Saturday, October 8, 2011

Best Peanut Brittle

 

My husband loves peanuts. Seriously. He buys them in the shell, and cracks them several times a week sometimes while I'm trying to read and I have to try and tune it out.  The funny thing is that I'm not particularly wild about peanut butter.  Whole peanuts, however, are another story. When Craig and I were visiting Murphy's (California), last May, I decided to visit a candy store that I heard was not to be missed.   I decided to try their peanut brittle that people raved was "the best".  I paid close to $10.00 for a tiny bag-- a bit pricey, I thought. It was good, I'll admit.  Craig and I demolished the bag in no time.


When we returned home, I decided to do a little research on how to make my own peanut brittle.  I found a few online recipes,  including a microwave version.  I decided to forgo "nuking" my brittle, and I settled for a stove top version.  I used salted, canned peanuts, because we happened to have them in our pantry.  The ingredients consisted of peanuts, water, light corn syrup, baking soda, pure vanilla and salt, and butter (not pictured, because I forgot).



In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. NOTE: Using a candy thermometer, I waited until the hot liquid reached 250F, before adding the peanuts.  Reviews suggested this, so that I didn't risk burning the peanuts.   Stir in peanuts.

 Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking. 

 ...we're going for a final temperature of 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.

Once the candy reaches that hard ball stage, remove from heat; immediately stir in butter, vanilla and baking soda; pour at once onto  a very heavily greased sheet (covered with foil) or on a Silpat mat.

You really have to move fast, so be sure you have your sheet ready to go.  I simply tilted my baking sheet, with the silicone mat, to evenly spread the peanut brittle.

This is really hot, so be very careful!

See? Spreading with a spatula isn't the greatest idea.  I'm glad that I used a silicone spatula, for easier clean up.
 
 Once the brittle is cooled (and that happens pretty fast), break the candy into pieces.


VERDICT:  If you look closely, you can see how airy these brittle turned out.  I tweaked a couple of things from the original recipe that I adapted from here. The original recipes called for one cup of peanuts, but  I used two cups--and I'm glad that I did! I also added vanilla, and that was perfect, too.  Honestly, this brittle was as good (if not better) than the one I bought at that candy store.  I was surprised at how easy it is to make, and I can see making these as Christmas gifts.  CLEANUP: I found that, once my pot had cooled, that simply soaking it with water dissolved the leftover candy and the pot was as good as new.  The silpat mat also made cleanup a breeze. If you don't have one, I definitely suggest foil wrapping a baking sheet, and grease it very well!

I can see macadamia nuts as a great variation. I've seen pine nut brittle, too.  I'd better double the recipe, though.  This brittle didn't make it past one day, with the three of us.

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.


Oh, tomorrow morning we're off on a road trip, for a few days,  to our timeshare in the Napa-Sonoma area for Fall Break. See what I mean? Working for a school district has it's perks-- and trust me, I'm very thankful.
 





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22 comments:

Frieda Loves Bread said...

Debby, you've done it again! My mom always made peanut brittle for the holidays on a specially imprinted baking sheet, leaving a design on the bottom of the pan (I hope to inherit!)

Anyways, if your darling readers don't have a Silpat, send them my way. I'm giving away TWO of these babies to one lucky commenter!

http://tinyurl.com/44nxal9

TKW said...

Aren't Silpats the best invention ever? My evil grandma (dad's mom) loved peanut brittle and ate it by the bucketload. I've never tried it since. Maybe I need to re-visit peanut brittle, since the old hag died ages ago. :)

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Hi Debby - I'm so happy to read that your work schedule is better and you will be able to spend more time blogging. We are huge peanut brittle fans here and my kids will love it when I tuck little bags of this candy into their stockings at Christmas. I don't know how I would get along without my silpat.

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

I'm sure you made your husband very happy making this, due to his love of peanuts! It certainly looks delicious. And yes, I can see how airy it looks, yum! And I'm so glad you got your job back... I didn't realize you had a 'split' shift -- that must have been rough! Have a great time on your getaway and take lots of FOOD pics. :)
Best,
Gloria

Karen | Divine Dinner Party said...

I just fell in love with this recipe! Peanut junkies will drool over them. Thanks for sharing :)

Lorrie Bridges said...

I remember you talking about this peanut brittle! My father made his in the microwave. He took time to show Grant how to make it before he passed away. :) Love you Debby, love cooking with you!

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

Sounds like you are great at rolling with the punches!! Good for you and congrats on getting back where you belong.

Peanut brittle is an absolute staple at my house during the holidays. I will definitely be making this :-)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Isn't it great when things work out like that. I need to get a silpat mat and make this brittle. It looks great. Oh I just saw one of your commenters is giving away silpats, so I'm headed there next.

Joanne said...

Oh yay! I'm so happy for you! I know you liked your new job but didn't love the distance and the time you had to spend away from home. So glad things worked out!

Peanut brittle is definitely one of my addictions...this looks so good.

Beth said...

This looks fabulous! I haven't eaten peanut brittle since I was a kid, and It's always a great treat.

Tina said...

I don't find brittle around much, and finding a really delicious one worth the carbs is rare. This looks wonderful!

So happy for your new work arrangement!

Amy said...

Congratulations on your new work arrangement! I love peanuts and peanut brittle and with the excessive amount of peanuts that have been consumed in the past couple of weeks around this house I will definitely have to try this recipe out! Thanks very much for sharing :)

Becki's Whole Life said...

Congrats on being back at your "home" school. Love peanut brittle especially when it kind of melts in your mouth. This looks like it does and your instructions are really good! I might save this for the holidays - would make a real nice gift - especially with a little chocolate...yum!

bellini said...

That's such good news about your job Debby! I am so happy for you as I know how these long wotk days cut into your life.As for the peanit brittle it is my dad's favourite and he would love this recipe!!I would add cashews since those are my fave:D

Christine's Pantry said...

Love peanut brittle. Great recipe.

Neysa said...

Debby, I just came on with Key Ingredient, and I found your site to discover you're using our digital recipe card! Thank you! I'm so glad you share all your delicious recipes in the KI community =)

Now I'm going to bounce around your blog for a while and get hungry right before lunch...

Rochelle said...

Love peanut brittle so much. Thanks for posting this. It looks pretty straight forward and easy. Going to give it a try. :)

Amalia said...

Mmmm, this looks so good!! I'm going to have to try this! Thanks for sharing :) God Bless!

Pam said...

OMG! I knew I shouldn't have stopped here!!! I'm a peanut addict and I would hog every piece of this for myself. It really looks sweet and delicious and is a great recipe to try. That's wonderful for you with your job!!

Velva said...

Cheers to you! I love when things work out.

This peanut brittle rocks-OMG!

Velva

sophiesfoodiefiles said...

Hello Debby! I am new to your blog & I olove your blog a lot! :)

I never have made peanut brittle before but I can't wait to make it!

Many greetings from a foodie from Belgium!

Chris and Amy said...

We love peanut brittle and this recipe sounds perfect. Need to get a silpat sheet quick! Congrats on the work situation!