Chickpea Candy

I like to think of this candy as Middle Eastern brittle. It combines a distinctive Middle Eastern flavor, roasted chickpeas, with caramelized sugar. Roasted chickpeas make a great snack on their own and you can find them in many health food stores, Indian markets, or Middle Eastern specialty stores.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1½ cups roasted chickpeas (do not use raw or canned chickpeas)
Butter or margarine for greasing the cookie sheet
  1. Butter a large cookie sheet (preferably nonstick) and set it aside. Alternatively, butter a large marble slab. If you have a marble or granite counter, by all means use it. Simply clean it, then generously butter it.

  2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely and the syrup comes to a boil.

  3. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan. Raise the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 310°F (just over hard crack).

  4. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Remove the thermometer and stir in the chickpeas.

  5. Pour the mixture as thinly as possible onto the prepared sheet or marble slab, but do not spread the hot candy. After a few minutes, run a long, thin buttered spatula or knife under the candy to make sure it's not sticking.

  6. While the candy is still quite warm, start pulling the brittle. Grab the edges, and stretch out the candy. Pull it thin enough (about 1/4 inch) to keep the chickpeas in one layer, if possible. Alternatively, use two buttered forks to help you pull and stretch the candy.

  7. As you pull, pieces of the candy may break and holes may form. That's okay — you're going to break it into pieces later on anyway.

  8. The candy will become harder to pull as it cools, and will quickly become impossible to stretch without breaking. At this point, allow the candy to cool completely, about 1 hour. Using yhour hands, break the candy into small, irregular pieces about the size of a credit card. Store the candy in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
Makes about 1 pound.

VARIATIONS

Cumin Chickpea Candy: Add 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds with the chickpeas.

Honey Chickpea Candy: Reduce the corn syrup to 1/4 cup. Add 1/3 cup honey with the remaining corn syrup.

Saffron Chickpea Candy: Omit the water from the recipe. Soak 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads in 1/4 cup hot water before starting the recipe. Add the saffron and the water to the pan with the sugar and corn syrup.


Recipe from "The Ultimate Candy Book" by Bruce Weinstein



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