When I was still living with my parents, our neighbor used to bring over a platter of Christmas goodies every year. One of my favorites was the peanut brittle. It also happened to be my dad’s favorite and we would each sneak pieces when we could. This year I decided to try my hand at making my own for the first time. I was looking through some cookbooks for holiday baking ideas and realized that one of my favorite cookbooks already had a recipe in it. Peanut brittle is actually very easy to make. You have to cook the mixture to a very high temperature, so you do have to be careful, but the directions in the book made it so easy. I would suggest using the longest wooden spoon you have to make sure you don’t burn yourself. Once the mixture is combined, you need to work quickly to pour it over the baking sheet because it does set up quickly. This peanut brittle came out just right- it had the hard, crunchy texture I was looking for, but wasn’t too hard to break into pieces. This was the perfect treat to have around during the holidays!
Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda, sifted
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
½ pound shelled roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch pieces
BEFORE YOU START
Lightly butter a jell-yroll pan or lined cookie sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and salt.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil. When it is boiling, cover for 3 minutes (this will melt any sugar crystals stuck on the sides of the pan, which will prevent crystallization).
Remove the cover and cook until it reaches 348 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Stir in the baking soda mixture. (Be careful! The mixture will bubble and is really hot). When the mixture starts to settle, stir in the vanilla and butter briskly, until it disappears.
Pour the mixture into the prepared jelly-roll pan. Spread evenly with a buttered spatula. Let cool to room temperature.
Makes about 2 pounds peanut brittle
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