After carving a jack-o’-lantern or hollowing out a pumpkin to create a Halloween party-perfect punch bowl, you’ll probably be left with a stringy pile of innards. Whatever you do, do not throw this treasure trove of pumpkin meat and seeds away. Save the meat for homemade pumpkin spice syrup to use in a spiked Pumpkin Spice Latté, and use the seeds to make a delicious, seasonal bar snack. These sweet and savory pumpkin seeds bathe in bourbon and bacon drippings. Then they’re sprinkled with brown sugar, cinnamon, a little cayenne and salt, and baked to a caramelized crisp. Mixed together with bacon bits, these spicy-sweet-savory seeds make for the perfect nosh between sips of your favorite fall cocktail.
Bacon-Bourbon Glazed Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups pumpkin seeds
4 cups water
.25 Cup bourbon
4 slices bacon
2 tbsp bacon drippings
.5 Cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
.25 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp melted butter
- Cook bacon until crispy. Reserve the drippings. Let bacon cool and chop up into very tiny bits.
- Bring water to a boil in a pot and season with a half-teaspoon of salt. Add pumpkin seeds and boil until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Drain the seeds and dry on a paper towel.
- In a bowl, soak the seeds in the bourbon and two tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings for an hour. Strain and dry on a paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a bowl, toss the seeds with melted butter. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper, if using. Toss until combined.
- Pour the seeds onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out, toss and bake for another 10 minutes or until crispy.
- Remove the seeds from the oven and toss with bacon bits. Cool and serve.