Thursday, December 8, 2011

Peanut Brittle

Everywhere I have gone lately, I've seen wonderful Peanut Brittle.  It got me thinking that when I was young I made candy at Christmas time.  I learned to make Peanut Brittle in grade school.  Back in those days I had to shell the peanuts, an activity I did while watching tv.  Now that unsalted peanuts are available in a jar, it reduces the time quite a bit.  A few days ago I picked up a jar and made Peanut Brittle this afternoon using my old McCall's Cook Book recipe.  If you don't have a candy thermometer, you need to get one before tackling candy making.
In a non-reactive (All-Clad works well) pot, add 2 Cups Sugar, 1/2 Cup Corn Syrup and 1 Cup Water and heat over medium heat.  Stir until the sugar melts and the mixture becomes clear.  Continue cooking without stirring until the candy thermometer reads 238 degrees. The mixture should be bubbling gently.  Add 2 Cups of Shelled Unsalted Peanuts. Cook while stirring until the nuts become golden (this will take at least 20 minutes).  You can test the doneness after 15 minutes by drizzling the candy in a glass of ice water.  The candy should be hard and brittle and when you chew it, it should be tender without sticking to your teeth.  Once it comes to that point, remove from the heat and add 1 tsp Butter and 1/4 tsp Baking Soda.  Stir until combined and pour onto a buttered sheet pan.  Swirl the pan to get the brittle to spread out giving you the thickness you are aiming for.  Let cool completely before breaking into pieces.  If you are giving it as gifts, be mindful of peanut allergies.

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