Yep, another candy (can you tell I'm running out of freezer space for cookies?)! This is so easy to make and give (as always, there is a danger of burns, but if you are careful it really shouldn't be an issue). Once the Peanut Brittle hardens, you just have to break it into shards and wrap it up however you like. I sometimes like to make little bundles of the stuff wrapped in colored cellophane or even colored food film tied up tight with curly ribbons. It's really quite festive. I've also found that this makes a nice garnish for some desserts. Pumpkin Cheesecake or Peanut Silk Pie with shards of Peanut Brittle sticking out of them like daggars makes for an interesting and artistic presentation (not to mention tasty).
Peanut Brittle is a favorite of mine to make because it goes through a magical transformation when you are making it. Up until the point where you add the baking soda, it is just a hard caramel....Once you add the baking soda, you get a reaction, the baking soda fizzles (for lack of a better word) and makes this candy it's namesake, that is to say, brittle and easier to break apart and eat than a hard caramel would be. I still remember making this in High School Chemistry with brand new beakers and bunsen burners....ahhh, good times...
Peanut Brittle: (you should get about 1 1/2 pounds of candy)
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda (it's magic, I tell you...magic)
2 cups nuts,unsalted, roasted (I'm using peanuts, but I have made this with macadamias or pecans before, and all I can say is "yum". To roast them, set oven to 350f, spread the nuts on a sheet pan and roast about 6 to 10 minutes or until you smell the nice scent of roasted nuts)
-In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring water, sugar and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat. Brush the sides of the pan down with water and cook to 250f.
-Once the mixture reaches 250f, slowly and carefully (hot sugar, ouch) add the butter. Continue cooking to 300f. Remove from heat, stir in salt, baking soda and nuts. Pour out and spread onto a sheet pan covered with aluminum foil (or parchement paper) that has been spread with butter.
-Cool completely and break into whatever size pieces you like. Makes nice shards, they are pretty!
-Share and enjoy!
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