• 16 ounce jar of sunbutter
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • pinch of salt
  • whole sunflower seeds (optional)

Occasionally we visit a Ukranian Store in Mt. Vernon, WA when we are visiting my beloved Dad and Stepmom.  The store is quaint and the owner is charming and the foods sold there bring back memories for my husband who was born and raised in Central Asia.  So many of the foods are the same in many former Soviet Union countries.  So this last trip there we stumbled upon some dark grey crunchy stuff that reminded me of either meringue or the peanut buttery middle of a butterfinger bar.  My husband got all excited about it and bought it and ate it small bite by bite for the next week.  He declared it to be his new favorite dessert.

Being the creative cook that I am, I set off to make it myself. First I had to figure out what it was called.  Social Media for the win.  Thanks to my facebook friends and fans I figured out it was Halva.  The recipes I found were too much work for me, as they called for boiling, using a candy thermometer, and too much sugar.  I just couldn’t…..be bothered.  But I still wished to surprise my spouse with more halva.  So next I went to three local grocers and called 3 more.  No one carried Sunflower Seed halva, they only carried Sesame halva.

Next step; research.  I learned that Sesame halva is traditionally Jewish and sunflower halva is Ukranian.  So I searched online one more time and found this blog with a recipe I could easily make at home in no time.  I even took out one step and used already pureed sunflower seeds; Sun Butter from Trader Joe’s!  Woo hoo.

I combined the sugar, water, salt, and an entire jar of sunbutter in a saucepan and brought it to a boil.  (Stir all ingredients for 1 minute until sugar is melted and well mixed).  I poured it into a small round non stick cake pan, patted it down with a fork and just let it cool.  Oh, I guess I did add some whole sunflowers, for crunch, after I removed from heat.

After this was cooled it was the consistency and texture of fudge and sliced easily into wedges.  The whole family enjoyed it very much.  It wasn’t quite the same as that fluffy merigue-y stuff, but it was the right flavor and it satiated.