When I was a kid, I went to school with a few kids from a church that made peanut brittle every Christmas. It came in rounds the size of pie tins, and it was the best peanut brittle I’ve ever had.
I’ve made a lot of peanut brittle myself over the years, but none of it was as good as that was.
It’s been taunting me on the counter for a couple of weeks, and finally I managed to get all the ingredients together for her peanut brittle recipe.
It starts with sugar, corn syrup, and water in a pan, cooked to 250F. Then, you add the peanuts and some butter, and stir, until it gets to 320F. I’d never tried that before – all the other recipes I’d tried cooked the syrup, then just poured it over the peanuts.
Add a bit of kosher salt, some vanilla for flavor, and baking soda for texture, then pour it out onto parchment paper.
The recipe said to spread it with an offset spatula, but I don’t have one, and my marble rolling pin was already out on the counter, so I sprayed a silpat with pam, laid it on top, and ran the rolling pin over it a few times. I ended up with perfectly flat brittle.
After half an hour of cooling, I broke it into pieces. It shattered perfectly.
And it was really good. It’s very peanut-y, the candy is caramelized enough to give it depth, and the kosher salt gives it tiny pockets of saltiness. You could add cinnamon or cayenne pepper (I like ancho chili pepper, too, for smokiness), but I didn’t. It was good just the way it was.
I’ve made 4 batches over the last week. They’re all gone now. And the best measure of a brittle is how fast it disappears!