Peanut brittle is a treat I’ve never been interested in before. I like peanuts, I don’t love them. And brittle just has never been something I’ve wanted to try. I’m not even sure when I last tried brittle, but it wasn’t memorable. It just always seemed to be shards of glass with peanuts in it. A little too brittle for my liking.
As usual, homemade makes everything taste better. Because I am officially addicted to this brittle. All day long “just one more bite.” Thank goodness my hubby has hungry co-workers who are willing to eat all of my experiments!
I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. She just doesn’t fail me. I even have a little crush on her blog. But ssh…don’t tell.
It’s easy to make. It really is. No thermometer required, although, I admit that did make me nervous! But it worked out just deliciously. I was short 2 oz of peanuts, but I’m glad I was. The amount I used was perfect. It takes a while for the sugar to cook, but you can do other things, like the dishes. Because with all this baking, there’s a lot of dirty dishes left over.
On a slightly separate note….have you ever wondered why it is a called a “Baker’s Dozen” and why that number is 13? According to Wikipedia, back in the day bakers could be punished severely if they shortchanged someone, even if it was accidental. So, they started giving people 13 items to make sure they were short. Another possible explanation is that 13 round items (e.g. biscuits) fit proportionality on a rectangular baking sheet. And that’s your random history for the day.
Yield: Just under half sheet pan
Prep time: About 30 minutes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- Vegetable-oil spray or 1 teaspoon butter, for lining the tray
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup + 2 TB water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse or flaky sea salt
- 10 ounces salted, roasted nuts, not chopped
1. Line a half sheet baking pan with parchment paper, or silpat, and lightly coat it with vegetable spray or butter. Lightly spray a spatula and set aside. Measure your peanuts, salt, and baking soda separately and set aside.
2. Put the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water to a large saucepan, and stir together until all the sugar is wet. Cook over high medium-high, but watch it carefully as it will foam up. Once it does, dial back to medium.
3. Once the mixture turns a medium golden (took about 20 minutes for me) immediately remove from the heat, and carefully whisk in the baking soda followed by the salt (taking care, as the caramel will rise in the pan and bubble some more). Switch to a wooden or metal spoon, and fold in the nuts. (Do not forget to switch or the nuts will get stuck in your whisk. Not fun!)
4. Quickly pour the mixture onto the sheet pan, and spread it out over the pan using the back of your greased spatula before it starts to harden. Alternately, you can slide the parchment paper out of the baking pan and onto a counter, cover it with another sheet, and use a rolling pin, pressing down hard, to roll it out as flat and thin as you would like.
5. At this point you can either let it cool completely (pulling off the top sheet of parchment, if you use the rolling pin technique) and break it into bite-size pieces. Or you can do as Smitten did and while it is still warm, cut into strips.
6. The brittle can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to two weeks. Separate layers with parchment or wax paper. No way will it last that long though.