Thursday, March 26, 2015

Peanut Brittle

Hello, everyone!  Happy Thursday!  A couple of weeks ago, my daughter was out of school for the day, and, as always, she asked me what we would be cooking up in the kitchen!  I had planned ahead, and had everything ready to go to make peanut brittle.  
Peanut brittle is one of my favorites, although it isn't something I make or eat all that often.  However, honestly, what's not to like?  There's peanuts, and there's caramel!  Count me in!  This is a pretty basic recipe, and you can feel free to swap out the nut for your nut of choice.  If you have a peanut allergy, I think almonds are a safe swap to make, but, of course, check with your allergist or doctor first.  
Probably the best part of making peanut brittle, is that there isn't a lot of special equipment that's needed.  The only thing I would strongly recommend is a candy thermometer, which, if you do a lot of frying, or candy making, is something you should have anyway.  If you don't have one, they're pretty cheap, about $4 at almost any store!
Here's your grocery list for this one:
2 C granulated sugar
1 C water
1 C light corn syrup
2 C roasted and salted peanuts
1 tsp baking soda
Non-stick spray

This is going to go pretty quickly, because it is a pretty quick recipe!  To start off with, in a large pot, add in your sugar, water, and corn syrup - I used a medium pot, and barely had enough room at the end!  The baking soda will cause the mixture to foam up a bit, so, just be aware of that.

A quick tip here, spray your measuring cup with some non-stick spray before pouring your corn syrup.  This will cause the corn syrup to come out with much less problems!!

Attach your candy thermometer to the side of your pot, making sure that the bottom of the thermometer isn't sitting on the bottom of the pan.  This will give you a false reading, and you may burst your thermometer!  So, that being said, over medium heat, heat this mixture until your thermometer reads 245* (also known as the soft ball stage).  While you're waiting, pour out your peanuts - I ended up using about 2 1/2 Cs, because I like my peanut brittle extra peanut-y.  

Also, get out a baking sheet, and spray fairly generously with some non-stick spray.  You don't want it to be dripping with non-stick spray, but you want to be sure it is coated evenly.  Once your sugar/water/corn syrup mixture has reached 245*, stir in the peanuts, and continue cooking this mixture until you reach the 300* mark - roughly another 10-15 minutes.

Once your temperature has increased to 300*, add in the baking soda, and stir, carefully, for another couple of minutes, until your mixture has reached the color of your liking.  However, remember that the caramel will continue to darken after you remove it from the heat.

As soon as your caramel is to your liking, pour it directly onto the greased baking sheet, and spread it out to an even layer.  Set this aside to cool, I left mine on the counter for a couple of hours.  My daughter was beside herself to have some!

Now comes the fun part!  You can either whack it with a kitchen mallet, or just pick up a corner of the candy and let it drop back to the pan, thus breaking the candy.  This candy is full of flavor, but not too hard to bite into.  This is some seriously yummy candy, and makes a great gift!  No one has to know how easy it was to make!