Peanut Brittle

I enjoy peanut brittle…well, I used to enjoy peanut brittle – now I CRAVE peanut brittle! Have you ever enjoyed a particular food item, but then one day you had that same food, but it was prepared a little differently; prepared in a way that made your taste buds go crazy? That’s what happened to me, and I did it to myself. How? By inadvertantly using a different recipe. Every year at Christmas time I am compelled to make candy. It is something that I look forward to all year and every year I asked myself why I don’t make it year round. I don’t know – but what I do know is that every year at Christmas time, my Grandma Edith would make many different kinds of candies so she could gift them to all of her friends including the post man. Thankfully she wrote down her candy recipes in a notebook and I am very lucky to have her candy-making recipe book where I discovered this gem of a recipe. There are 2 peanut brittle recipes, and for some reason I never noticed this one, maybe because it was further into the book. This recipe produces a slightly “darker” and perhaps a little “richer” tasting than typical peanut brittle – but it turned out FABULOUS.  I have never tasted a better peanut brittle and the texture is THE ABSOLUTE BEST that I have ever tasted!!

Previously, when making peanut brittle, I used white sugar and un-salted peanuts. This recipe called for light brown sugar, but all I had was dark (and didn’t really catch that nuance until after the fact).  It was so YUMMY that it disappeared quickly, well… what was left after delivering packages to my neighbors. So, I made it again, using the light brown sugar – however, the first batch made with the dark was my favorite. It made for a more richer tasting brittle – that allowed for one piece to satisfy. – If you are a dark chocolate lover, you can probable relate; very similar to eating a piece of milk-chocolate vs dark-chocolate… deeper flavor.

**No need to take my word for it…give it a try and here’s how:

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Grandma Edith’ s Golden Peanut Brittle

  • 2 cups salted roasted peanuts (12 oz. can)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb. C and H Golden Brown Sugar (I modified using DARK brown sugar)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Spread peanuts in a shallow pan and place in a 200 degree oven.  Combine water, sugar, syrup and butter in a 3qt. heavy saucepan. Place over high heat, stir constantly until boiling. Place thermometer in mixture and continue cooking to 285 degrees. Stir often to prevent burning. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and hot peanuts. Add soda and stir until foamy. Quickly pour into two greased cookie sheets. Spread as thin as possible. Cool. Break into pieces. Makes 2 1/2 lbs.

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**Tips for Peanut Brittle Candy Making:

Making candy can be tricky – because the different stages of melting sugar can drastically change the texture. The recipes must be followed precisely & you have to move quickly.  My grandmother believed that candy should only be made on a clear day & every time I’ve made candy on non-clear day – the results were ehhh. She truly was a Talented & Fabulous candy maker. Unfortunately,  I didn’t eat much of her candy because she used nuts in everything nor did I appreciate her talent at the time.

This recipe calls for the peanuts to be heated before adding them to the hot sugar mixture which prevent the sugar mixture from cooling too quickly; I believe this “tip” results in the airier texture. I also like this recipe because it uses salted/roasted peanuts – which I find much tastier than “raw” peanuts (however, you could easily substitute raw peanuts if that is your preference.)


 

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