I’ve had this post half-written for almost a week now, but instead of scrambling to finish it in a timely fashion, I choose to kick back and celebrate with my Mr. 5 and my family.
Though it has already come and gone, I just want to take the opportunity to wish you all a very merry, and belated, Christmas!
Hope the day was everything you hoped it to be, and you made lots of wonderful memories with your loved ones and found some special goodies under the tree!
Peanut Brittle has been a part of my Christmas experience for many-a-year. Growing up, we didn’t live in a neighborhood exactly, nor did we live out in the country. We had one neighbor, a wonderful older couple, Bill and Catherine, who lived across the street and were like surrogate grandparents to my sister and me.
Every Christmas, Bill would stop over with a big box full of delicious homemade candies that he whipped up himself. The box had divinity, peanut brittle, fudge, and I’m sure other confections which slip my mind at the moment. He instilled an appreciation and love of homemade candy that I didn’t really explore until I became an adult.
Also, my dad really likes peanut brittle. That kind of helped me look into making it, too.
This isn’t his recipe, but I make this peanut brittle with Christmas memories of Bill’s candy in mind.
1 C sugar
1/2 C corn syrup
1/4 C water
1/4 tsp salt
1 C raw peanuts
2 TBSP butter, softened
1 tsp baking soda
First off, gather your ingredients
Then, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in the pan
You also want to have your cookie sheet for spreading the peanut brittle and your peanuts and baking soda & butter ready to race. When the brittle is ready there is not time to measure this stuff out. The official recipe calls for a greased cookie sheet, but I haven’t found that to be necessary.
Turn the burner on to medium to medium high heat. You don’t have to constantly stir, but you’ll want to stir fairly frequently to keep things from burning. It should only take a few minutes for your sugar to dissolve, like this:
When it looks like that, it’s time to add the peanuts.
Now, let’s talk about a crucial part of the peanut brittle experience – the thermometer. I use a probe thermometer with a digital readout, which you can kind of see above. You don’t need a fancy one like this; they sell candy thermometers for less than $5 at any grocery store, but I have bad luck with them breaking. We’ll just say I may have accidentally fed my dad some bits of glass in his peanut brittle one time. And I may have had some glassy brittle as well. NOT good.
After the peanuts are in, you just cook it to 300 degree whilst stirring. Here’s what it will look like along the way.
When it gets there, time to dump in the baking soda and butter!
I love this part…it gets all foamy and fluffs up. Yay chemistry!
Once the butter is completely melted, pour that mess out onto the cookie sheet and spread it out as best you can. The recipe calls for using two forks, but I don’t find that any more effective (and more annoying) than just using my handy dandy silicone spoon spatula.
And then you’re done! Let the brittle cool, and you should be able to break it apart in 30 minutes or less. It should come right up off of the sheet; if it doesn’t, let it sit another 10 minutes.
I store it in the fridge. Not really sure if that’s necessary or not, but that’s what I do.