International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Peanut Brittle

Peanut brittle ready to enjoy

(American toffee candy with peanuts)

Image Creative Commons by Janet Hudson

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This is good, old-fashioned, buttery peanut brittle like Grandma used to make. Perfect as part of an assortment of holiday sweets or as a tasty treat for Halloween tricks.

Use a candy thermometer to test when your syrup is at the right temperature. It's much easier and more accurate than the old "ice water" test, and you'll have a lot less chance of getting burned.

Makes about 2 pounds

Ingredients

  • Sugar -- 2 cups
  • Light corn syrup -- 1 cup
  • Water -- 1/2 cup
  • Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Unsalted butter, cut into chunks -- 3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons
  • Roasted peanuts -- 2 cups
  • Baking soda -- 1 teaspoon

Method

  1. Grease two 13x10-inch baking sheets with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt to a large saucepan and place over medium flame. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the mixture in the saucepan has come to a boil, whisk in the 1 cup of butter, one piece at a time. Continue to cook the mixture until it reaches about 280°F on a candy thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the peanuts and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 305°F, another 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. The mixture will foam up immediately. That's okay.
  5. Immediately pour the mixture onto the two prepared baking sheets and use a heat-proof spatula to spread out to about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside to cool completely.
  6. Break the peanut brittle into pieces and store in a tightly covered container for up to one month.

Peanut Brittle Variations

  • Nuts: Substitute cashews or almonds for the peanuts.
  • For a darker, more richly flavored brittle, use 1/2 light corn syrup and 1/2 dark corn syrup.
  • The amount of butter can be varied to your taste, and some recipes eliminate it altogether.
  • Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of vanilla in step 1 if you like.

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