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Our buttery, crunchy homemade Peanut Brittle recipe is the perfect sweet treat! This simple candy makes a terrific holiday gift, it travels well and keeps for weeks in an airtight container.
Easy homemade recipe for Peanut Brittle
I don’t think homemade candy can get any easier or more delicious than Peanut Brittle. There are a million recipes out there in the world and I get it, sometimes it’s hard to choose which is the best.
I haven’t actually tried every recipe out there, however I’ve been making candy recipes like this Peanut Brittle, English Toffee, Honeycomb and Fudge for decades. This recipe is easy to make, it comes out perfect every time, the texture is spot-on and it’s really delicious.
- granulated sugar
- light corn syrup (like Karo)
- unsalted butter
- vanilla extract
- baking soda (make sure your soda is active using this simple test)
- salted, roasted Spanish peanuts
Recommended Equipment for making homemade Peanut Brittle:
- 3-quart heavy bottom medium saucepan
- large baking sheet
- aluminum foil or parchment paper
- vegetable cooking spray
- a candy thermometer or, at the very least, an instant read thermometer
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How to make Peanut Brittle
1. First prep your pan and ingredients
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly coat the foil with vegetable cooking spray. Place the pan on a heat-proof trivet or cooling rack and set aside.
Pre-measure the vanilla, baking soda and peanuts and place in bowl or cups near the stovetop.
2. Make the caramel
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and water in a heavy bottom 3-quart saucepan. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan or have an instant read thermometer on hand.
Heat over medium-high heat. Stir the sugar mixture with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted, the sugar is dissolved and the syrup starts to boil.
Once boiling turn the heat down to medium. Continue boiling without stirring for about 10 minutes or until the syrup is a golden caramel color, about 330 to 340 degrees F.
3. Mix in all remaining ingredients
Remove the pan from the stove and add the vanilla and baking soda. Stir in the peanuts until all nuts are coated in the candy mixture.
Quickly pour the hot brittle onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread into an even layer using a wooden spoon or spatula.
4. Cool and break into pieces
Cool completely, about 1 hour, then break into bite size pieces.
How to store Peanut Brittle
Once cooled and broken into bite size pieces, store the brittle in an airtight container layered between pieces of wax or parchment paper. There’s no need to refrigerate, room temperature is best.
Peanut Brittle stored in an airtight container will keep for up to two weeks. If exposed to humidity the brittle may become sticky.
Add-ins and variations
- Use any kind of salted, roasted peanuts in this recipe.
- Do not use candied peanuts for Peanut Brittle.
- You can use skinless or skin-on peanuts. Cocktail peanuts, dry roasted or Spanish all work well in brittle.
- You can also make brittle with cashews, almonds or pecans, raw or roasted.
- To make Peanut Brittle with raw unsalted peanuts you’ll need to add the peanuts when the mixture starts to boil. Continue cooking and stirring until it reaches 340 degrees F. Also add 1/4 teaspoon salt with the baking soda and vanilla.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon or pumpkin spice with the baking soda for hints of warm spice. For the adventurous eater try adding 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper.
- For a saltier candy sprinkle coarse or Kosher salt over the candy while it’s still warm but cooling.
Tips and tricks for success
- Have all ingredients measured and ready before starting the recipe.
- Use a saucepan large enough for the candy to expand once the baking soda is added.
- Prepare the cookie sheet before starting and have it resting on a trivet to protect your countertop. The candy will be a hot 340 degrees F coming out of the saucepan.
- Read through the directions a few times to understand the process.
- Use a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer to ensure perfect texture.
- We don’t recommend doubling the recipe. It only takes a few minutes to make each batch so we cook them one at a time for best results.
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- 3-quart heavy bottom saucepan
- large rimmed baking sheet
- Aluminum Foil
- vegetable cooking spray
- candy thermometer
- 1 cup granulated sugar (222g)
- ½ cup light corn syrup (6oz or 170g)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup water (2oz)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ⅓ cups salted roasted Spanish peanuts (160g)
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil lightly coated with vegetable cooking spray. Place the pan on a heat-proof trivet or cooling rack and set aside.
- Pre-measure the vanilla, baking soda and peanuts and place in bowls or measuring cups near the stovetop.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and water in a heavy bottom 3-quart saucepan. Attach the candy thermometer to the pan, if using. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula until the butter has melted, the sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to boil.
- Once boiling reduce the heat to medium/medium-low. Continue boiling without stirring for about 10 minutes (more or less depending on whether you’re using gas, electric or an induction cooktop) or until the mixture is the color of golden caramel, about 330°F to 340°F.
- TIP: It’s hard to tell the true color of the caramel with the surface covered in air bubbles. If using an instant read thermometer be sure to check often to ensure the caramel doesn’t burn.
- Once the brittle reaches 340°F immediately remove from the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda. The caramel will expand, foam and steam as you stir. Continue stirring until completely combined. Add the peanuts and fold together until all nuts are coated in the candy mixture.
- Quickly pour the brittle into the prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer using a spatula, wooden spoon or offset spatula.
- Cool completely (about 1 hour) then break into bite size pieces by hand. Store in an airtight container in layers separated by wax or parchment paper. Brittle will keep for weeks if well sealed.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon salt with the baking soda and vanilla if using unsalted peanuts
- To make brittle with raw peanuts: add raw peanuts once the mixture starts to boil. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture reaches the desired temperature.
- Store peanut brittle in airtight containers at room temperature to prevent exposure to humidity which can make brittle sticky
Candy making is fun and easy!
One you get the hang of making homemade candy like this Peanut Brittle, you’ll love trying new and exciting recipes.
Homemade candy also makes great gifts. This recipe starts with just a few pantry ingredients and keeps well for weeks. It also travels well and is loved by all that received it.
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