Our tried and true “you better not skip this on Christmas” peanut brittle.
- stainless metal pot with high sides (no non-stick finishes, otherwise the sugar will never caramelize)
- candy thermometer
- heat resistant spatula (at least 300 degrees)
- small sheet pan
- small dish (for salt and soda)
- Silpat mat or buttered sheet pan
- cake spreaders
- small pot of water
- oven mitts
- airtight containers
- 3/4 C water
- 1/3 C brown rice syrup (2.8oz) or light syrup (Caro)
- 1 1/4 C sugar (250g)
- 7oz butter, in 1T chunks (to make it easily incorporate)
- 1/2 t salt (or 1/4t if salted nuts)
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1 2/3 roasted peanuts, reduced salt (or mix non-salted with fully salted, or 2C macadamia nuts)
- Position candy thermometer in stainless pot.
- Add water, corn syrup and sugar, stirring just until incorporated.
- Heat over medium high to 250 degrees.
- For single batches, tip the pot to the side where the thermometer is so you can take an accurate reading.
- While sugar mixture is heating, cut up butter and measure out salt and soda into the small dish.
- Mix soda and salt to ensure even distribution and keep handy.
- Warm up small pot of water on a nearby burner.
- When the sugar mixture hits 250, add the butter to the pan and stir gently.
- While the butter melts, put the peanuts on the small sheet pan and heat in a 250 degree oven.
- Heat the butter and sugar mixture to 300.
- Keep an eye on the thermometer – it will slowly raise in temperature until it hits about 260, then reach 300 rather quickly.
- If the mixture is starting to brown unevenly, stir a bit to even it out. When the mixture is just under 300, it will be a lovely dark caramel shade. Pull the pan from the heat, remove the thermometer and put into the small pot of hot water.
- Add in the salt, soda and warm peanuts to the caramel as quickly and evenly as possible.
- Lightly butter the offset spatulas with the butter wrappers.
- Turn out over silpat or on the buttered sheet pan. We have marble counters, so we put cookie sheets underneath to slow down the cooling.
- Wait a little bit after pouring. It will get easier to stretch after cooling for a little bit. Then spread out evenly.
- As the mixture cools, you’ll be able to push and pull with the spatula or offset spatula.
- Once cool, crack into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Tips & Tricks
– When you pour out the brittle scrape the sides and lip of the pan well
– Once you have spread out the brittle, pour the hot water from the small pot into the pan and put it to boil (this will make cleanup much easier)
– If you are using buttered sheet pans, don’t wait too long to remove the brittle, or the pan will stick (if this happens, put the pan in the freezer for a short time twist the pan to help release the brittle)
– If you have dark spots on the pan, use course salt to scrub
– To make other types of brittle, substitute 1 2/3 c. of small nuts or 2 c. of larger nuts (such as macadamia nuts)
Yields 1.6 pounds of brittle