Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Recipe: Peanut Brittle

This recipe is fairly idiot-proof. I've adapted it from one I found on Food Network, attributed to "Sweet Dreams," which I believe was Gale Gand's cake/pastry/muffin dessert show from several years ago.

I've made English toffee (think the inside of a Heath or Skor bar) many times before, so how difficult could peanut brittle possibly be? It came out perfectly! You don't even really need a candy thermometer, although you might want to use one the first time, so that you can gauge the color of the boiling syrup when it hits the right temperature.

Yield: a little less than an 11" x 17" jellyroll pan
Time: approx. 15 - 20 minutes

  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. light corn syrup
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 2 c. roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  1. mix the first four ingredients and bring them to a boil on medium heat
  2. let the mixture boil, stirring occasionally, until it hits 340F (a rich, semi-dark caramel color in the pot, which looks lighter when it gets poured out); the original recipe said 10 minutes, but it took me closer to 20 minutes on my glass top stove, which regulates the heat level via timed on-off electric, rather than a steady adjustable gas flame
  3. quickly stir in the butter until it melts, then stir in the other ingredients; it'll foam up like crazy, but that's fine
  4. spread it out in a greased jelly roll pan, and smooth it out before it sets
  5. when it cools completely, break it up into pieces, and store it in an airtight jar
Notes: The original recipe used salted peanuts, and unsalted butter, but I had salted butter and unsalted peanuts, so I added just a pinch of salt at the end. I did not add the 2 tsp. of ground cinnamon that the original recipe called for, because I wanted just a classic peanut brittle. As the mixture boils, you may need to stir down a few sugar crystals, if they start to form around the edge of the pot. At the end, you'll have to work fast, stirring in the last few ingredients, and spreading it out to cool, because once off the heat, it'll cool and start to harden pretty quickly. If you want, you can score the brittle with a knife or pizza cutter after you spread it out to cool, which will make it easier to break into neatly shaped pieces, but I sort of like it broken up into odd-shaped pieces of different sizes.


southern Grace Gourmet said...

I love peanut brittle, but haven't made it in so long I didn't have a recipe, but now I do thanks! My mom use to make it all the time.

Diana Bauman said...

What a great blog you have :) This peanut brittle looks great! I've never made it before but that may soon change :)

Sock Monkey said...

This particular recipe reminds me a lot of those Planters peanut bars I used to eat as a kid, vs. the kind you might find in a fudge shop, where the glob of peanut-filled syrup is stretched thin as it cools. Approx. 1/4" thick, this version is a lot less prone to shattering as you break it up, or crunch into it, than the thinner, stretched out kind.

Although I don't have quite the sweet tooth that Ms. Gand has, but when I used to watch her show, her recipes looked pretty reliable. I was really pleased with this one.