This easy homemade Peanut Brittle is an old-fashioned sweet, hard candy made on the stovetop with six simple ingredients and roasted peanuts.  It’s a family favorite during the holidays but can be enjoyed any time of year!

There’s just something special about old-fashioned recipes like peanut brittle.  My other favorite old-fashioned recipes include Grandma’s Oatmeal Cake, Baked Apples and Baked Rice Pudding.

A plate with pieces of peanut brittle stacked on it.

Peanut Brittle

Every holiday season my grandmother used to make a few batches of peanut brittle.  She always dropped a container at our house and it lasted all season.  I can’t help but think of her when I think of this Peanut brittle recipe.

Peanut Brittle is a smooth, flat candy (similar to toffee), with peanuts in it, that is cooked on the stovetop and poured onto a sheet pan to cool.  Once it cools it’s broken into small individual-size pieces of hard candy and lasts at room temperature for several weeks.

Homemade Peanut Brittle in 6 steps:

  1. Cook sugar mixture.  Add sugar, and water to a medium saucepan and stir well. Stir in corn syrup. Cook mixture over medium heat (don’t be tempted to turn the heat up!), stirring occasionally, until it comes to a gentle boil. Cook until temperature reaches 250F.
  2. Stir in peanuts.  Add peanuts and stir the mixture constantly until the candy thermometer temperature reaches 300 degrees F.
  3. Remove from heat. 
  4. Add remaining ingredients.  Immediately stir in butter, baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will foam and change texture.
  5. Pour into sheet pan.  Carefully pour the hot mixture onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Use a knife or spoon to quickly (and carefully!) spread the mixture into an even layer.
  6. Cool and enjoy. Allow to cool completely (at least 30 minutes) before breaking apart and eating.

Process photos for making peanut brittle in a saucepan with a candy thermometer, and the finished peanut brittle poured onto a baking sheet.

Important Tips:

Temperature is Key!

You will definitely want to use a candy thermometer to make peanut brittle as the proper temperature of the candy is crucial to ensure you have peanut brittle that’s not too soft or chewy and not too hard.

Baking Soda?

Baking soda is a crucial ingredient that can’t be substituted in this recipe.  Just as in homemade syrup or caramel corn, baking soda causes a unique chemical reaction (basically a lot of rising foam) that is crucial in creating the right texture in peanut brittle.  If you make it without baking soda but you will notice the brittle is a bit harder to bite through.

Precaution!!

Wear gloves and be CAREFUL! The candy gets VERY hot and can easily spill onto your hands or wrists during pouring if you’re not careful.  Make sure to use cooking/oven mitts (that you don’t mind getting dirty) and be sure to tilt the pan away from you and use a spatula to scrape the hot mixture onto the sheet pan.

Overhead view of cooled peanut brittle in a half sheet pan.

Corn Syrup Substitutes:

If you need to substitute corn syrup in this peanut brittle recipe, you can substitute cup for cup of:

  • honey
  • light molasses
  • agave nectar
  • brown rice syrup

You could also substitute a combination of these ingredients and please note that with any of these substitutions, the peanut brittle will have a lightly different taste, texture and consistency as well.

Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing Peanut Brittle:

To make ahead: Peanut brittle can be made several days or even weeks in advance.  It stays fresh at room temperature for 6-8 weeks.

To store: Once it’s completely cooled, store peanut brittle in an airtight container at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate as the moisture from the fridge will cause the brittle to soften. Store for 6-8 weeks.

To Freeze: Peanut brittle can be frozen and stored up to 3 months.  Allow the brittle to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe, airtight container.

A baker's half sheet pan filled with broken up pieces of homemade peanut brittle.

CONSIDER TRYING THESE HOLIDAY TREATS:

 

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Recipe

A plate with pieces of peanut brittle stacked on it.
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Cool time 30 minutes
Total 55 minutes
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Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups salted roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Measure out peanuts, butter, baking soda and vanilla and have them ready.
  • Add sugar, and water to a medium saucepan and stir well. Stir in corn syrup. Cook mixture over medium heat (don’t be tempted to turn the heat up!), stirring occasionally, until it comes to a gentle boil.
  • Attach your candy thermometer to the edge of the pot, and make sure it is submerged in the liquid, but not touching the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally until temperature reaches 250°F (121°C).
  • Add the peanuts and stir the mixture constantly until the candy thermometer temperature reaches 300 degrees F.
  • Remove mixture from heat and immediately stir in butter, baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will foam and change texture.
  • Carefully pour the hot mixture onto the prepared pan and use a knife or spoon to quickly (and carefully!) spread the mixture into an even layer.
  • Allow to cool completely (at least 30 minute) before breaking apart and eating.
  • Store the completely cooled peanut brittle in an airtight container.

Notes

To make ahead: Peanut brittle can be made several days or even weeks in advance.  It stays fresh at room temperature for 6-8 weeks weeks.
To store: Store peanut brittle (once it's completely cooled) in an airtight container at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate as the moisture from the fridge will cause the brittle to soften. Store for 6-8 weeks.
To freeze: Peanut brittle can be frozen and stored up to 3 months.  Allow the brittle to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe, airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 34mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 14IUCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. I made this recipe and it didn’t turn out very well. I realized that my candy thermometer may not be working. I used another thermometer and got the ingredients up to temperature but I’m suspect that I was heating the batch too long overall. Would this result in a non glossy texture ?

    1. Yes, heating the batch too long can affect the texture and make it less glossy. A reliable candy thermometer is key. Try heating it just until the right temperature is reached next time. Hope it turns out better for you!

  2. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe Lauren. First tried this recipe just after Christmas because the bought stuff is so expensive. I now make a batch every Monday for family and friends, but I add 500gms peanuts, we love the extra nuts. I find it takes about 10 minutes to get to 250′, then another 7-8 mins to get to 300′, then spread the mixture in a large pan, I wait 6 mins for the brittle to cool then score with a large knife so that it breaks into nice even bars when fully cooled. Delicious, never lasts long.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this a week or so ago and it turned out perfect. Couldnt be happier, especially since I’d never made candy before.

    Made another bath last night and the peanuts are sorta burnt. Not sure what happened. I used all the same ingredients, tools, and measuring devices. The taste overall is sorta off and the peanuts appear a little burned.

    I’ll try again, just not sure what went wrong.

    1. I made this last night using Spanish peanuts, but because of some comments about burning the nuts I waited until 275°F before adding to sugar mix. I also poured onto a buttered cookie sheet without parchment. The brittle easily came off the cookie sheet, and the flavor was great. My only change for next time is to use more nuts.

  4. 5 stars
    My first time making peanut brittle. Or any kind of candy that calls for a thermometer. Was so yummy, it did not last in my house for long. My mother loves it so much, she has not teeth so she uses a hammer to break the nuts lol.

  5. Made this recipe last night with the intent on gifting half. Turned out so good I made another batch tonight. Easy to make. As others said, be patient waiting for it to get to temp. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Definitely a winner! 🙂

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