Peanut Brittle is a sugar based hard candy, with peanuts embedded in it.
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted peanuts)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup shelled peanuts - raw (roasted may be used, see Notes, below).
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (optional, see Notes, below).
- Grease a 9" x 12" cookie sheet. Set aside until needed.
- Over medium heat, in a heavy 2-qt saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water to a boil.
- Attach a candy thermometer to the sauce pan with the tip in the mixture.
- Continue heating,stiring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
- Add raw peanuts to the mixture. (Roasted peanuts are not recommended. If used, these must be added at a later stage of cooking to prevent burning).
- Continue heating and stiring gently until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- If you are using roasted peanuts (not recommended), stir these into the mixture now.
- Remove from heat.
- Add butter and (optional)vanilla extract. Stir in quickly.
- Add baking soda and stir very quickly. The volume of the mixture will double as bubbles form throughout. Be sure the soda is evenly mixed in and does not collect in one spot.
- Pour mixture onto cookie sheet.
- Using a fork or wooden spoon, spread the mixture evenly across the entire surface of the 9" x 12" cookie sheet.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Break peanut brittle into bite size pieces.
Notes, tips, and variations
- The use of a candy thermometer will insure consistency between your batches of candy. Alternatively, 250 degrees F. can be determined by dropping a small amount of the hot mixture from a spoon or fork. When a string (filament) forms and curls back up toward the fork, the mixture is 250 degrees F. The mixture has reached 300 degrees F. when a small drop of the mixture forms an amber blob in cold water.
- Baking soda adds an "easier bite" to the peanut brittle, causing it to break when less force is applied. It also causes the sugar base around the peanuts to be opaque. It does this by "foaming up" and introducing small bubbles in the sugar syrup. If you desire a clearer almost transparent sugar base around the peanuts and a "harder bite", reduce or omit the baking soda.
- If you use roasted peanuts instead of raw, be careful not heat the mixture above 300-degrees F. or the peanuts may taste burned. Roasted peanuts can also be added at the end of cooking to prevent burning.
- If you use salted peanuts, omit the salt in the recipe.
- See also Microwave Peanut Brittle
- Be very careful while working with boiling sugar mixtures, as they can cause severe burns.