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Health-ified Sesame Brittle Candy Recipe with CLEAN Ingredients: Sesame Seeds, Maple Syrup & Coconut Sugar

It’s tough to find cleaner, vegan candy options in the grocery store. So why not make your own healthy homemade candy and YOU can control the ingredients? This sesame brittle candy recipe is a great place to start! Inspired by Chinese peanut and sesame brittle, it’s just as addictively good and simple to make—but with CLEAN ingredients.

I’ve nixed the refined sugar, butter, and peanuts from the classic recipe, and crafted my own health-ified version using just 4 simple ingredients: sesame seeds, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and salt. Perfectly sweet with just a hint of saltiness, the same crave-able crunch, but totally nut-free and vegan!

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Don’t get me wrong, this health-ified sesame brittle IS still candy. It’s definitely a sweet treat that should be enjoyed on occasion, in moderation! But, unlike ultra-processed, highly-refined store-bought treats, this healthier homemade candy uses REAL ingredients that come from nature.

So, indulge mindfully and enjoy every sweet, crunchy bite—without worrying about countless artificial ingredients wreaking havoc on your body!

Vegetarian Bento Box Ideas: Around The World Snacks!

How to Make Vegan Candy that’s Cleaner & Unrefined

Usually, Chinese sesame candy recipes involve melting together refined white sugar with some kind of fat, like butter or vegetable oil. Since I wanted to make a cleaner, VEGAN sesame brittle, I nixed the butter and the inflammatory vegetable oil altogether, and I replaced the refined sugar with two natural, unrefined sweeteners: coconut sugar and maple syrup.

These unrefined sweeteners are indeed sugars, but still they contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are stripped away when foods are refined. And because of this, they can affect our bodies and even our blood sugar differently than refined table sugar.

Since coconut sugar is made from coconut sap, it has a wetter, sticker texture. Combine that with maple syrup, and the two are plenty sticky to hold this sesame brittle candy together on their own— no dairy, oil, or fats necessary!

The only ingredient left is your sesame seeds, which are naturally clean, unrefined, and highly nutritious. In just 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds, there are around 5g protein, 5g of healthy monounsaturated fats, and 3g fiber. Plus, they’re rich in minerals like copper and manganese, and research suggests sesame seeds may help fight off inflammation!

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Step by Step: How to Make Sesame Brittle Candy

First, heat your coconut sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, until bubbly. Once the mixture is bubbling, lower the heat and add your sesame seeds, along with a pinch of salt. (Some people prefer to dry toast their sesame seeds in a pan before making their syrup—which you can absolutely do if you prefer!)

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Heat sugars until bubbly, then lower heat and add sesame seeds and salt. 
Stir continuously for ~10 minutes, until seeds begin to brown.

Stir the mixture continuously for around 10 minutes or so, until the seeds begin to brown. Be patient, but also be mindful as you’re stirring—don’t let your sesame seeds burn and don’t let the pan begin to smoke! It’s important to pay attention because the mixture will turn quickly once the seeds begin to brown.

Then, remove the pan from the heat and get ready to work QUICKLY before the sugar sets! Pour your sticky mixture onto a silicone baking mat or Silpat mat (if you have one), or onto a lined baking sheet that’s been sprayed well. Spread the sticky mixture out in an even layer across the mat, before the sugar hardens.

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Pour sesame brittle mixture onto silicone baking mat.
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Quickly, before the sugar sets, spread mixture into a thin, even layer.

Once you’ve got a smooth, even layer, allow your sheet of sesame brittle to dry and harden for just a couple of minutes. It will happen pretty fast!

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Allow to dry and harden at room temperature for just a few minutes.

Then, once it’s solidified but before it’s completely cooled, transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares or bars. It’s important to do cut your sesame brittle candy while it’s still warm, otherwise it will be much harder to do later!

Allow your cut sesame brittle pieces to cool for a bit before serving and enjoying! Of course, you likely won’t eat ALL of it at once, although you may want to… So simply store in an airtight container on the countertop and they’ll for up to 2 weeks.

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While still warm, cut sesame brittle candy into pieces.
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Allow candy to cool completely before storing,

Crisp and crunchy, salty-sweet, and deliciously CLEAN—this vegan sesame brittle candy is one of my favorite homemade sweets I’ve ever ventured to try. I love that the ingredients are all natural and unrefined, and that I even get some nutrients when I munch on a piece of this sweet treat.

One serving of this sesame brittle candy (1-2 pieces, depending on the size you cut them into) contains just 50 calories, with only 8g of sugar from natural sweeteners. Plus, a bonus of 2g of fiber and 1g of protein—in a crave-ably crunchy candy!? Now that’s a SWEET treat!  

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Crunchy Sesame Brittle Candy

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Inspired by Chinese peanut and sesame brittle, but adapted to be nut free & vegan with just 3 clean ingredients: coconut sugar, maple syrup, and sesame seeds!

  • Author: Alyssia Sheikh
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings
  • Method: Cool 15-20 minutes

Ingredients

½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut sugar
pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Grab a silicone baking mat (or Silpat mat), if you have one, so it’s ready. Or, grease a baking sheet with oil, butter, or any cooking fat.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut sugar and maple syrup and heat bubbly and frothy.
  • Lower the heat and add sesame seeds and pinch of salt. Stir continuously for 10-15 minutes, until the seeds begin to brown. (Be mindful as you stir so the seeds don’t burn, and don’t let your pan begin smoke—this mixture will turn quickly!)
  • Remove from heat and pour sticky mixture onto your silicone baking mat or prepared baking sheet, smoothing it out into an even layer. (Work quickly because the sugar will set!)
  • Once smooth set aside to dry for just a few minutes.
  • Remove dry sheet of brittle from baking mat and cut into squares or bars while still warm.
  • Allow to cool 15-20 minutes before serving and enjoying!
  • Keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

Yields ~24-48 pieces of sesame brittle candy, depending on size of cut.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1-2 pieces (depending on size of cut)
  • Calories: 50
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
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