Making candy at home is somewhat a lost art. Many are intimidated by the process and have never given it a try. With the right tools and a trick or two making candy is really not a daunting process. This peanut brittle recipe is a favorite of mine and was given to me by my lovely Stepmom. It differs slightly in ingredients and techniques from other brittle recipes. And the result – beautifully toasted peanuts encased in a light, almost fluffy brittle.
There are some items to have on hand before you start. First, make sure you have a good candy thermometer. I use a digital thermometer which is easy to set and read. You’ll want a heavy saucepan and a sturdy wooden spoon for cooking the brittle; both are essential. The heavy saucepan will help prevent the sugar and nuts from scorching while they cook. A sturdy wooden spoon holds up to the heat and thickness of the brittle. Finally, a heavy rimmed baking sheet is the perfect vessel to pour the brittle on for cooling.
Now some tips. Avoid making any confection on a rainy day! Humidity is not a friend when making candy. Before you start, butter the baking sheet along the bottom and slightly up the sides. Place it on the stovetop near where you’ll be cooking the brittle or on a cutting board with hot pads. Don’t place the pan directly on the cutting board or your countertop; the heat from the brittle could crack them. Trust me on this!
Place the butter in a small dish, the baking soda and salt combined in another and both within easy reach. When the candy reaches the desired temperature you’ll need to act quickly. And be careful, while the brittle is in liquid form it is extremely hot and sticky!
Making this wonderful peanut brittle is not as difficult as you would think and it takes less than two hour of your time. Worth every minute!
1 cup white corn syrup
½ cup water
3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups raw Spanish peanuts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
Add the corn syrup, water and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Stir to combine and cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.
Raise the heat to medium. Attach the thermometer to the side of the pan and set it for 295-300 which is the hard crack stage. Make certain the tip of the thermometer is not resting on the bottom of your pan. Add the peanuts and cook, stirring occasionally until the temperature reaches the 295-300 degree mark.
Remove the thermometer from the pan. Working quickly add the butter, stirring until completely melted and combined.
Then add the salt and baking soda mixing well into the brittle. The brittle will foam up and change color so don’t be alarmed.
Pour the brittle onto the buttered baking sheet and leave it until cool. Do not spread!
Once the brittle is completely cool, cover the pan with a large sheet of plastic wrap, flip over and remove the brittle from the pan, Then cover the other side with plastic wrap. Using the heel of your hand, break the brittle into smaller pieces, taking care as the edges can be sharp. Breaking the brittle between sheets of plastic wrap keeps the mess at a minimum.
Toasted peanuts in golden brittle!