So, peanut brittle…little known facts.
- Most of my British friends have never heard of it
- It is very difficult to find corn syrup in the UK (meaning I basically couldn’t find it)
- All of the recipes you find for peanut brittle are American, meaning you have to translate for the metric measuring cups
Difficulties aside, Christmas means peanut brittle so all challenges had to be overcome. Two tries later and a last minute dash to the hardware store for a candy thermometer by my son, and we had some really, really good peanut brittle.
The Magical Recipe
(note: everything in parentheses is the closest metric equivalent and all else is in US cup size)
1 1/2 cup (300 grams) white (caster or granulated in the UK) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1/4 teaspoon salt, although not needed if using salted peanuts
1 cup (150 grams) peanuts or other mixed nuts
2 tablespoons room temperature butter, with a little extra to butter the cookie sheet
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Butter a flat cookie sheet and place in a warm oven. Mix sugar and water in a saucepan and heat on medium high until sugar dissolves and you have a simple syrup (in place of the corn syrup typically used in the US). Keep heating while mixture begins to get caramel colored. Stir frequently and use a candy thermometer. When mixture gets to 300 F or 150 C, remove from heat and beat in nuts. Once thoroughly mixed in, add butter and baking soda and mix quickly. Finally, mix in the vanilla. Pull warm cookie sheet our of oven and pour peanut brittle on, spreading to make as thick or thin as you like. Allow to cool for several hours before shattering into pieces and enjoying!
Quick tips: using a warm cookie sheet allows you to spread the brittle easier. Use a silicon spatula for stirring and spreading and it won’t stick. If you use salted nuts, omit the salt. If you use unsalted nuts, add the salt. Get all of the ingredients measured out before you start because you have to add them quickly at the end or the brittle will harden.