Peanut brittle is one of my all-time favorite candy, and definitely my daughter’s. She eats a lot of these during Christmas. Have you ever had See’s Candies Peanut Brittle? It’s so good! We went to the mall and stood in line for 15 minutes just to get a 1/2 lb box of peanut brittle for nearly $10. Half a pound of candy seems like a lot to me, but when you open the box, there’s hardly anything in there! That little box was gone by the time we reached the other side of the mall. My daughter wanted more, but I wasn’t about to go through the line fiasco again, and I’m not paying $10 either! As I always say…I’ll just make my own damn peanut brittle! So I saved the box with the ingredients list and researched peanut brittle when I got home. I tried out a few recipes online, but they weren’t crunchy enough, or some were dark in color. Ugly. Then I noticed a recipe on the back of the peanut bag, and gave it a whirl with my own addendums from the See’s box. It came out perfect! My daughter said it might even taste better than See’s!
So what I learned from peanut brittle…you need a candy thermometer. The mixture needs to get very hot at 300 degrees Fahrenheit to get that crunch. If you set it before it reaches 300 degrees, you will be scraping glued- on caramel off your baking sheets for days! Trust me on that one. You need to be fast when setting the peanut brittle mixture b/c it hardens up quickly. It’s easier to spread the mixture if the baking sheets are warmed. Also, use raw peanuts instead of roasted to get that old fashioned peanut brittle taste. If you use roasted, it’s like double roasting it in the candy mixture and peanuts may taste burnt. Plus the roasted ones have that skin that makes a huge mess and you don’t want that mixed in your peanut brittle.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup (I used Karo)
- 1/3 cup water plus 1 tsp
- 1 package (16 oz) raw peanuts (I used Fisher)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
Grease up 2 large cookie sheets with butter and heat oven to 200 degrees. Keep baking sheets warm until ready to use.
In a heavy saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water. Cook on medium high heat until mixture boils, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and continue soft boiling it until the candy thermometer reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally to keep from burning, about 20-25 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the 1 tsp water, vanilla and baking soda. Mix well and set aside.
When the mixture is at 250 degrees, stir in the peanuts and salt. Cook until the candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit, about another 20-25 minutes. Mixture will be very thick. (This is the point where you need to act fast.) Remove pot from heat and stir in butter and the baking soda/vanilla mixture. The mixture will foam and start to change color. Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared heated baking sheets. I pour mixture one side of the sheet and let it “crawl” down to the other side. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. Cool completely. Break into pieces and store in a tightly covered container.
Happy baking and good luck!
Source: Adapted from Fisher Naturals recipe