345: Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle
[Edit: I would, and do, make Microwave Peanut Brittle instead of this recipe.]
My dad loves peanut brittle. I’ve made him peanut brittle for a few years by using a recipe that I got from the New York Times (one that resembles the recipe for Glazed Almonds a little, in fact). I wanted to try something a little more involved this year, though. I even bought raw peanuts, since I know that some recipes take those. I decided to make peanut brittle to include in my gift packages though, and I originally couldn’t find a recipe that took raw nuts. I decided to make the Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle instead, since it took the chopped nuts that I already had around.
I really had to commit to this recipe, since I knew it was going to take a long time to make. You cook the syrup for at least 40 minutes.
The recipe says to cook in a large heavy saucepan; I wasn’t entirely sure how large, but if I make it again, I’ll try my stockpot to make sure that I’ve got enough room for the mixture to bubble up when I add baking soda at the end. You mix together sugar, water, and corn syrup (dark and light corn syrup, but I could only find the light corn syrup in my pantry when I made it). Dissolve the sugar while stirring over medium heat; then, turn the heat up to high and boil until the temperature reaches 260F. The recipe says this will take about 40 minutes, and it did. Add peanuts and butter, and cook until temperature reaches 295F, which takes about 15 minutes.
Next, you remove it from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. Baking soda lightens the color and flavor of the brittle. I knew it was going to foam up, but it didn’t immediately. Just as I said, “this isn’t so bad,” it really began foaming up over the sides of the pan. I poured it onto 2 buttered baking sheets and let it cool overnight. Alex and I broke it up and made little gift bags out of it. This recipe said it would make 3.5 pounds of candy, and I believe it. We got over a dozen baggies out of this recipe.
I’m not actually a huge fan of brittle, but this brittle was pretty good. I kept going over to snack on it. It wasn’t too hard to bite into. It had a nice peanut flavor and a light flavor. In general, though, I think I preferred the candy (that didn’t take baking soda) in the Glazed Almonds that I made later on. Given the length of time this took, I’m not sure that I’ll make it again, though.
Want an easier recipe? Try Microwave Peanut Brittle instead, which is what I always make nowadays.
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 4 cups coarsely chopped salted roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Butter two heavy baking sheets (or line them with foil, then butter them). Stir together sugar, water, and corn syrups in a (very, very) large saucepan and heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil until the temperature on your candy thermometer reaches 260F (about 40 minutes).
Turn heat to medium-low. Mix in peanuts and butter and cook until temperature reaches 295F, stirring constantly (about 15 minutes). Add baking soda and vanilla; mixture will foam up vigorously and you will be worried it will overflow. Pour immediately onto prepared baking sheets. Spread out as thinly as possible.
Cool until hard. Break into pieces. Store in airtight containers at room temperature. Should keep for about a month.