Best Ever Peanut Brittle

Best Ever Peanut Brittle

I cannot tell you how many people have tasted this peanut brittle and told us it was the best they have ever had. Based on a recipe from my mom’s 1966 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies, we have been making it for Christmas since I was little. Everyone eagerly awaits their little tin and we’ve even seen some of them go so far as to keep it hidden so they don’t have to share.

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Making peanut brittle isn’t hard, but you do have to follow the instructions carefully. Here are our other tips:

  • As with most everything, the ingredients matter. We don’t use anything but Planters Redskin Spanish Peanut and Karo Light Corn Syrup.
  • You will need a good candy thermometer as taking the right steps at the right temperature is critical.
  • Things move quickly as you get to the final steps so have everything ready to go before you start. It’s very useful to have a helper on standby to share stirring duty, add the baking soda, and assist with spreading out the finished brittle on the cookie sheets.
  • To cool the peanut brittle more quickly, set the cookie sheets in a cold, dry place for a half hour or so. We always use our unheated garage.
  • Although you may want more peanut brittle than this recipe makes, it does not work to double it. You’ll need to make each batch separately, cleaning the pot, thermometer, etc., in between.
  • Speaking of cleaning, it can seem like there is no way to get the hardened mess off everything. Let it all soak in very hot soapy water for 5-10 minutes before trying to scrub it off.
  • To keep your peanut brittle crisp, store (and gift) it in festive metal tins from your local craft store.

Best Ever Peanut Brittle

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 12.5 oz can redskin Spanish peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  • Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large (5 quart works well) nonstick pot and attach a candy thermometer to the side.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.  
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, then stir in the butter.  Continue cooking until the temperature reaches 230◦, when you'll need to begin stirring constantly again.  
  • When the temperature reaches 280◦, add the nuts and continue stirring constantly.  
  • When the mixture reaches 305◦ (hard crack stage), remove it from the heat, and very quickly but thoroughly stir in the baking soda. 
  • Immediately divide the mixture between two ungreased nonstick baking sheets and very quickly spread into a thin (about 1/4-inch) even layer on each.  The mixture should only cover about two-thirds of each pan.  
  • Let the pans sit undisturbed until completely cool.  The brittle should then easily release from the pans and can be broken into small pieces.  

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