Peanut Brittle Tested Recipe
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me, Peanut Brittle is a tie to the past; an old fashioned candy that
appeared in our house only during the Christmas season. It came in a small
cardboard box wrapped in cellophane that I couldn't wait to open. I loved
how hard and brittle it was to the touch, yet how it dissolved
so easily on the tongue, leaving only the peanuts to chew on.
Peanut Brittle has a sweet and buttery flavor
with a hard and crunchy texture. It uses the most basic of ingredients
(sugar, corn syrup, and peanuts), and the basic formula is equal volumes of
sugar and nuts, with the volume of corn syrup half that of the granulated
white sugar. What's important to know is that
the corn syrup controls the grain of the brittle so adding too little and
you have a grainy textured brittle, while adding too much will result in a
stringy and sticky brittle. The salt is added mainly for flavor.
start this Peanut Brittle, the water, corn syrup, granulated white sugar, raw peanuts, and
salt are brought to a boil. Because the peanuts are raw they are added at the beginning
so they have time to cook and impart a nice peanut flavor to the sugar mixture. Some recipes call for
adding roasted peanuts and if you want to do this, simply add the peanuts,
not at the beginning, but rather when the syrup reaches 245 degrees F (118
degrees C). Brittles are cooked to a very high temperature, the 'hard crack' stage (295 degrees F,
147 degrees C). You will need to stir the sugar mixture occasionally to
prevent the peanuts from sticking, and thereby scorching, to the bottom of the
pan. When the brittle reaches the desired temperature, remove from heat,
and carefully add the baking soda, vanilla extract, and butter. The
brittle will immediately puff up but just keep stirring for about 30
seconds. The reason baking soda is added is that it aids in browning and gives the brittle a lighter and
crunchier texture. Butter and vanilla are added for flavor. The
brittle is then poured onto a cookie sheet and if you want a thin brittle,
then while the brittle is still very hot, use clean gloved hands to stretch the
brittle to how thin you want it. Do this by gently pulling the edges of
the brittle, working your way around the entire mass. Let the brittle
completely cool and then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container
or a plastic freezer bag as this will prevent the brittle from becoming
sticky and breaking down. Store at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Brittle: Lightly butter two cookie sheets.
In a small cup,
place the baking soda, vanilla extract, and butter (with the butter on top). Set
In a medium
sized saucepan over medium high heat, bring the water, corn syrup, sugar, salt,
and peanuts to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cover the pan
with a lid for about one minute to allow the sides of the pan to wash themselves
down and dissolve any sugar crystals. Remove lid after one minute. Then clamp a
candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it does not touch the
bottom of the pan and, stirring occasionally to prevent the peanuts from
sticking to the bottom of the pan, cook until the candy thermometer reaches 296
degrees F (147 degrees C).
heat and stir in the baking soda, vanilla extract, and butter (the brittle will
puff up) stirring for about 30 seconds. Immediately pour half the brittle onto
each of the two buttered cookie sheets. If you want a thin brittle, then while
the brittle is still very hot, use gloved hands to stretch the brittle until you
get the brittle to how thin you want it. Do this by gently pulling the edges of
the brittle, working your way around the entire mass. Let the brittle completely
cool and then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container or a plastic
freezer bag as this will prevent the brittle from becoming sticky and breaking
down. Store at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Makes about 2
pounds. Preparation time 30 minutes.
Bloom, Carole. 'Truffles,
Candies, & Confections'. The Crossing Press. Freedom, California: 1992.
Sugar Pie & Jelly Roll. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill:
Candy Making for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc. New Jersey: 2005.
tablespoon baking soda
pure vanilla extract
tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter
(120 ml) water
1 cup (240
ml) light corn syrup
(400 grams) white granulated sugar
(240 grams) raw