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!
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:
- 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.
- Stir in peanuts. Add peanuts and stir the mixture constantly until the candy thermometer temperature reaches 300 degrees F.
- Remove from heat.
- Add remaining ingredients. Immediately stir in butter, baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will foam and change texture.
- 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.
- Cool and enjoy. Allow to cool completely (at least 30 minutes) before breaking apart and eating.
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 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.
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.
Corn Syrup Substitutes:
If you need to substitute corn syrup in this peanut brittle recipe, you can substitute cup for cup of:
- 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.
CONSIDER TRYING THESE HOLIDAY TREATS:
- Homemade Caramels
- Caramel Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods
- Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies
- Turtle Thumbprint Cookies
- 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
- 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.
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