Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Peanut Brittle

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).
3. Stir in margarine/butter and peanuts.

Cook, stirring constantly, to 300 degrees (hard crack).

Immediately remove from heat. Quickly stir in baking soda mixture until light and foamy.
4. Pour half of the candy mixture onto each cookie sheet and spread to 1/4 inch thick.

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.


  1. It was pretty good tho! I was licking it out'a my fingernails for a couple days!

  2. My Grandmother Mimi used Spanish peanuts. The skins add a little color and the salt added to the taste. She cooked it until it spun threads on the spoon.

  3. I was reading this and thinking, MMmmm i have those ingredients at home, maybe i will make it today... But then i read about you not having a candy thermometer, and I realised, I don't have one either! Oh well, maybe i can make the next recipe. xo Tam