Recipe: My Most Favorite Peanut Brittle
January 26th is National Peanut Brittle Day. How exciting is that? I am a sugar addict. My favorite food is cotton candy, so much so that I received five cotton candy machines for my birthday one year! The thing is, I like my sugar straight up. I don’t need flour or chocolate mucking up my sugar. Cakes and cookies are lovely, but a bite or two are usually enough for me. Same with candy bars ... Until I discovered this delightful treat.
I wish I had an amazing back story—you know, that I spent every third Saturday making brittle with my grandmother as she told me about her life. But, peanut brittle did not exist in Israel in the 70s. I discovered it much later in life. I was a teenager at the beach when I first bit into this incredible confection. I have been in love ever since.
I have worked throughout the years to perfect my recipe. It has evolved as my tastes have developed and my palate longs for more interesting flavors. I will say that this is a great recipe that you can easily make with your kids. They can watch as you stir the brittle. They can sprinkle the salt and help you spread the chocolate. Of course, the best part is breaking up the brittle. You can buy a small little hammer and let them have a ball smashing the brittle into pieces.
Who doesn't want to sit by the fireplace, have a sweet treat and drink hot cocoa? Sounds like heaven to me.
Happy Peanut Brittle Day!
Peanut Brittle Recipe
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces roasted salted peanuts plus extra (chopped) if covering with chocolate
Fleur de sel or crushed sea salt
optional: 8 ounces chocolate (use dark, milk, white - whichever you like best)
NOTE: You can use any type of nut—cashew, almond, pistachio, hazelnut, macadamia. Get creative!
In a large saucepan, stir the sugar, water, butter, a dash of salt, and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is light brown and registers 300° on a candy thermometer (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda until the mixture bubbles. Stir in the nuts, then immediately transfer the brittle into a large rimmed, nonstick baking sheet. Spread the brittle with an oiled metal spatula into a thin, even layer. Sprinkle with a bit more salt. Let it cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Pour the melted chocolate over the brittle, spreading to cover the entire surface and, before the chocolate cools, sprinkle with the remaining chopped nuts. If the chocolate takes a long time to harden, refrigerate for about 10 minutes to set the chocolate. Break the brittle into large shards.
The brittle (without chocolate) can be kept in an airtight container for one month. With chocolate, the brittle will last about two weeks in a sealed container.
What is your favorite type of brittle? Peanut, cashew, almond, pistachio ...?