Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Halloween!

Where I grew up in Buffalo, trick-or-treating always took place after dark on Halloween night. Every year I dressed as either a princess or an old lady. The old lady costume was much more practical in the cold climes of my hometown; an ancient fur coat and hat plus a ratty grey wig meant I didn't have to cover my costume with my winter parka and beanie.

The best part of Halloween was obviously the candy. After hours ringing doorbells and scouring the neighborhood for the house handing out king-sized confections, our pillowcases were stuffed with hundreds of treats. My brother, sister, and I would dump our goodies on the floor at home, sort them out, and begin to barter. Johnny would gladly trade his chocolate for SweeTarts. Katy and I would do anything for a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup. And then we would eat candy until we passed out in a sugar-induced coma.

Today we're going to make something salty to balance all of that sweetness: Spiced Pumpkin Seeds. Save the seeds when you're carving your pumpkin tonight and you'll be halfway to this savory treat. Toss them together with some butter and a few spices, and bake until the seeds are toasted and crisp.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds*
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss seeds with butter, salt, chili powder, and cumin until they're evenly coated. Spread into a single layer on a rimmed baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until seeds are toasted and crisp, stirring halfway through.

*When you've collected the seeds from your pumpkin, rinse off all of the stringy stuff and pat the seeds dry.

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