Candy making, of any kind, was always something I was terrified of in the kitchen. I eased myself into it with Salted Caramel Sauce, then pushed myself a little further when I made Vanilla Bean Caramels for the first time. After those two things, I wasn’t scared of it anymore. The next thing I wanted to conquer was peanut brittle, which is one of the husband’s favorite thing on the planet.
My mom used to make cashew brittle all the time at Christmas, as a homemade treat for gift-giving, and it was delicious. But, I’d say my standard for peanut brittle was set when I first had See’s. Buttery, chock-full of peanuts, and tender to the bite – it was everything that a peanut brittle should be. After trying several recipes, I’ve narrowed it down to this one as coming the closest to what I’ve been searching for.
I like to use Spanish peanuts (still in their skins) for my peanut brittle. I usually find them around the bulk nut section of the produce department this time of year. But, I’ve also made it with regular old cocktail peanuts.
I usually make a couple batches to give as gifts, as it can be made well in advance. And folks are usually happy to receive something other than cookies. You can also swap out the peanuts for cashews, or even mix. Just keep a very close eye on it once you’ve added the nuts, as the temperature rises very quickly towards the end of cooking time!
Homemade Peanut Brittle
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
2 cups Spanish peanuts
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp baking soda
Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper that’s been lightly buttered. Set aside.
In a heavy, medium size saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and temperature reaches 275 degrees.
Add peanuts and salt, stir occasionally so that the peanuts don’t scorch in spots. Cook to 305 degrees. Add the butter and baking soda, whisking quickly to combine. Mixture will bubble.
Quickly pour brittle onto the prepared baking sheet, smoothing with a rubber spatula to quickly spread the brittle to desired thinness.
Let cool for 45 minutes before breaking into pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Source: adapted from Food.com