Enhancing the Cheese-and-Riesling Experience

Assuming your dental work can handle it, try this brittle with Gouda or Edam cheese and a glass of off-dry Riesling.

Do so, and you’ll have a dessert or snack treat that’s crunchy, creamy, spicy and sweet.

This recipe is courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.



  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ tsp. fine-grained sea salt
  • ¾ cup (4-oz.) hulled spicy roasted pumpkin seeds (“pepitas”)
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. Stir together baking soda and melted butter, and set aside.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and set aside a second sheet of the same size. Butter parchment on one side.
  3. Combine sugar, water and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a low boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, and wash down any sugar crystals on sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.
  5. Simmer syrup 10 to 12 minutes, until it reaches 240 degrees F.
  6. Remove from heat. With a wooden spoon, add pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper.
  7. While stirring, return pan to medium-low heat. Melt again until mixture turns amber brown and reaches 290 degrees F.
  8. Remove from heat, and stir in butter-baking soda mixture with wooden spoon.
  9. Pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet. Cover with second parchment sheet.
  10. Press the mixture with a rolling pin to ¼-inch thick. Remove top layer of parchment.
  11. Cool completely. Crack brittle. Store between layers of parchment in a sealed container for up to two weeks.
Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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