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Salt & Straw’s Kale Brittle

This recipe comes from the West Coast ice cream brand’s Student Inventor Series, which gathers off-the-hook inspirations from school kids and turns them into boundary-breaking ice cream. (In this case, crunchy, kale-powered candy helped realize a first grader’s vision: the Kail Creeasheon.)

Reprinted from Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook. Copyright © 2019 by Salt & Straw, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Andrew Thomas Lee. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. (Notes by Little Sous!)

KALE BRITTLE
  • Yield: About 3 cups of crushed candy

Ingredients:

  • 3 dinosaur (aka Tuscan or lacinato) kale leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • cup light corn syrup
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Steps:

  1. Step 1

    Heat the oven to 300°F.

  2. Step 2

    Tear the kale leaves from the stems, keeping the leaves in very large pieces. Discard the stems. Put the leaves on a sheet pan and drizzle the vegetable oil over them. Sprinkle with the pinch of salt, and use your hands to rub the oil into all the crevices of the kale. Spread the kale in a single layer on the sheet pan and bake until the leaves are perfectly crisp but not dark nor burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

    Sous Tip:

    Kale-ripping and oil-rubbing make good kid missions!

  3. Step 3

    Let the kale cool to room temperature, then break it up into ¼-inch pieces.

  4. Step 4

    Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  5. Step 5

    Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan, and stir until all of the sugar looks wet. Set the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely melted, about 3 minutes.

    Sous Tip:

    Heating the sugar mixture might best be left to an adult for safety reasons.

  6. Step 6

    Continue to cook, this time covered and without stirring, until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the butter and the ½ teaspoon salt, then immediately stir until the butter has completely melted. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Let the mixture simmer away until it registers 300°F on the thermometer.

    Sous Tip:

    Check out our Kitchen Academy box “Hot & Cold” for a kid-friendly primer on candy-making and using a candy thermometer.

  7. Step 7

    Remove the pan from the heat, and quickly but thoroughly stir in the kale chips, doing your best to distribute the chips throughout the sticky mixture. Quickly and thoroughly stir in the baking soda (watch it all bubble!). Immediately pour the mixture onto the lined sheet pan, then quickly use a butter knife or a metal spatula to spread it out into a relatively even layer that’s just under ¼ inch thick. Let the brittle sit uncovered until it has cooled to room temperature, about 1 hour.

  8. Step 8

    Use your hands to break the brittle into irregular bite-size pieces. Use now or store them in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to use as a mix-in (or to simply eat), up to 3 months. There’s no need to defrost before using.