Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle is not at all hard to make at home! Make some for holiday gifts, or just to have around the house when unexpected guests show up. Peanut brittle can be stored for several weeks and ships very well!

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Cooling time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20 to 24 pieces, depending on how you crack them

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (200g) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (150g) light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup (57 g or 1/2 stick) butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, omit if using salted peanuts
  • 1 1/4 cups (175 g) unsalted dry roasted peanuts

Method

1 Prep the baking sheet, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and peanuts: Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking oil and place on heatproof trivet or oven mitts.

Measure out the peanuts in a medium sized bowl, the baking soda and salt into a small bowl, and the vanilla in another small bowl.

How to Make Peanut Brittle prep the peanuts vanilla and salt

2 Melt the sugar, corn syrup, and butter: Place the sugar, corn syrup, butter and water in a medium saucepan at least 3 quarts in size (in order to accommodate the boiling mixture after adding the baking soda).

Attach a candy thermometer to the side (if using). Turn the heat on high and gently stir with wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

If for some reason the sugar doesn't all dissolve and you see undissolved crystals stuck to the sides of the pan, just brush them down with a wet pastry brush. (This may not happen to you, so don't fret if you don't have a pastry brush. Just carry on; the brittle will be fabulous.)

Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe melt the butter with water, sugar, butter, and corn syrup

3 Boil the caramel: Once the sugar has dissolved, remove spoon or spatula and reduce heat to medium-high (or medium-low if you aren’t using a thermometer).

Cook, without stirring, for 8 to 12 minutes (or longer if at a lower temperature) until the mixture reaches the color of golden caramel (the color of an older penny), about 340°F.

Peanut Brittle heat the sugars Homemade Peanut Brittle cook the caramel

4 Add the baking soda: When the caramel has reached the right color/temperature, remove from heat and remove thermometer (if using).

Stir in the vanilla, baking soda, and salt carefully. The caramel will boil and steam.

Peanut Brittle stir in the baking soda and vanilla Best Peanut Brittle Recipe let it boil Homemade Peanut Brittle add the peanuts

5 Stir in the peanuts, then immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread the brittle evenly across the pan using a heatproof spatula.

Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe spread out the brittle How to Make Peanut Brittle cover the baking sheet

6 Cool and store: Let the brittle cool for 1 hour at room temperature, and then break the brittle into 2-inch pieces with your hands or chop with a chef’s knife (I like using my hands; it’s more fun and safer as you have more control over the pieces you're breaking).

Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe cool the brittle

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Comments

  • Claudette Carter

    This is a quick snack. Had pecans no enough flour to make cookies. So I opted for this.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Claudette Carter

    Just finished making this. Waiting for it to cool. I’ve made brittle before. But not with pecans. I love them more. Gonna ad pic.

  • Greg

    I’ve been making brittle for years and there are a few tweaks that will make this brittle much better.

    First… combination of sugar, water, and corn syrup, are spot on.

    First change… use raw nuts, not roasted. Add the nuts (or seeds), at 250 degrees. The nuts will cook in the sugar mixture, and give the brittle a nutty flavor.

    Next, lower the amount of butter and vanilla… butter, 2 tblsp, and vanilla a half tsp work well. Add both at about 290 degrees. Too much vanilla will overpower the nutty flavor, too much butter will leave it greasy.

    Stirring, once you add the nuts… occasional is better than not at all. You will burn the nuts if you don’t.

    Watching color and temp are important… I will typically pull the brittle off the heat at about 305-310. Add baking soda… pour out, spread, cool and enjoy.

    Nuts that work well… peanuts (classic), cashews, pecans (with touch of cinnamon), sunflower seed… or combinations, peanut and coffee bean, mixed nuts. Go with what you like.

    Enjoy!

    • Thomas

      The recipe says 340 and you prefer 305-310. What change does this have on the finished product? What is obtained by cooking in the butter and vanilla at 290? I like the extra detail if it gives you what like. I’m going to fire this one up as printed. However 340 seems high to this very rookie chemist. Butter and vanilla just matter of taste and appearance. I’ve had good luck slightly reducing butter on other things with good results.