Sharing this seems odd considering the allergy we’re facing these days, but precautions were taken to be sure lil man would not encounter peanuts and they’ve been promptly sent off to work with the Mr to enjoy away from the house. I’m doing my best to avoid nuts, but it’s hard. There are so many amazing things I want to make that include some variety of nuts. I don’t plan on giving up baking with nuts entirely but the recipes that do include them will be few and far between…so they better be amazing when they do pop up!
But let’s talk peanuts and brittle and all things traditional for this time of year. December is the only month that I seem to hear about brittle and honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had it or even seen it before. Growing up the traditional item in our house was fudge and ribbon candy. A Christmas wouldn’t go by without those. But brittle… what on earth is that besides winter nails?
It took me two rounds to get this right, but only because I made the mistake of using a cast iron French oven for the first round and ended up with burnt peanuts. It heated up more than it needed to in the blink of an eye. I kid you not, I turned to go do one thing for a split second, turned back and everything had gone wrong. I tried to salvage it but I just couldn’t share brittle with burnt peanuts.
Round two was much more successful and I used a regular (i.e. non cast iron) large saucepan…space wise it proved a bit more difficult but in every other way it was so much easier! When making this DO read the instructions several times before making it, just so you’re clear on what to look for and do at what point. Everything changes so fast you just need to be ready.
The end result is a creamy, crunchy peanuty holiday treat that is a clear winner for any peanut lover!
Yield: Makes 1: 12 x 17 sheet
1/2C corn syrup
2C granulated sugar
2C dry roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, water and corn syrup. Stir frequently.
When mixture begins to boil, add a candy thermometer. Continue cooking until mixture reaches 265°F degrees, "hard ball" stage. Add peanuts and stir.
Continue stirring frequently until mixture reaches 305°F degrees, "hard crack" stage. The color of your mixture will have darkened up rapidly at this point. Immediately remove from heat, stir in butter, vanilla, baking soda and salt.
Pour onto prepared baking sheet. Let sit undisturbed for 1-2 hours to cool and harden. Crack into desired sizes and store in an airtight container.
Adapted from: Fine Cooking