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Peanut Brittle

peanut brittle Snack
Peanut Brittle
  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 1 hr 45 min
  • Servings 72

If you’d like to try making your own candy, this easy peanut brittle recipe is a perfect place to start. While “brittle” is the term for any combination of sugar and water that’s heated to the hard crack stage and cooled, it’s the addition of salty peanuts that makes this homemade peanut brittle recipe so addictively delicious. MORE+ LESS-

September 21, 2018

Ingredients

1 1/2
teaspoons baking soda
1
teaspoon water
1
teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2
cups sugar
1
cup water
1
cup light corn syrup
3
tablespoons butter or margarine
1
pound shelled unroasted peanuts

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    Heat oven to 200ºF. Butter 2 cookie sheets, 15 1/2x12 inches, and keep warm in oven. Mix baking soda, 1 teaspoon water and the vanilla; reserve.
  • 2
    Mix sugar, 1 cup water and the corn syrup in 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 240ºF on candy thermometer or until small amount of syrup dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from water.
  • 3
    Stir in butter and peanuts. Cook, stirring constantly, to 300ºF or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard, brittle threads. (Watch carefully so mixture does not burn.) Immediately remove from heat. Quickly stir in baking soda mixture until light and foamy.
  • 4
    Pour half the candy mixture onto each cookie sheet; quickly spread about 1/4 inch thick. Cool completely, at least 1 hour. Break into pieces. Store in covered container.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t let the call for using a candy thermometer deter you from making an addictive nut brittle. A good one is worth the investment and will guarantee your candy will be the right consistency after cooking, so once it cools it will have that brittle “snap”. If you’ve inherited a candy thermometer double-check to be sure it’s accurate by letting it stand in boiling water for 10 minutes. It should read 212°F—and if not, note how many degrees you’ll need to add or subtract when you use it to check on a hot sugar syrup.
  • Why use corn syrup and baking soda to make a brittle candy? Corn syrup helps insure that as the granulated sugar melts it won’t re-crystallize if there’s a chance of a rogue sugar crystal on the inside of the pan. The baking soda interacts with the sugar acids to create carbon dioxide (when the candy mixture foams up when the soda is stirred in), which produces the airy, lacy texture you see when you break a piece of peanut brittle.
  • The best trick for making ultra-thin brittle is the warm baking sheets, which will keep the candy fluid enough to allow you to spread it as thinly as you can.
  • Roasted cashew halves or small whole almonds make equally delicious brittle candy, especially with a sprinkle of coarse salt at the end when the candy is spread out to cool.
  • Package up broken peanut brittle in cookie tins or wrapped up in candy cellophane for gifting during the holidays. Or large covered mason or French canning jars are nice, as they are reusable and keep out moisture, which can make any candy sticky.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
80
Calories from Fat
35
% Daily Value
Total Fat
4 g
Saturated Fat
1 g
Cholesterol
0mg
Sodium
35 mg
Potassium
40 mg
Total Carbohydrate
9 g
Dietary Fiber
0g
Protein
2 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
0%
0%
Vitamin C
0%
0%
Calcium
0%
0%
Iron
0%
0%
Exchanges:
1/2 Starch; 1/2 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Was the invention of peanut brittle just one of those happy kitchen accidents? We’ll probably never know, but some food historians are partial to the story that it was invented in 1890 by a southern woman who was trying to make peanut taffy, but mistakenly added baking soda instead of cream of tartar to her recipe. Instead of stringy, chewy taffy, she ended up with crunchy, nutty brittle, and she decided to replicate her “mistake” as her own version of a peanut brittle recipe. Whether or not you believe this story, you’ll have to admit that, accident or not, brittle is a delicious confection. While the peanut version is most popular in North American, the combination of sweet candy and salty nuts is enjoyed around the world. It’s known as pasteli in Greece, croquant in France and gachak or chikki in India. If you’re truly a peanut brittle fanatic, mark your calendar for January 26, which is National Peanut Brittle Day. And if you’d like to find more salty, sweet, crunchy and irresistible snacks, check out Betty's best snack recipes.

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