Holiday gift giving can get all kinds of crazy. I have no issues with buying presents for family, and a few friends, but as my husband and I continue to grow our businesses, our lists of people to give gifts to keeps growing exponentially. Toss in my son’s friends and teachers from school and sunday school, as well as friends from church- and it can quickly get out of hand. I love to give fun, individual gifts- but at some point it gets overwhelmingly expensive. So I’m happy so share a few of my favorite handmade/homecooked gifts every year- and these Drunken Pumpkin Seeds are always a huge hit!
(We’re using whiskey- which cooks off- but it’s best to keep this for those 21+. The term “drunken” doesn’t really need to be anywhere around kids.)
I know pumpkin is usually a Halloween treat- but these seeds are delicious anytime during the year and make great gifts. You can buy pumpkin seeds in bulk in most heath food stores for a great price!
These pumpkin seeds are a bit different from other versions I have seen- I like mine to soak in the whiskey two hours to overnight before making them. This really allows the rich, smoky-sweet flavor to develop before making these. They do wildly vary in cooking time in part because of the soaking. I live in Colorado where it is very dry, so they tend to dry out a little faster in the oven. If you live somewhere super humid, you might need longer time in your oven at a low temperature. This can burn since we’re using sugar- so use your oven’s lowest setting!
Also- I recommend any whiskey, bourbon or scotch that is NOT smoky or peated. The smoke aftertaste was a bit funky when we tried. You can use whichever brand you like, but jack daniels, bulleit, four roses, or most american whiskeys work- just go for something with a honey finish and little to no smoke!
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup whiskey- one without peat or smoke
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp celtic sea salt
- Add ingredients to a bowl, soak two hours.
- Drain liquids off into a pan.
- Pat seeds dry and arrange on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or place in a nonstick pan.
- Let liquid mixture simmer on medium until it reduces in size and becomes a thick, sticky sauce.
- Drizzle over pumpkin seeds.
- Bake at 240 (or as low as your oven will go) for 1- 1½ hours, or until dry to the touch.