Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What Could Possibly Be the Best Peanut Brittle...Ever

This peanut brittle recipe is like none you have ever tasted. It is crunchy and wispy..not thick like the traditional peanut brittle.  Instead, crunches in your mouth like a sweet, buttery potato chip. 

My mom learned to make it in High School. It became one of those precious Christmas traditions of my childhood. It was also somewhat of a rite of passage. Let’s just say it can be a bit painful to make. The candy makers have to stretch the hot candy with buttered fingers. We could only participate if we promised not to cry. 

Now that I think it about it it almost sounds like torture. I assure you it is torture in only the most positive way! 

At Cousin Camp this past summer, we decided to pass the tradition along to the Cousins. 

They absolutely loved it. Nothing like a little pain with your sugar. 
 My mom began by explaining the whole candy making process. It's science, really. They took turns measuring in ingredients.

Everybody has lined up to give the candy a stir.

Stir, baby, stir!

Payge is 4. She wasn't going to let those big kids have all the fun. When it was time to stretch the candy she was a trooper.

 Scissors. Hot Candy. Butter. Sounds like a good day.

The trick is to grab it at an edge and pull it until you get a nice long stringy piece to cut.

Or eat. 

 So much fun!

At one point I put down the camera and started helping. The candy cools quickly. Josiah looks like he has his mouth ready for a taste.

The great thing about this peanut brittle is that it's ready for consumption fairly quickly.

 The cousins bagged a little for their parents to taste (I just helped myself to Josiah's portion) and then we all shared the rest.

Yum. Yum!

Here's the recipe. Remember that candy making is a bit of an art. Don't be mad at it if your first recipe or two isn't as pretty (or edible). Or is it just me that manages to mess things up? 

1 cup sugar
½ cup white corn syrup
1 cup raw peanuts
1 T. butter
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ cup water

Mix sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook until it spins a thread when you lift the spoon above the pot. Add peanuts and cook until the peanuts smell roasted and the syrup is a golden brown. If you undercook at this stage your brittle will lack flavor and look washed out. 

Take from the fire; add vanilla, butter, and soda and stir. The brittle will foam up. Note from my mom: I always put these three things in a small bowl or on a small saucer so they can be added quickly. This is very important. You don’t have time to add them one at a time). Have your cookie sheet and scissors well, buttered and have a stick of butter open and ready. Pour the brittle onto the cookie sheet. As it begins to cool slightly around the edges, pick it up and begin to pull the brittle out and cut it into strips and lay them on foil or waxed paper. 

I am linking this post up to the Christmas Recipe Round Up at the Schoolhouse Crew Blog. 


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