What Is Peanut Brittle Exactly?
Peanut brittle is a candy confection made with peanuts, sugar, some water, baking soda, and a bit of vanilla. My recipe calls for dark and light corn syrup as the sugar because those make it a bit easier to get the crunch as well as deepen the caramel flavors.
Good peanut brittle should shatter into pieces once it cools. Otherwise, why call it “brittle”, right?
Ingredients in Peanut Brittle
Peanut brittle is just a few ingredients:
- light corn syrup
- dark corn syrup
- baking soda
- vanilla extract
Find the exact measurements in the printable recipe card below.
Step By Step Guide To Making Peanut Brittle
First, gather all of your ingredients. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Next, on the stove, in a large heavy-duty pan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrups. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. When the mixture reaches a full boil, continue boiling without stirring over medium heat until the candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees or the “hard ball stage.”
Stir in the peanuts and the butter, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches the “hard crack stage” or 300 degrees. Remove the mixture from heat, stir in the baking soda and the vanilla, the mixture will become foamy.
Finally, Pour onto lined baking sheets and spread out as thin as possible. Cool completely before breaking into pieces.
Crack your brittle! Don’t worry about different-sized pieces, that is normal.
You can use the handle of a knife or any other kitchen utensil if you don’t have a pestle handy to crack it.
Love it? Pin It!
If you can’t wait to give this old-fashioned peanut brittle a go, make sure you can find the recipe! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!
Handling Hot Candy Peanut Brittle
This stuff is hot! Be super careful handling it. Make sure your baking sheets are on a stable surface and that they are lined with parchment paper. Pour to an even width across the sheet, and let it cool fully before you crack it.
Dark And Light Corn Syrup For Peanut Brittle
Some brittle recipes call for sugar and water, but right away that makes things more difficult in my book. Using the dark and light corn syrup gets you to the desired result more quickly and consistently.
In case you are wondering what the difference is between dark and light corn syrups, great question. Light corn syrup, like Karo syrup, possesses a light sort of sweetness. Whereas, dark corn syrup is made from refiners syrup which is like molasses. So the darker syrup adds a nice richness.
Why Is My Peanut Brittle Not Brittle?
When the candy mixture is not mixed to the right temperature, or you forget to add the baking soda, then you might end up with something more chewy than brittle. Or worse, you just burn everything and have to start all over.
The candy thermometer is your friend. Trusting in it is one thing, but paying attention also helps. When the sugar starts to brown then you are super close.
Can I Make Peanut Brittle Without A Thermometer?
You can make peanut brittle without a thermometer, but I advise against it. However, if necessary, there is a way to see if it is ready without one. Keep a little bowl of water handy. drip a drab of the hot candy mixture into the water, when you see the sugars browning into a caramel color.
If it hardens into a crunchy piece of candy, then take the rest off the heat and get ready to pour it. Just remember that you are taking a risk by “winging” it. Make sure you don’t overcook your candy!
Homemade Peanut Brittle for Gifts
Package some of your homemade peanut brittle up for gifts! It makes great gifts for teachers, co-workers and of course a hostess gift. Tie a ribbon around a glass jar of brittle, add it to a cookie plate or inside a cute cookie tin!
More Candy Recipes
- Graham Cracker Toffee
- Candy Cane Puppy Chow
- Cinnamon Rock Candy
- Salted Nut Roll With Candy Corns
- 30 plus Holiday Candy Recipes (pictured above)
- White Chocolate Cream Cheese Fudge
Let’s make some peanut brittle!
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 2 cups salted Spanish peanuts
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large heavy-duty pan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrups. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. When mixture reaches a full boil, continue boiling without stirring over medium heat until the candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees or the “hardball stage.” Stir in the peanuts and the butter, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches the “hard crack stage” or 300 degrees.
- Remove from heat, stir in the baking soda and the vanilla, the mixture will become foamy. Pour onto lined baking sheets and spread out as thin as possible.
- Cool completely and break into pieces.
- Store in an airtight container.
Cook time is approximate only. Follow directions fully.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 0gSugar: 41gProtein: 0g
Nutrition isn't always accurate.
This recipe was originally posted on December 17, 2012. It has been updated to improve user experience and re-shared on December 14, 2021.
original recipe found at Taste of Home