Peanut brittle recipes are simple candies made primarily of sugar and nuts, and it was one of the earliest candies ever formulated. Ancient brittles likely originated in the Middle East and were composed of honey and sesame seeds. Over time, the concoction evolved according to regional preferences and ingredient experimentation. Modern peanut brittle first came into existence over two hundred years ago during the pioneer days of the United States.
Simple Nut Brittle Recipe
Contributed by Misty Karam
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup chopped nuts - type of your choice
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to boil until mixture is golden brown. Remove from heat.
- Add nuts and turn onto lightly greased sheet pan.
- Cool completely and pound until broken into very small pieces.
Classic Peanut Brittle Recipe
Contributed by Holly Swanson
- 1 pint shelled and chopped roasted peanuts
- 2 pounds granulated sugar
- Put granulated sugar in a clean frying pan.
- Stir over low heat. Sugar will lump and then gradually melt.
- When the sugar becomes clear and the color of pale coffee, add peanuts and stir. Pour the mixture quickly on a buttered tin sheet.
- Roll as thin as possible.
- When cold, break up into pieces.
Easy Crack Peanut Brittle
Contributed by LoveToKnow Staff
- 1 pint corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups roasted peanuts
- Combine the corn syrup and sugar in a large sauce pan and boil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit until brittle when a little is dropped in cold water.
- Add the soda to the candy and spread thickly on oiled pans containing a layer of roasted peanuts.
- Allow to cool completely and break into pieces.
Temperature Tips for Making Peanut Brittle
Though peanut brittle recipes can appear deceptively simple, the candy can be tricky to make correctly. The correct temperature must be reached in order to dissolve the sugar thoroughly and create the appropriate "snap" to the candy (under cooked peanut brittle is too sticky), but cooking times vary according to the behavior of specific appliances. Additionally:
- When checking the temperatures, avoid touching the candy thermometer to the side or bottom of the pan, which could give an inaccurately high reading.
- Always be cautious when working with boiling sugar, which can cause severe burns.
- Many peanut brittle recipes suggest adding baking soda at the end to add air and make the candy slightly more tender, but this causes foaming and must be done in a pan large enough to contain the candy.
- It may be helpful to warm cookie sheets in the oven to aid spreading the candy and keep it from hardening too quickly after cooking.
Tips on Selecting Nuts
The specific type of peanuts is also a critical choice. If choosing salted peanuts, consider omitting additional salt in the recipe for a healthier treat. Many recipes also recommend unroasted peanuts because roasted nuts can get too brown or even burn at the high temperatures necessary to cook the brittle. Name brand peanuts may have added monosodium glutamate (msg) or seasonings that could taint the flavor of homemade candy. Of course, while peanuts are the traditional choice, many cooks experiment with other nuts for brittles: cashews, pecans, and almonds are other favorite choices and excellent alternatives for individuals with peanut allergies.
Give It a Try
Making your first batch of brittle might seem a little intimidating, but it's easier than it may seem. Once you've made a batch or two, it will probably become one of your family's favorite candy recipes.