Jack Skellington and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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(Original Post Date:  October 31, 2010)

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday of the year…  free candy, spooky decor, horror movies – what’s not to love?  This year I decided to carve a trio of Jack-O’-Lantern’s from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.  From left to right, we have:  1. The Pumpkin King,  2. Oogie Boogie,  and 3. Jack Skellington.  Will the little kiddies in my neighborhood recognize them?  Or is my little nod to the happy times in 1993 going to go way over their heads?  I will find out tonight…

In the mean time, what do I do with all the pumpkin seeds?  As a kid, I always looked forward to my dad roasting pumpkin seeds for us with salt and pepper.  It took several tries to get them just right and as good as the ones my dad made in the past – but I finally figured it out!  Last year I made Italian and Tex-Mex pumpkin seeds, so I thought this year I would mix it up a bit and try something new:  Pumpkin Pie flavor (salty and sweet at the same time, kind of like kettle corn) and Buffalo Wing flavor.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

Seeds from 3 pumpkins

1/2 T. salt

Pumpkin Pie flavor:

  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger

Buffalo Wing flavor:

2 T. unsalted butter

  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 T. Tobasco sauce
  • 1 T. Cholula hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1.  Remove the seeds from the pumpkins.

2.  Discarding all the stringy orange goop, place the pumpkin seeds in a medium saucepan.

3. Add water to cover and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

4.  Drain in a colander.  The seeds will be partially or almost entirely gray in color.

5.  You should have approximately 3 cups of pumpkin seeds.  Divide the seeds between the two bowls.  Add the Pumpkin Pie flavorings to one bowl, and the Buffalo Wing flavorings to the other.  Mix well until the butter is melted.

6.  Spread the seeds on foiled lined baking sheets.

7.  Roast for 10 minutes at 300 degrees.  Open the oven, and stir the seeds.  Rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom.

8.  Roast for another 10 minutes, then stir again and rotate baking sheets.  Roast for a final 10 minutes (watching closely to make sure the seeds do not burn), then remove from the oven.  Cool on waxed paper.

9.  When the seeds are completely cool and dry, transfer them to a plastic container to store.  Happy Halloween!

If you are interested in the Italian or Tex-Mex flavor, use the following seasonings instead:

Italian flavor:

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 T. parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. Italian herb blend (oregano, basil, parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Tex-Mex flavor:

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper