Peanut Brittle Play by Play

Peanut brittle is simple, cooked sugar and peanuts but, unfortunately, the actual process is a little more complicated.  

peanut brittle

I have been wanting to make some sort of candy for a while but have been intimidated by working with hot sugar and very specific temperatures. Candy making is chemistry and I've never been that great at science. I chose peanut brittle because I thought it would be a good stepping stone into making candy. Although I own a candy thermometer, it is in storage hundreds of miles away so this is done without a candy thermometer and at high elevation (approximately 6300 ft). 

peanut brittle

My first attempt at brittle was a failure, as I suspected it might be (picture on the left). I overcooked the sugar and was not quick enough with incorporating the butter and baking soda. The consistency was edible but was more like honey comb candy because it had many air bubbles. I was not too frustrated and promised myself to attempt three times before giving up. I quickly tried again and made a few adjustments including adding more peanuts, adding the peanuts sooner, and pulling the pan off the heat earlier since it will still brown after you take it off. Thankfully, the second attempt was a success! The brittle actually looks like peanut brittle, which is a good start. More importantly, it is crunchy, peanuty, and sweet. I look forward to perfecting my technique. 

This recipe was adapted from a culmination of peanut brittle recipes, not specifically one, as they typically follow a similar ingredient list and procedure order. 

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Peanut Brittle
Classic Peanut Brittle, perfect for gifts!
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C cold water
  • 1/2 C light corn syrup
  • 1/4 t coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 C lightly salted and roasted peanuts
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 T softened butter
1. Grease cookie sheet and set aside, near where you are making brittle. Have softened butter and baking soda measured in a small bowl together and ready to use later. 2. In a heavy bottom sauce pan add sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt. Turn heat to high and whisk together until sugar is incorporated. Whisk in peanuts. 3. Resist touching it and allow it to begin to darken around the edges. 4. Once the edges start to brown, turn heat to medium, and swirl (do not stir). Continually swirl until amber color becomes even. 5. Turn heat off and remove from burner, if using electric range, and quickly add butter and baking soda. Use whisk to incorporate and immediately dump onto greased cookie sheet. 6. Shake sheet continually to spread mixture. 7. Wait for it to cool and then break apart. 
Total time: Yield: 1 slab of peanut brittle

I look forward to making more in the future and giving some out for holidays since most people are fond of peanut brittle, why wouldn't they be? As I said, cooked sugar and peanuts. 

I will probably tweak this recipe but most brittle recipes have the same basic ingredients: sugar, water, corn syrup, butter and baking soda. 

peanut brittle

I used this Bon Appetit article to learn a few tips and tricks to better my success without a candy thermometer. Bon Appetit magazine and their website are places I love to get ideas, inspiration, recipes, and confidence. 

The first of many Christmas candy and cookie recipes!

Listening to: The Office season 3