The Perfect Peanut Brittle Recipe
Peanut Brittle has been winning hearts for generations, offering a delightful blend of caramelized sugar, roasted peanuts, and a satisfying snap that keeps you coming back for more. The origins of peanut brittle can be traced back to the 19th century, with various claims about its creation. Some stories attribute its invention to Southern cooks, while others point to European influences. Regardless of its origin, peanut brittle quickly gained popularity and became a cherished treat during holidays, celebrations, and everyday snacking.
I love to do a lot of baking and treat making for the holidays. Every year my family hosts a holiday scavenger hunt, and every team gets a bag of homemade goodies to enjoy, I also love making little bag of treats to give out as gifts. This peanut brittle is perfect for either and it’s a great candy to treat yourself to also!
At its core, peanut brittle is a simple yet magical combination of sugar, corn syrup, butter, baking soda, and, of course, roasted peanuts. The peanuts add a hearty crunch, while the caramelized sugar provides a sweet and slightly buttery taste, as well as the classic snap!
Although not difficult, making peanut brittle requires precision and a watchful eye. The sugar and corn syrup are heated to a high temperature, creating a golden caramel that coats the peanuts. The addition of baking soda creates bubbles, resulting in a light and airy texture. The mixture is then spread thin, allowing it to cool and harden into the iconic brittle form. The end result is a delicious marriage of sweetness and crunch that is simply irresistible.
Related: Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
Variations to a classic
While classic peanut brittle is undeniably delicious, modern variations have emerged to cater to diverse palates.
Things you can do to dress up your peanut brittle:
- add a sprinkle of sea salt for a sweet-and-savory twist
- incorporate spices like cinnamon or cayenne for a hint of heat.
- Chocolate-dip the shards of peanut brittle or add a drizzle of chocolate over top
Gifting Peanut Brittle
Peanut brittle isn’t just a treat; it’s a treat worth sharing. During the holiday season, I often give gifts of sweets to friends and family. Simple yet festive packaging and delightful taste make it a perfect addition to gift baskets and stockings, bringing smiles to faces young and old.
- 1 Heavy bottomed saucepan *I use a copper one for even heating, but you don't have to have one just make sure the bottom is fairly thick and heavy to prevent burning your sugar
- 1 sheet pad *spray with non stick lightly
- 1½ cups salted cocktail peanuts no skins preferably
- 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter * if using salted butter, reduce the 1 tsp of kosher salt to 1/2 tsp.
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 2 tsp kosher salt, divided 1 for the mixture, 1 for sprinkling on top before cooling
- ½ tsp Almond extract
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- Spray a sheet pan with non stick spray lightly and set aside
- In a medium-large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the 1⅓ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup water, 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, ¼ cup light corn syrup and ½ tsp Almond extract
- Cook over low-medium heat until the sugar melts and turns a light caramel color, stir occasionally. This will take 20-25 minutes depending on your stove. Be patient.
- Once the caramel color is reached, remove from the heat and add in the ¼ tsp baking soda and 1 tsp kosher salt (½ tsp if using salted butter), AND the 1½ cups salted cocktail peanuts
- stir, and immediately pour onto the prepared sheet pan, spreading as thin as possible. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp kosher salt. Let cool
- Once the brittle is cool, snap it into pieces to serve or eat!