rolling down your car-windows in the evening, opening up the house, and turning off the air conditioning. The humidity persists into mid December, which creates a disastrous environment for vegetables typically associated with Fall, like pumpkins, squash, and other gourds. Considering a pumpkin you might carve for Halloween lasts around three days outdoors, I’ve been on the hunt for more creative ways to bring the coziness of Fall to those around me. I had the idea to roast pumpkin seeds, but sweeten them for a change. There are plenty of recipes for surprising ways to season pumpkin seeds, usually to follow your Halloween carving session. This sweet recipe uses a hint of cinnamon to complement the seeds nicely.
• 6 cups Pumpkin Seeds (I used raw, store bought)*
• 3 Tablespoons Unsalted butter
• 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, split in two ½ Teaspoon parts
• 1 ½- 2 Cups White Sugar, spilt in half
*The bad news, I came to find, is that a pumpkin about the size of a soccer-ball is likely to yield only 1 full cup of seeds. Also, a pumpkin of that size will have itty-bitty seeds, not the best for snacking (or roasting for that matter.) For this recipe, I bought a few bags of raw seeds from my local grocery store.
Begin by lining a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. In a medium-sized glass or plastic bowl (microwave safe), melt the butter. Pre-heat the oven to 300°. All at once, pour the pumpkin seeds into the same bowl, and stir to coat each seed. Take a spatula with draining holes, scoop out the pumpkin seeds, and spread a single layer on the cookie sheet, I used three separate full cookie sheets (one for each oven shelf) for the six cups of seeds I made. Bake them in the oven for 10-15 minutes**, or until the seeds are slightly browned.
While the seeds bake, sift together the first part of sugar with the first portion of cinnamon in a large glass or metal bowl. Place an oven-mitt on each hand- this recipe is beyond hot. After removing the seeds from oven, they should still be slightly oiled from the butter. If not, use your spatula to scoop the seeds back into the original bowl, cut a thin pad of butter, and toss together with the seeds. It is important that the seeds are oily, so that the cinnamon-sugar adheres to them. Then, scoop the seeds into the cinnamon and sugar mix. Toss or stir vigorously. Spread the coated seeds onto the cookie sheet, again. Bake the seeds for another 5-7 minutes. Add the second parts of cinnamon and sugar to your large bowl, and stir. Lastly, remove the cookie sheets from the oven, and toss them in the cinnamon-sugar mix a second time.
**If you are using straight-from-the-pumpkin seeds, the initial roasting is nearly double the time indicated. Also, add ¼ Teaspoon Salt.
To package my seeds up for gifts, I used small brown paper bags together with some leftover yarn for a handcrafted feel. I decorated each bag with a circle label in the style Cornucopia.
- Circle Labels • I chose the “Cornucopia” style in Ivory.