The delicious sticks-to-your-teeth candy of the holidays.
I had never made it before, but I like it and my dad loves it, so I thought I would try my hand at it. And I failed. But we'll get to that.
Peanut Brittle (taken from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
3 Tbsp stick margarine or butter
1 pound shelled unroasted peanuts
1. Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Grease 2 cookie sheets with margarine and keep warm in the oven (this makes it easier to spread the candy)
2. Mix baking soda, 1 tsp water and vanilla. Set aside. Mix sugar, 1 cup water, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft ball).
Cook, stirring constantly, to 300 degrees (hard crack).
Immediately remove from heat. Quickly stir in baking soda mixture until light and foamy.
Cool completely (at least 1 hour). Break into pieces.
Ok, now, I told you at the beginning of the post that I failed at making this. And I did. See, we don't have a candy thermometer at home, so I was using the cold water tests and I had gotten it to what I thought was the hard crack stage (I mean, it was kind of hard, and it had gotten pretty thick and I didn't want to burn it). As it turns out I was wrong. It ended up being more of a tasty peanut taffy.
I tried to salvage it. I put it in a 300 degree oven to try and get it to the right stage of hardness. Didn't work. So I thought maybe if I freeze it that will suck some of the moisture out and harden it up. Which it did, for about 10 minutes. Just long enough for me to take a picture of it in all its brittley goodness. And an hour later it was a mass of impossible-to-get-out peanut...stuff.
Dad tried to eat it, bless his heart. In the end, most of it went in the trash.
The good news is that I now have a candy thermometer. But my ego needs to heal a little before attempting this again.