Peanut Brittle

An easy recipe for traditional peanut brittle, resulting in a creamy and crunchy holiday treat that is perfect for gifting.

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!

Peanut Brittle

An easy recipe for traditional peanut brittle, resulting in a creamy and crunchy holiday treat that is perfect for gifting.
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: peanuts


  • 3/4 C water
  • 1/2 C corn syrup
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 C 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
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26 Responses to “Peanut Brittle”

  1. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — December 7, 2012 at 6:46 am

    You did it! And ut looks fantastic! :) This is my mom’s favorite treat.

  2. #
    Rachel Cooks — December 7, 2012 at 7:48 am

    This looks so good! Funny, Katrina, it is my mom’s favorite treat too! I should make some for her :)

  3. #
    thelittleloaf — December 7, 2012 at 8:45 am

    This looks absolutely delicious and so much nicer to make it yourself at home. One for stockings I think!

  4. #
    Amy — December 7, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Ya, it’s sort of a cruel…very cruel…joke that I ended up with TWO kids with a peanut allergy. *cries* Epi Pens are expensive! Let’s not even talk about how much I worry… I’ve gotten used to life without peanut butter, since most recipes work fine with other nut butters. But Paul? I think he raided their Halloween stash and ate every single one of their peanut butter cups within seconds. Peanut Brittle. Sure looks good. Sigh.

    • #
      Rachel — December 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

      It’s such a hard adjustment when it happens out of nowhere. We’re pretty much peanut/nut free but we do still enjoy the occasional item… away from the house or while lil man is snoozing.

  5. #
    brandi — December 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

    i love brittle, especially homemade. this looks perfect!

  6. #
    Danae (The Busty Baker) — December 7, 2012 at 9:44 am

    My boyfriend would LOVE this. Too bad he’s now on this no sugar/low carb deal and can’t have any. Maybe I’ll just make it for myself and taunt him with it.

  7. #
    Carla @ Carlas Confections — December 7, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Oh man, yours looks so perfect! I love it! I need to try making it, although it sounds a little difficult… but its worth it!

  8. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — December 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I love the different memories holiday foods invoke. I smiled when I saw this post, because peanut brittle is one for me. My grandma always has an enormous tin at Christmas, and I nearly ruin my appetite with it each year! Thanks for the trip down memory lane :-)

  9. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — December 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I love love love peanut brittle. Yours is beautiful!

  10. #
    Tracey — December 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I’m not sure I’ve ever tried brittle, and I’m positive I’ve never made it. I do love peanuts though (one of the only nuts I’ll eat) so I bet this is delicious! Love the photos too :)

  11. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — December 8, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    so something you didn’t know about me is that i’m obsessed with anything brittle, ESPECIALLY peanut brittle. i ate these like candy when i was a kid. i’m surprised i didn’t have chipped teeth. i wish you had brought these down too!! ;)

    • #
      Rachel — December 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      If it had been made before then, I totally would have brought some!

  12. #
    Marianne — December 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

    This may be a stupid question…
    Is the temperature in celcius or fahrenheit?

    • #
      Rachel — December 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      It is in fahrenheit.

  13. #
    natalie@thesweetslife — December 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    my husband’s gma makes this every year and i LOVE it—but we won’t be seeing her this year…so good thing i now have a recipe :)

  14. #
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee — December 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    while i believe i might destroy my teeth on this I think it would totally be worth it.

  15. #
    Ellen — December 20, 2012 at 10:58 am

    How do you know its ready to take off the stove if you don’t have a candy thermometer?

    • #
      Rachel — December 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      I’d recommend buying a candy thermometer as they’re relatively inexpensive and are perfect for both candy making and deep frying. I would not recommend making this recipe without the proper equipment as you need to reach specific temperatures while cooking.

  16. #
    B — May 8, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Just made some tonight and it’s cooling. It looks and smells fabulous, I can’t wait to try some in a couple hours!!

    • #
      Rachel — May 8, 2013 at 8:21 am

      I hope you enjoy it!

  17. #
    Enza — July 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Just made this today and it came out amazing! Not too sweet and full of flavor! My only note to anyone trying to make this is to be patient when trying to reach 265 degrees “hard ball”…mine took about 10 min or so. Definitely invest in a candy was super easy! Looking forward to making more candy, especially to give as gifts for the holidays coming up. Thanks for this recipe!!! :))

    • #
      Rachel — July 14, 2013 at 7:56 am

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Have fun candy making :)

  18. #
    Mandy — August 12, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I need help! I followed your directions perfectly but it turned out way wrong, way too thick. Can you email me and help me work out what went wrong? Thanks!

  19. #
    Ginger — December 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    i just made the peanut brittle. A complete disaster. I had 2 candy thermometers and went to the hard ball stage. Put in peanuts and it was hard as a rock. I give up. I have made peanut brittle before.

    • #
      Rachel — December 23, 2014 at 7:28 am

      The recipe is correct as stated. Without being there to see your process I can’t be sure what the problem was. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful.

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