Happy Monday and welcome to a highly irregular Sunday Bread!
This is the time of year to be thinking of making great sweet treats for all your friends and family. Since there is a time limit, I decided that instead of dribbling the recipes out every Sunday that I’d do one a night every night this week, that way by the weekend you’ll have six recipes for just the very best candy!
Tonight we are going to make one of the all time easiest candies, peanut brittle. Even though it is not hard to do, there are a lot of pitfalls that trip people up when they first go to make this particular confection.
Everyone has had bad peanut brittle; there is too much brittle not enough peanuts and it is so thick it needs a set of “Jaws of Life” to bite off and then an impact drill to get it out of your back teeth. Not exactly fun for the whole family, eh?
The trick with peanut brittle (or any brittle) is to be right on top of the candy the whole time. This recipe needs to be made in a three quart or larger pan, but because of the amount of ingredients it is nearly impossible to use a thermometer and you can over cook it if you don’t pay attention.
It is also important for success that you measure out everything in advance, when the sugar is cooking you don’t have time and the same when it comes off the heat and is cooling. So get all the ingredients in bowls in advance and you’ll be far along the path to great candy.
Finally, if it is important to spread the candy out to a nice single layer of thinness while it is still relatively hot. If you don’t you’ll have a big rock hard block of sugar entombed peanuts, and no one likes that.
But enough warnings and cautions! Let’s make some candy!
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups cocktail peanuts
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla (use the extract not the flavor, the flavor is made from wood chips fer Gosh Sakes!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Pans – 1 3 quart or larger sauce pan, 1 sheet pan, buttered
Start by thoroughly buttering you sheet pan. Set it aside.
In your pan combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. The original recipe I had said high heat, but I find that if I cook it at just under HIGH it is a lot more forgiving in terms of over cooking, so turn the heat to HIGH and then twist it back just a little.
Using a long wooden spoon stir the mixture. You are going to be tempted to put this in a smaller pan, resist that temptation. Nothing burns like molten sugar, and worse it sticks to the skin. You want to be a nice safe distance from any splatters.
Cook the sugar stirring for about 3 minutes. At this point it will have started to thicken a little bit. Pour in your peanuts and keep cooking and stirring until the mixture turns straw colored and you smell the cooked peanuts. About another 2 minutes and 30 seconds. It will look like this when it is done:
Now remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla, butter, backing soda and salt. The mixture will foam somewhat and get darker. Keep stirring until all the butter has melted.
Take the pot over to the sheet pan and pour the candy down the center of the sheet. Butter up the tines of two forks and use them to push the candy so that it is only one layer of peanuts. Just keep spreading it out as it cools.
It will look like this when it is done.
Now grab all the pieces and turn them over, so the peanuts stay in the center of the brittle as it cools.
Then let it cool and either serve or store. If you are going to store it, do so between layers of wax paper in an air tight container. It stores for up to six months this way, but I have 100 bucks that says none of it will make it that long.
So there you have it the second in the 6 candies we’ll make. You can find the first one at this link:
Now a word from our sponsor! If you like this kind of recipe and the style that you it is presented, then you are in luck! There is a Sunday Bread cookbook and it is available for sale on at Create Space and Amazon.
Below is the cover and the book contains 60 step by step recipes for everything from lattice topped Cherry Pie to New York Style Rye! Makes a great gift, just sayin’.
The flour is yours.