Aunt Linda always gave us a tin of peanut brittle for Christmas, and it was one of our favorite holiday gifts. (We miss you, Aunt Linda!)
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, don’t worry. The cold water test will work with this recipe.
Start by boiling together:
1 c. Karo syrup (Aunt Linda swore by Karo. I have found some difference in using name-brand over off-brand products. It matters more for candy than other recipes.)
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
When the mixture reaches soft ball stage (235-240 degrees, usually), add and stir in:
*1/2 lb. raw Spanish peanuts, about 1 1/2 c. (See note below.)
Cook and stir until the mixtures reaches hard crack stage. Aunt Linda’s recipe says 280-290 degrees, but officially, hard crack stage is from 300-310 degrees. At a high altitude, the temperatures can vary by up to 10 degrees. That’s why I always test with cold water. The mixture should be slightly golden in color by this point.
Off the Heat
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in completely:
1 1/2 T. butter
1/2 T. salt
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2 t. baking soda
The baking soda is what gives the brittle its bubbles, so make sure to only stir it as much you need to. Pour the brittle onto a greased cookie sheet. When cooled, break it into small pieces. There’s enough peanut brittle to share, if it lasts that long.
*If you can’t find raw peanuts, you can add roasted peanuts at the end of cooking. Stir them in before the baking soda so you don’t lose all your bubbles. If the peanuts come already salted, decrease the salt in the recipe to 1 t. The resulting candy will be a little lighter in color, but just as delicious.
Find more candy recipes here.