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Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle

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Makes About 1 1/2 pounds Servings


  • 2 cups lightly toasted unsalted shelled peanuts

Recipe Preparation

  • Line large baking sheet with parchment paper; butter parchment. Stir peanuts, sugar, and corn syrup in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil until candy thermometer registers 295°F, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add baking soda and stir briskly to blend (mixture will foam up). Immediately pour out onto prepared baking sheet. Spread out brittle in even layer. Let stand until cold and hard.

  • Break brittle into pieces. Store in airtight containers at room temperature. DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 1 month ahead.

Recipe by Amy Stafford Malik,Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/2 cups dry-roasted salted peanuts (12 ounces)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Butter a large baking pan set aside. Combine peanuts, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Set over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Insert a candy thermometer. Continue boiling, without stirring, until temperature registers 295 degrees, about 6 minutes. When sugar begins to brown, stir nuts gently to ensure even cooking. Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in the butter and baking soda the mixture will begin to foam up, so mix quickly. Pour onto the prepared baking pan.

As soon as candy is cool enough to handle, use your fingers to stretch the brittle as thinly as possible over the baking pan. Allow the brittle to cool completely, about 45 minutes, then break into bite-size pieces.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup butter (no substitutes)
  • 2 ½ cups raw peanuts or other coarsely chopped nuts
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda, sifted

Line two large baking sheets with foil. Butter foil set aside. Butter sides of a heavy 3-quart saucepan. In pan combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and butter. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer registers 275 degrees F, soft-crack stage (about 30 minutes). Stir in nuts continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 295 degrees F, hard crack stage (15 to 20 minutes more).

Remove pan from heat remove thermometer. Quickly sprinkle baking soda over mixture, stirring constantly. Immediately pour onto prepared baking sheets. Cool completely break into pieces. Store tightly covered up to 1 month. Makes 2-1/4 pounds (72 servings).

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry-roasted or shelled raw peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large glass bowl. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes, add peanuts, and microwave 2 more minutes with 1,000-watt microwave. Microwave 4 more minutes if using a 700-watt microwave. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Pour into a buttered 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan shake pan to spread thinly. Cool until firm, and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Cooktop Brittle: Prep: 5 min., Cook: 8 min., Stand: 5 min. Cook first 3 ingredients in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil. Boil without stirring 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 310°. Add peanuts, and cook 2 to 3 more minutes or to 280°. (Mixture should be golden brown.) Remove from heat, and stir in butter and remaining ingredients. Pour mixture onto a metal surface or into a shallow pan. Allow to stand 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces.

Pecan Brittle: Substitute 1 cup chopped pecans for peanuts.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Brittle: Prepare peanut brittle as directed. Melt 2 (2-ounce) chocolate bark coating squares dip peanut brittle pieces into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper, and let harden

Popcorn Peanut Brittle: Prepare brittle as directed. Stir in 1 cup popped popcorn before pouring into pan.

The Role of Baking Soda

The introduction of baking soda to the molten caramel is what differentiates brittle from standard hard caramel candy.

The baking soda reacts with the caramel in its liquid state, aerating it and producing tiny pockets of air as it cools and solidifies. This results in a treat that is, well, brittle in nature.

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup (light)
  • 2 1/4 cups peanuts (salted and roasted)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil very well with nonstick cooking spray.

In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and light corn syrup, and place the pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then raise the heat to medium-high and insert a candy thermometer.

Cook the candy over medium-high heat until it reaches 260 F (126 C). At this point, add the peanuts, the butter, and 3/4 tsp of salt, and stir well. Turn the heat back down to medium.

Cook the candy, stirring frequently, until it reaches 295 F (146 C). During the cooking process, it will develop a golden color and begin to smell like caramelizing the sugar.

As soon as the candy reaches 295 F, remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and stir it in.

Scrape the candy out onto the prepared pan and spread it into as thin a layer as possible.

Let the brittle cool for a few minutes, until it is still pliable but not burning hot. If you have food-safe latex gloves, you might want to put them on to protect your hands from the heat. Otherwise, spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully start pulling the brittle between your hands, stretching it as thin as possible. When you can no longer stretch it, let it cool completely at room temperature.

Once cool, break the brittle into small pieces to serve. If you'd like, you can dip the pieces in chocolate for a tasty variation. Store Glass Peanut Brittle in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. If you live in a humid environment, you might find that your brittle becomes soft and sticky over time.

Peanut Brittle

Do you want to know what will keep the men in your life happy? Nope, it's not as Jerry Hall says. It's all about peanuts and sugar. And it's easy peasy. Both my thirty something year old man and my two year old man go crazy for salty, sweet, crunchy peanut brittle. Maybe it's because it's shiny, maybe it's the satisfying crack as it's broken. Who knows. I'm pleased anyway as it's a storecupboard make. The only bad thing about this recipe is that it all needs gobbling up in about 2 days. It starts to ooze sugar and stickiness if you leave it any longer. It won't last that long though. So nothing to lose sleep over. Dentists may disagree that this is the only bad thing.

Do you want to know what will keep the men in your life happy? Nope, it's not as Jerry Hall says. It's all about peanuts and sugar. And it's easy peasy. Both my thirty something year old man and my two year old man go crazy for salty, sweet, crunchy peanut brittle. Maybe it's because it's shiny, maybe it's the satisfying crack as it's broken. Who knows. I'm pleased anyway as it's a storecupboard make. The only bad thing about this recipe is that it all needs gobbling up in about 2 days. It starts to ooze sugar and stickiness if you leave it any longer. It won't last that long though. So nothing to lose sleep over. Dentists may disagree that this is the only bad thing.

Related Video

I made the beer/ cayenne type as described by other reviewers. I used 1/2 tsp cayenne and it was plenty, pretty spicy. It's really yummy.

Great recipe!! I loved the mix of dark and light corn syrup! I was a little worried about how thick the mixture became when I added the peanuts & butter, but I trusted the recipe and watched my candy thermometer, and everything turned out just fine! Once hard, it broke apart beautifully, without tons of crumbs. I also love that it doesn't stick to your teeth like some recipes. I will definitely keep this recipe handy for future use!! TIP: once everything is spread on your baking sheets, get your pot and utensils into hot water and start cleaning ASAP- the hot water will melt the sugars down for easy clean up -).

This recipe uses true candy-making techniques and is not for beginner cooks. A candy thermometer is essential and you will need to stay by the stove the entire time. Keeping the pans in a warm oven makes it easier to spread the candy at the end. I bought unsalted peanuts and 1.5 teaspoons of salt added with the sugar seems about right. I've made this recipe several times over the years and I keep coming back to it! I used all light corn syrup.

After reading all the reviews I made it ! I made a half a batch and follow the temperature to a "T" . The recipe is awesome and relatively easy . This is my first time making Peanut Brittle and the result is great . I will make this again , the final product is so addictive that my husband had to hide it from me ! LOL . I had only one little issue , my Peanut Brittle after cool at the end , got a little sticky to the touch . I don't remember this in other PB I have ever tasted . If somebody so sweet could help me please ? Then my PB life would be perfect !! Thank you for a wonderful recipe !!

I followed the ingredients' list but did my own process. I stir the sugar, syrup and water together. After that I don't stir. After vigorous boiling, Take down the crystals on the side of the pot by brushing with a pastry brush in water or put a lid on the pot to create steam. Don't stir after that. I take it up to almost 380 f. It wants to burn then. Take it off the stove and add your butter, vanilla, soda and peanuts to stop the cooking process. Quickly spread out on greased pans with a wooden spoon coated on the back with butter. This is caramelized much further and the taste is more intense. The colour is chestnut-like. I want to try the other cooks' beer method. I haven't tried the method in the recipe as I've burned peanuts putting them in too early but I have to keep an open mind. I've never seen a recipe where you constantly stir at the last stage. I will have to try it.

Just wanted to point out that rating a recipe negatively because you messed up the instructions or your hubby played Xbox when he was supposed to watch the pot gives a false overall rating for the recipe. I couldn¿t understand why Epicurious had less favorable recipe reviews than some blogs that aren¿t even about food. Rate the recipe, not yourselves to keep ratings more accurate for those of us who use them!

4 forks WITH TWEAKS! First, I used just light corn syrup because I didn't want to buy both. Second, I halved the recipe, so that might affect cooking time. Third, I can't imagine cooking this without a candy thermometer. You have to have everything ready before you begin - measure out your baking soda, add the vanilla, have a small bowl ready to go. Grease your cookie sheet and put it in a 200 degree oven. Measure out the peanuts, but the butter on them. Then start cooking the sugar/water/corn syrup. My mixture got to 260 in less than 10 minutes. This was my second attempt. In my first attempt, I got it boiling and then started cleaning dishes. When I went to check the temperature about 10 minutes later, I watched it burn right in front of my eyes. You have to stick the thermometer into the mixture as soon as it starts to boil and then watch it like a hawk. I was left with a burnt mess on the bottom of my pan and then had to scrub it with boiling water for at least 20 minutes to get it clean. So the second time I watched it very carefully, then when it got to 260, moved it to another burner already set at medium low and added the peanuts/butter, and then continued to watch it carefully until it got up to 295. I ended up turning the heat up to medium high to get it to 295, and it did take about 15 minutes. Then I added the baking soda / vanilla, pulled the cookie sheet out of the oven, and poured the mixture onto the cookie sheet, pushing it around to get it as thin as possible. I waited about an hour, broke it up, and have delicious peanut brittle.

By far my favorite peanut brittle recipe! I make this all the time -- the texture is perfect. I especially like the beer / cayenne version recommended below, but with much less cayenne (maybe 1/2 or 3/4 tsp.). Otherwise, the pepper overpowers the other flavors. Enjoy!

Jessica B. Harris' Peanut Brittle

After more than 35 years of writing cookbooks, I have to make a culinary confession: I do not bake. No punching down dough or rolling out cookies or delicately fluting the edges of piecrusts for me. I'm not really a dessert eater, so my sweet tooth runs to candy. Cooks make what they like to eat, and while other people may have fond memories of Christmas gingerbread men and Easter rolls, my remembrances are of blocks of fudge and walnut-topped fondant creams.

One recipe, though, has always been my standby: a super quick peanut brittle. I'm not really sure where I got it, probably from my mother, but for decades it has been my go-to. Crumble a bit of it over some store-bought ice cream, and voilà&mdashsomething special to end a meal. Package some up in a ribbon-tied box, and it's the perfect hostess gift. And if the gummy bears have run out, this candy made of Southern staples is as close as the pantry. I have made the brittle with different types of nuts, but the classic peanut just tastes best to me.

This seems to be a Southern creation, as peanuts have long been common here. They were even the subject of the popular Confederate Civil War song "Eating Goober Peas." Little did those singing know that it had an African connection. Goober (a Southern term for this legume) comes from the Lingala or Kongo word nguba, meaning "peanut." When the song was published in 1866, the authors were listed as P. Nutt and A. Pindar, obviously an inside joke. (Pindar is from the word mpinda, which is another Kongo term for peanut.)

When the Civil War acquainted the North with this food, its popularity soon spread around the country along with that of peanut brittle. Recipes for the candy made with corn syrup and these nuts began appearing in American cookbooks starting in the late 19th century.

My version is a very simple one, and it doesn't require cream of tartar, corn syrup, or even a candy thermometer&mdashjust butter, peanuts, sugar, a pinch of baking soda, and a cast-iron skillet.

Trisha Yearwood’s Peanut Brittle

One more post before Christmas. You probably already have your Christmas goodies finished, but I wanted to get this one up in case you’re needing one more!

This Peanut Brittle is the first Trisha Yearwood recipe I’ve tried and it came out so well.

I questioned the tablespoon each of vanilla, baking soda and salt. A tablespoon of salt! But I was determined to make it like Trish (she lets me call her Trish) wrote it and I’m glad I did.

This peanut brittle came out great! It’s very buttery tasting and so flavorful. The best peanut brittle I’ve ever had.

You get to see our tiny little Christmas tree above. It’s perfect for us two and storing it after Christmas is a breeze (gently put a kitchen trash bag over it and put it back in the store room!). I have two candles on either side of it and at night it lights up nicely.

Anyway, back to the peanut brittle. The recipe is easy, but is a commitment because of the stirring and watching the candy thermometer slowly go to 300 degrees. Be sure and pour it out quickly after you stir in the butter, salt, and soda. It stars thickening immediately.

If you don’t get to make peanut brittle this Christmas, be sure and put it on your list for next year!

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Homemade Peanut Brittle Candy Ready to Enjoy
(Source: ©bhofack2/

These old fashioned peanut brittle candy recipes were our family's favorites for making homemade candy when living on the farm back in the 1950s. Enjoy!

Brown Sugar Peanut Brittle

One cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup peanuts. Put shelled peanuts, chopped if desired, in a buttered pan to set in a warm place. Melt sugar, stirring constantly and with considerable pressure. I find an old-fashioned iron frying pan is best for this.

When the sugar is a golden-brown liquid stir in hot peanuts very quickly. Pour into greased pan and spread thin by tilting pan. When cold, break into desired-sized pieces.

White Sugar Peanut Brittle

One cup granulated sugar, one-quarter cup chopped peanuts. Heat sugar until it is melted, stirring constantly. Add chopped nuts and pour quickly on greased pan.

Mark into squares when slightly cooled. Three-quarters cup peanuts in shell equal one-quarter cup nutmeats.

Semisweet Chocolate Peanut Brittle

Combine and bring to boil 2 cups sugar, 1 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt cover and boil 2 minutes uncover and cook without stirring to 300°F hard crack stage remove from heat stir in quickly 6 ounces or 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup salted nuts, coarsely chopped spread thinly on greased sheet.

Old Time Dixie Groundnuts

2 cups molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Halved peanuts

Boil molasses, sugar, salt, and orange zest until it reaches a hard-crack stage (when a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water threads and breaks easily between your fingers).

Add butter and soda while stirring rapidly, plus as many halved peanuts as desired. Drop by spoonful onto buttered pan.

Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe

Grandma McIlmoyle's Handwritten Recipes (1912)

Grandma made this brittle candy for her children when they lived on the Alberta prairie in the late 1890s. You'll love its rich, buttery taste.

Old Time Molasses Peanut Brittle

1-1/2 cups molasses, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon vinegar. Boil until brittle when tried in water. Then add butter half size of an egg and 1 quart peanuts chopped quite fine. Spread in hot buttered pans. When cold, break up in small pieces.

Old Fashioned Almond Brittle Recipe

Lee's Priceless Recipes (1895)

Almond Brittle

Prepare the same as Peanut Brittle, only add the almond nuts in time to allow them to roast a little in the boiling sugar.

Peanut Brittle Cake Recipe

1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 pound peanut brittle
1 package white frosting mix

Bake cake mix according to package directions. Make two layers, 8-inches in diameter. Cool.

Crush peanut brittle with rolling pin between two sheets of waxed paper. Make frosting according to package directions and gently mix in crushed brittle candy. Ice cake between layers and on top. Crunchy delicious!

About the Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipes

Tray of Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle Candy Broken for Eating
(Source: ©bhofack2/

You will love the taste of peanut brittle, but when you come to think of it, why not try making it with almonds, macadamias, pecans, cashews, or pistachios too?

Simply choose one of the old fashioned peanut brittle recipes and indulge yourself by substituting your favorite nut.

Our neighbor Mr. Watkins made awesome peanut brittle, and I eagerly looked forward to sampling it. Though I was young at the time, I can recall loving it because he didn't skimp on the peanuts.

Ever since, when people ask me how to make peanut brittle, I always suggest throwing in an extra handful of peanuts to make a perfect batch.

History of Peanut Brittle Candy

Almonds | Macadamias | Pecans | Cahews | Pistachios
(Source: ©ld1012lsk/

Brittle-type candies containing seeds and nutmeats are an ancient confection that has been made in many countries for centuries.

However, peanut brittle as we know it today likely evolved in the United States as peanuts (a legume) became a popular snack during the time of the Civil War.

By the late 1860s, recipes for peanut candy and boiled molasses candy with peanuts began to appear in cookbooks.

The candy's name "peanut brittle," however, didn't come into common use until around 1900.

Watch the video: Perfect Peanut Brittle How-To


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