Learn how to make Ye Olde Fashioned Peanut Brittle… Just Like Ma used to…
I’m a sucker for timeless recipes. I’m also a sucker for peanut brittle. You’ll love the classic taste of this hard as rock but melt-in-your mouth treat.
How To Make Ye Olde Fashioned Peanut Brittle
Ah the humble ground nut! Did it dream, as a small nut, that it would once be the star of so many holiday treats? To be fair, the peanut is consumed on a regular basis, but as Christmas approaches and people start to whip together home made treats for gifts or parties, the peanut really starts to glow with popularity.
Nowhere is the peanut more celebrated than in peanut brittle. Encased in succulent amber the peanut is a welcome, meaty chew among the crisp of the sugar. It’s like the encased mosquitos in Jurassic Park, Han Solo when he was held captive by Jabba the Hut, a mammoth trapped in ice….or…not…Whatever simile you choose, peanut brittle is a simple but joyful treat that can be manufactured easily and for a surprisingly low cost.
What’s more, a recipe this easy means you can knock at least two people off your Christmas list in under an hour. If you’re disappointed by how effortless it is to make, why not flex your culinary chops and make some additions of your own? Throw a macadamia nut or an almond in there just to stir things up. Add cinnamon or even a touch of cayenne pepper for a different taste. Some have added cooked bacon bits just to boost that ’hipster’ appeal. There is nothing stopping you from elevating this basic but delicious recipe to something that smacks of your personality. So…grab your wooden spoon, throw on some barbershop quartet jams and get to work!
Ingredients for The Tastiest Peanut Brittle
- 1 cup of white sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup of water
- ½ cup of light corn syrup
- 1 cup of unsalted, blanched peanuts
- 2 tbsp of organic butter
- 1 tsp baking soda
Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet or other hard surface. Mist lightly with cooking spray so that the brittle will slide off easily.
In your heartiest saucepan with the tallest sides, combine your sugar, corn syrup, salt and water. Mix to combine over medium heat. You’ll be surprised at how quickly sugar melts over heat and this, combined with its notorious ability to burn incredibly quickly ,means you must watch it carefully.
When the grains of sugar have dissolved, add your peanuts to the bubbling syrup and mix well. As the sugar continues to toil away, it will seal the peanuts and your kitchen should start to smell lovely and nutty.
Although it takes very little time to create the brittle, you need to keep a close eye on the process. The colour of the peanuts will start to change as the sugar starts to caramelize. They will pass from a pale shade to a richer, amber tone. Just be sure to stir the mixture at least every three minutes or so.
Perhaps the most difficult part of making this candy is understanding when it is done and ready to harden. Those of us who are ‘into’ cooking will no doubt have a candy thermometer on hand. Simply click it onto the side of the pan and when it reaches 300, you can be assured that your treat is ready to come off the heat.
If you’re taking the ‘olde fashioned holiday’ theme seriously, you can rely on the cold water method for testing your candy’s doneness. Handed down through the generations, this is the most lo-fi way to determine when your candy is safe to take off the heat. Carefully drop a small amount of the hot candy syrup into a glass of icy cold water.
When the hot sugar drips into the cold water, it should form thin ‘hair like’ strands. These interesting (if not tape-worm shaped) sugar strings are a clear indication that you can safely continue with your candy making enterprise.
With lightening speed, remove the hot sugar and peanuts from the heat and incorporate your butter and baking soda. If you are planning on adding any other flavorings such as cinnamon or vanilla etc…do it now. Immediately, your mixture should start to foam and change colour. Just keep stirring as it foams!
Without pausing for a breath, smooth your foamy mixture onto your prepared parchment. Using the back of the spoon, quickly thin the mixture out to form a rectangle. The brittle will start to set almost immediately, so it’s best to work as fast as you can. Remember to spread the brittle as much as you can – thin brittle tastes much better and doesn’t threaten to pull your fillings out like a thicker brittle can.
Allow the peanut brittle to cool until it is set. It should look glossy and sumptuous and be hard as ice. Because you sprayed the parchment, it should easily slip into your hands like a sheet. Have fun breaking it into various sizes and shapes!
Lovely to look at, delightful to munch on this is the perfect gift for secret santa parties or to share with neighbours. Why not pair it with a whiskey cocktail as a ‘nibbly’ at your holiday cocktail parties? You could even present your guests with a beautifully decorated goody bag full of peanut brittle when they leave? So easy but very memorable, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t mastered this recipe earlier.
That’s all, fellow homesteaders! Did you enjoy our peanut brittle recipe? Let us know in the comments section below what troubles you had or what you did differently with our peanut brittle recipe. Do you have a peanut brittle recipe that’s a staple on your homestead? Share it with us and we’ll give it a shot. We love doing DIY homesteading projects and becoming more self-reliant by learning more about how everything works around the homestead. That’s why Homesteading was created. We want all folks looking to lead a self-sufficient life, either on a homestead or in an urban environment, to come together and learn from each other! Of course, we welcome your help in creating a community of homesteaders. Come and share your homesteading tips and ideas, recipes and expect the best advice on self-reliance and homesteading trials from our team of long-time homesteaders, self-reliant wilderness, and preparedness experts. Want to write for Homesteading? Shoot us an e mail and make sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
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Katy Light has a 44 acre homestead in North Georgia, where she raises goats, rabbits, sheep and chickens. She is passionate about self-sufficiency, natural ways to live, and fiber. Find her blog atwww.poppycreekfarm.com. She can be reached at [email protected].