Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
This is the best peanut brittle ever. It does take some time to make but it's worth it.
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons margarine or 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 lb shelled unroasted peanuts
- Butter 2 cookie sheets, 15 1/2 x 12 inches; keep warm.
- Mix baking soda, 1 tsp water and the vanilla; set aside.
- mix sugar, 1 cup water and the corn syrup in a 3 quart saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 240 degrees F on candy thermometer.
- Stir in margarine and peanuts.
- Cook, stirring constantly to 300 degrees F.
- Watch carefully so it doesn't burn.
- Remove from heat immediately; stir in baking soda mixture.
- Pour half of the candy mixture on each cookie sheet and spread quickly until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
- Cool and break into pieces.
This is a delicious recipe -- as far as it goes. About 50 years ago I got it from my mother, who had gotten it from her mother, but when I made the recipe it didn't turn out as good as my mother's. When I told her this, she immediately asked how I had made it and I told her - step by step how I had made it. When I got through telling her she looked at me with a look on her face which seemed to state, "Why you poor retarded child" as she said, "Billy, you didn't stretch it!" Baffeled, I replied, "Stretch it? You didn't say anything about 'stretching it'!" "Billy, everyone knows you are supposed to stretch peanut brittle." Well, I didn't know it, and as indicated by the dozens of recipes I have read over the years - not many other people have heard of it either. Mama went on to explain that if you just pour the brittle out and let it cool you haven't completed the job, and that if your hardened candy still has the tiny bubbles in it from adding the soda -- you didn't finish the job. Which means, "You didn't stretch it." She then had to explain what that means. She says to make good peanut brittle you have to be willing to "suffer" a little. As soon as soda has been added and foams up, the candy should be poured out onto a buttered hard surface (preferably marble.) Mama didn't have fancy stone countertops but she did have a slab of marble for making peanut brittle. Then, as soon as it begins to cool around the edges, start stretching the candy outwards. This disposes of all the tiny bubbles and leaves the candy looking like clear amber-colored stained glass with the peanuts suspended in the glass. Use heavy rubber gloves during the process to cut down on the "suffering." Despite everything, you will have the most wonder brittle you can possibly imagine. Happy stretching!!
I would call this recipe an average peanut brittle recipe; not saying that it would not taste good, nor that it would not be a good peanut brittle, but it would not win any awards. The true way to make a good brittle, of any kind, is how it is caramelized, and this brittle and all the rest I read follow the same old rule, and fall short of that caramel rule, So you are going to end up with a hard and will stick to your teeth, break crowns, etc. I make a brittle, that has not only won best brittle, but has won best candy two years running. I have been making this brittle for over 30 years, and at one time use to make over 200 pounds a year and give it away at Christmas, but due to a spinal injury I have dropped that to around 80 pounds and only give to some special friends and neighbors. I just thought my youngest daughter and her husband, and hopefully they will take it on from here.; But I am sorry may have said theurs is the best, in the past 30 years, only to walk away with their heads hung low! Steve
This was my first attempt at making peanut brittle and I'm trying not to eat it all at once. This tastes better than any store brand I've tried. I added 2 1/2 cups salted Virginia peanuts when the sugar reached 280 degrees and continued cooking until it reached exactly 300 degrees then added the baking soda/vanilla/water mixture. It takes a while to reach the right temperature so be patient, it will get there. I divided it between two cookie sheets and stretched it a little and the moment it turned hard, I broke it up and dug in. I have to force myself to put it away(for now). Next time, I'll try this recipe using cashews.