This caramelized nut brittle is a bit addictive. Nearly any nut can be a candidate for a one-nut version, but a mixture of nuts, or even seeds, like sesame or pumpkin, makes it more interesting, and a final sprinkling of sea salt adds an especially pleasing note. Break off pieces to serve as after-dinner sweets or with tea or coffee. It can also become a dessert topping, coarsely crushed and crumbled over ice cream.
2tablespoonsbutter, softened, for the baking sheet
½cup sliced almonds
½cup coarsely chopped pistachios
½teaspoonflaky sea salt
Generously butter a 10-by-15-inch baking sheet and set aside. Put the sugar in a 2-quart stainless steel saucepan and slowly add the water, taking care not to splash. Stir just to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Let the liquefied sugar simmer until it begins to take on a little color, about 5 minutes. Continue to simmer, without stirring, until the caramel turns a reddish brown. Remove immediately from the heat (work carefully and quickly, as the caramel will continue to darken from retained heat), and stir in the almonds, pecans, pistachios, and sesame seeds. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sea salt and leave the brittle to firm up.
When the brittle is cool, invert to remove it from the pan. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.