Initially, I thought this was going to be an easy project that I could just throw together in a few short minutes. In the end it took three separate tries and a completely new recipe before I got it right. Admittedly, I have never made candy before and that was part of the problem. I have been thinking up ideas for homemade gifts this year and thought of peanut brittle. The first recipe that popped up in my Google search was Alton Brown’s recipe. I figured that he was a trustworthy guy. His recipe involved water, vegetable oil, peanuts, sugar, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. The end result tasted terrible. The strong spices overwhelmed the taste of the peanuts. Then there was the whole process which was a complicated method of varying temperatures and removing the lid off and on. This resulted in the crystallized mess you see here.
In the end, I realized that I didn’t need to fancy it up with spices and cooking techniques. I stripped the recipe to just the basics. I just used sugar and peanuts and a boiling method that was so simple I was itching to do something. The end result was beautiful amber colored caramel and peanuts. I think using a candy thermometer would be a good tool to have handy for next time (the recommended temperature is 250 degrees). But this recipe is a keeper.
Kristi’s Peanut Brittle
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups of lightly salted roasted peanuts (this can vary depending on your preferred peanut to caramel ratio)
1. Put sugar in a small pot and set stove top to low.
2. Continue to keep on low and leave for five minutes. Just let it sit there until the caramel bubbles through the top of the sugar. You will see the sugar crystallize and turn an amber color at that point stir the remaining crystals until you have creamy caramel.
3. Once it’s completely melted quickly add peanuts and mix well. This will cool the caramel significantly so move fast and don’t allow it to cool too much in the pot.
4. Pour into pan with parchment paper and spread thinly with a buttered spatula.
5. Allow to cool and break into pieces.
Viola! A crunchy, sweet holiday treat.
A word of caution: Candy can be very hot, so keep small kids away and keep a bowl of ice water handy in the event that the boiling substance splashes onto you.