Peanut Brittle {with Helpful Tips} - Cooking Classy (2024)

Published December 18, 2020. Updated December 22, 2020

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Homemade Peanut Brittle that is exactly like Grandma made! This tempting candy is perfectly crisp and crunchy, beautifully caramelized, deliciously buttery and brimming with rich roasted peanuts dotted throughout. Here you’ll learn all the tips to successfully make it.

Peanut Brittle {with Helpful Tips} - Cooking Classy (1)

Homemade Peanut Brittle

While it’s true that peanut brittle can be very temperamental it’s also true that by following a straightforward method and helpful tips along the way you’ll realize it’s easier to make than you’ve likely heard.

I made six batches today (12 cups of sugar and 6 sticks of butter later) taking notes and learning things along the way until I got it to taste just like I remember.

It starts out with the most basic ingredients and finishes with a classic nostalgic treat that’s sure to tempt and satisfy those sweet tooth cravings.

Just don’t overdue it (eating too much) like I always did as a kid. Sugar rush. But oh such a memorable, classic holiday treat I always looked forward to every Christmas!

Whenever you make it of course just be careful, this is boiling hot sugar syrup. And do work quickly! Peanut brittle is known for how fast it likes to set (I’ve included tips below).

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Peanut Brittle Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts

Scroll down for recipe with print option.

Tools Needed

  • Whisk and spoons – for stirring and spreading.
  • Measuring cups or a kitchen scale – always measure for accuracy.
  • Baking sheet – for spreading peanut brittle over.
  • Candy thermometer – I highly recommend going this route rather than by the look of the syrup. Takes out the guess work.
  • Heavy 3-quart saucepan – using a heavy bottom pan allows heat to be more evenly distributed which will result in an more evenly cooked brittle.

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How to Make Peanut Brittle

  1. Have measured ingredients ready: Measure out peanuts, baking soda and salt and have ready to add as you’ll need to work very quickly once you get to this step.
  2. Grease baking sheet and spoon: Butter a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet. Also butter the bottom of large spoon and set close by (you’ll use this later for spreading brittle).
  3. Warm the baking sheet: Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Once preheated add baking sheet, turn oven off and let baking sheet stay warm in oven, remove just barely before you are ready to use it to spread prepared brittle mixture over.
  4. Mix sweeteners and water in pan: In a 3-quart heavy bottom saucepan whisk together sugar, corn syrup, and water.
  5. Boil mixture: Set over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add butter: Once it reaches a boil carefully add butter and stir.
  7. Cook to 310 degrees: Let boil, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 310 degrees on a candy thermometer (don’t forget to get your baking sheet out of oven and ready near the end). It should just have turned a light golden brown color.
  8. Add baking soda, salt and peanuts (work quickly!): Immediately remove from heat once it reaches temperature (or just turn off heat if using a gas stove) and right away add baking soda, salt, and peanuts and stir (it will foam and bubble up).
  9. Quickly spread over warm baking sheet: Immediately pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread mixture out as evenly as possible before it starts to harden.
  10. Cool then break: Let cool completely at room temperature, about 30 minutes. Then break into pieces.

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How to Store

  • Once cooled and cracked, peanut brittle should be stored in an airtight container (it’s okay to stack).
  • Store in a cool dry place.
  • Keep at room temperature or freeze.

Shelf Life

  • It should keep well at room temperature for 1 month (or even a little longer).
  • Freeze up to 3 months.

Variations

Again have ingredients ready to add no matter what options you add:

  • Try with another type of nut or use a blend (slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts or hazelnuts).
  • Add sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger.
  • Make it spicy with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.
  • Mix in a little splash of extract at the end (vanilla, rum, coconut).

Peanut Brittle Recipe Success Tips

  • Use peanuts that don’t have added ingredients. Peanuts/salt should be the only ingredient. No added spices (some have onion powder, paprika, etc) or oils.
  • Only use 1/2 tsp baking soda. Some recipes use as much as 1 TBSP so don’t be tempted to add more, it leaves a bad aftertaste. 1/2 tsp is plenty to give it some lift.
  • Be sure to have everything measured out and ready to add before you begin cooking, timing is critical in this recipe.
  • Heat the baking sheet. This was a game changer for me. Using a warm baking sheet will allow you more time to spread out the brittle since an otherwise cool baking sheet will make it set faster.
  • Cook low and slow for perfect caramelization. Don’t be tempted to cook over higher heat to speed up process.
  • Stir boiling sugar mixture occasionally (a little more so at the end than the beginning) for even cooking and to prevent bottom or sides from scorching. It also allows lowers the temperature a little and allows more time to caramelize.
  • If you live in a cold environment you may find it helpful to heat the peanuts in the microwave for 35 seconds. Do this about the point the brittle reaches 275 degrees (so they are ready to add). If you add them cold or cool the sugar mixture will clump right up.
  • Work very quickly at the end. The mixture will harden fast.
  • If you’re brittle didn’t spread very well, a helpful fix is to let it cool briefly just until it’s cool enough to handle with clean (thickish) rubber gloves. Then pull and stretch the brittle while it’s still pliable.

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  • Easy Fudge
  • Microwave Caramels
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Peanut Brittle

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Homemade Peanut Brittle that is exactly like Grandma made! It's perfectly crisp and crunchy, perfectly caramelized, deliciously buttery and brimming with roasted peanuts dotted throughout. Read through the recipe and notes before beginning.

Servings: 10 (about 30 pieces)

Cook25 minutes minutes

Resting30 minutes minutes

Ready in: 55 minutes minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Measure out all ingredients and have close by ready to add.

  • Butter bottom and sides of a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet. Also butter the bottom of large spoon and set close by (you'll use this later for spreading brittle).

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Once preheated place baking sheet in oven, turn oven off and let baking sheet stay warm in oven. Remove baking sheet just barely before you are ready to use it to spread prepared brittle mixture over.

  • In a 3-quart heavy bottom saucepan whisk together sugar, corn syrup, and water.

  • Set over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

  • Once it reaches a boil carefully add butter and stir.

  • Let boil, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 310 degrees on a candy thermometer (don't forget to get your baking sheet out of oven and ready near the end). The mixture should just have turned a light golden brown color.

  • Immediately remove from heat once it reaches temperature (or just turn off heat if using a gas stove) and right away add baking soda, salt, and peanuts and give it about 5 quick stirs (it will foam and bubble up).

  • Immediately pour onto warm baking sheet and spread mixture out using greased spoon, spread as evenly as possible before it starts to harden.

  • Let cool completely at room temperature, about 30 minutes. Then break into pieces.

Notes

Helpful Tips

  • *Salted peanuts will work fine too. Just omit the salt from the recipe. Also use peanuts that don't have added ingredients. Peanuts/salt should be the only ingredient. No added spices (some have onion powder, paprika, etc) or oils.
  • Be sure to have everything measured out and ready to add before you begin cooking, timing is critical in this recipe and if you were to wait even 5 seconds to add something it can be too late.
  • Stir occasionally (a little more so at the end than the beginning) for even cooking and to prevent bottom or sides from scorching.
  • If you live in a cold environment you may find it helpful to heat the peanuts in the microwave for 35 seconds. Do this about the point the brittle reaches 275 degrees (so they are ready to add). If you add them cold or cool the sugar mixture will clump right up.
  • If you're brittle didn't spread very well, a helpful fix is to let it cool briefly just until it's cool enough to handle with clean (thickish) rubber gloves. Then pull and stretch the brittle while it's still pliable.
  • Once cool and broken store in an airtight container at room temperature about 1 month or freeze up to 3 months.

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Peanut Brittle

Author: Jaclyn

Peanut Brittle {with Helpful Tips} - Cooking Classy (2024)
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