FOODIE FRIDAYS--Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle

In 2009, I decided to make peanut brittle. As if I don’t already spend mega time and money making truffles and other candies, I had to add one more candy to make.

What can I say? I enjoy making candy.

I looked through my various recipes and cookbooks for the perfect recipe. And I have to tell you that there is very little separating them. For the most part, they all have the same basic ingredients and they all cook to the hard crack stage, so patience is a virtue. *MUST HAVE A GOOD CANDY THERMOMETER*

One thing to remember when making peanut brittle--when you add the baking soda, the napalm-like melted sugar will double or triple in size like a science experiment gone bad.  


Unless you enjoy cleaning up hardened sugar on the floor, counter, stove, etc.  . . . don’t ask me how I know this. :-P
Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle

3 cups sugar
2 cups water
¾ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup dark corn syrup
4 cups salted, roasted peanuts (@ 1 lb = 3 cups) (can use raw Spanish peanuts, too)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Butter 2 heavy large baking sheets (mine are 12 X 17 inches). Stir first 4 ingredients in heavy large saucepan (I use a 4-in tall, 10-in diameter stew pot) over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until candy thermometer registers 260 degrees F, about 40 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Mix in peanuts and butter, cook until thermometer registers 295 degrees F, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Add baking soda and vanilla, stir briskly (mixture will foam up). Immediately pour out onto prepared baking sheets, dividing evenly. Spread out brittle as thinly as possible. Let stand until cold and hard.

Break brittle into pieces. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Later, Peeps!


Cynthia D'Alba said...

My grandmother Hobby used to make this all the time. One of my friend's mother's decided to try and she did great until she got to the spreading out stage. Somehow she missed the note about buttering the countertop before pouring out the hot mixture (which is how my grandmother spread her for cooling. I think they were chipping off peanut brittle for the next year!

Love this stuff when done well.

Pepper Phillips said...

Do you have an easy recipe for divinity?

This is the one thing I haven't been successful with...well, that and fudge. I've had to boil the beaters out of the pot.

Don't laugh, I know you are laughing. Quit laughing.

magolla said...

Cyndi--Most of these brittle recipes are very similar. I cool mine in my cookie sheets because I can give them a little twist and pop a corner up to start the process.

I wouldn't chip up any spilled sugar, you'll ruin your counters!
Just put some water on it and the sugar dissolves away--same thing with the pans.

magolla said...

Pepper--I have never made divinity. The reason is because of the humidity factor. If it's too humid, then the sugar doesn't dissolve like it should and it gets a weird stickiness.

--just looked up the divinity recipe--it says "This candy requires low humidity"

RE: fudge: I make what I call 'cheater's fudge'. I'll post the recipe, but it's directly off the Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk can. Shoot, I can do it from memory.

3 cups chocolate chip morsels
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Heat over medium heat until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Add nuts (1/2-1 cup chopped) if desired. Pour into 8 X 8 square pan lined with waxed paper. Chill until firm. Pull out waxed paper and cut fudge into squares.

I usually wrap mine in foil squares and store in Ziploc bags until I fill my candy boxes.

Most fudge has a grainy sugar issue, too, which can be caused from a variety of reasons.

Marilyn said...

Mom made the best peanut brittle -- and without a candy thermometer. I have to use a thermometer, and it still doesn't always go the way I want.

I mostly make mine with pecans these days, too. Just a nice difference.

Pralines have a graininess issue, too. Sometimes humidity, sometimes who knows?

magolla said...

Your mom was old school. Many, many people didn't have access to thermometers, which is why candy thermometers still have the 'thread, soft ball, firm ball, hard ball,soft crack, hard crack' on them next to the appropriate temp.

I bet your mom used the old water method, ice water is better, but many people didn't have easy access to ice either.

You cook your sugar mixture until you thought it was at the right stage, then you dropped a small amount (@ 1/2 teaspoon)into the water. Pull out the hardened sugar and test the stage.