Monday, December 16, 2013

Peanut Brittle

two of the more uniform pieces of brittle, ready to be eaten

Growing up I didn't eat a lot of peanut brittle, (mostly because I associated it with the gross green boxes that were sold door to door by the kids in band) but peanut brittle is one of my Grandpa's favorite treats, and I was able to find a recipe of Grandmother Stipp's so I decided to give it a try for the Holidays.
You might notice that the corner of the recipe is torn off, so I had no idea how many cups of sugar the recipe called for. It looked like it could be anything from three to five cups, so I decided to split the difference and go for four. I found that it did not take 10 minutes for it to come back up to crack stage after adding the peanuts. I also found that pouring this out onto a silpat lined baking sheet or a cold marble slab made it easier to handle. Make sure to have enough surface area to pour out onto! To crack the sheet of candy, I used a wooden mallet, but the back of a spoon would also work!

A batch makes a lot of brittle, it fills up a gallon sized bag pretty well. I chose to go for lightly salted un-roasted peanuts, similar to cocktail peanuts. Since the recipe doesn't call for a certain temperature, I got mine up to 300*F which is at the low end of the hard crack range. There is a bit of wiggle room though, and yours should be just fine as long as it stays in the 300-310 range!

Next time I might experiment a bit and try using almonds or cocoa nibs instead of peanuts. I could also see little chunks of brittle being extra delicious covered in chocolate!


Peanut Butter Brittle

4 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Corn Syrup
1 1/3 Cups Water
2 Cups Peanuts
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

In a large pot combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water, stir to combine and bring up to 300*F/ Hard Crack Stage. Add in butter and peanuts, stir to combine and bring mixture back up to 300*F/Hard Crack Stage. When you reach 300*F, take the pot off the heat and add a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of vanilla, stir to combine and pour out onto a silpat sheet, cookie sheet, or cold marble slab. Wait until mixture cools, remove candy disk and crack into bite sized pieces. Store in a cool, dry place and enjoy!

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