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Black-and-White Sesame Brittle

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A quick-as-can-be, DIY food gift that is impressive and simple to make. Look for black sesame seeds in natural food stores or in Japanese markets. Always store sesame seeds in the freezer (along with all nuts) so the oils do not go rancid.

yield

Makes about 1 1/2 pounds

Ingredients:

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds (available at natural food stores or Japanese markets)

Instructions:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Have ready a candy thermometer.

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the butter, sugar, water and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice until the sugar is dissolved. Boil until the mixture reaches 260°F on a candy thermometer. Add the sesame seeds and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 350°F, or until the sugar takes on a dark golden brown color. (I'd suggest pulling the mixture off the heat at 345°F as it continues to cook as you pour it.)

Remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it into an even layer about 1/4-inch thick. Set aside to cool until firm.

Once the brittle has set, break it into pieces. Package for gift-giving or arrange in a candy dish.