If pirates ate brittle (and you know they did) this Coconut Macadamia Nut Brittle would be the flavor and this is how they'd describe it:
Yaaar ya kitchen dwellin' landlubber! Coconut, caramelized sugar and macadamia nuts be tied together with a splash o' rum t' make this t' brittle o' t' pirate seas, matey! So whip up a batch and hand 'er over before ya be plank walkin'!
They might also marvel in the fact that this vegan brittle recipe uses coconut milk, coconut oil and shredded coconut for maximum coconut flavor, except it would be hard to hear yowled in that thick pirate accent.
2 cups sugar
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ cup amber agave syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup coconut oil
1 ¼ cups macadamia nuts, unsalted and chopped into quarters
¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 Tablespoon spiced rum (optional)
Heat your oven to 350F (177C). Spread the coconut and macadamia nuts evenly on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for 10 minutes to toast them. Remove the coconut and macadamia nuts from the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and place it back in the oven. Turn the oven off. It's important that this baking sheet is warm so the brittle spreads easily on the baking sheet before it solidifies.
In a medium, heavy duty saucepan, add the sugar, coconut milk, agave syrup, salt and stir it together with clean fingers. Fill a large bowl, that's bigger than your saucepan, with ice water. This bowl of ice water serves two purposes: if you get burned by hot syrup you can dip your hand in the ice water. It will also be used to cool the hot saucepan after your caramel reaches 325F (163C). Bring the sugar mixture to a boil on high heat, covered, then remove cover. Stir in the coconut oil and reduce heat to a simmer. Do not stir the mixture because natural convection currents will do the stirring for you.
Insert a candy thermometer and bring the mixture up to 300F (149C). Reduce heat to medium. After 300F (149C) the temperature will rise rapidly. Once the mixture reaches 325F (163C), remove it from heat and dip the saucepan into the ice water for about 10 seconds to stop the caramelization process.
Stir in the macadamia nuts and shredded coconut with a wooden spoon. Stir in the rum until well incorporated. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it with a spatula until it's ¼ inch thick. Allow the mixture to cool completely before breaking the brittle into small pieces.
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