Welcome to Day 2
12 Days of Christmas Celebration
Today I'm sharing with you a recipe I use every year without fail. If I didn't make it, there would probably be no gifts under the tree for me, as my hubby and boys love
My Homemade Peanut Brittle
This brittle is a tad different than most recipes, as it uses half brown sugar...but that makes ALL the difference in the world, and I wouldn't make it any other way.
Here's what you will need
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 t vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of butter (and a little more for greasing the pans and utensils)
1/2 t salt
2-3 cups of roasted peanuts - no salt
(I like to buy my peanuts in the bulk section of the store-get them early because they often run out during the holidays)
1 1/2 t. baking soda
large heavy pot
|I forgot to add the baking soda to this grouping before I took the picture.|
Spray the sides of your large pot with cooking spray. I have a non-stick pot in the picture, but pulled out my stainless steel one to make the brittle. I've used both.
Generously butter two cookie sheets and also two forks. The more the better! Do the sides and bottom of the pans well, and make sure the forks are greased up well too. Set aside. You can also use cooking spray, but make certain to do a heavy coat! I like to keep the cooking spray nearby in case I need to regrease the forks during the pulling stage of making the brittle.
Pre-measure all your ingredients and have them ready to dump in. Keep the baking soda and nuts separated into two bowls, so they are handy to dump in when you are ready. You don't want to have to measure these out when your syrup is ready!
In the pot, combine the sugars, corn syrup, water, butter and salt. Cook and stir with a heavy plastic spoon or a wooden spoon sprayed heavily with cooking spray. Don't use a cheap plastic spoon or it will melt! I don't recommend using a metal spoon, as it will get hot.
Cook until it begins to boil and sugars dissolve. Continue stirring and boil over medium high heat to 275 degrees register on your candy thermometer. It can be tricky trying to stir and keep the thermometer in place, so it is handy to have a little help if possible. Otherwise, just hold it with one hand and stir with the other.
The mixture will be a light golden color and should be gently boiling over the entire surface.
Now add the nuts and continue cooking and stirring the mixture until the candy thermometer reaches 295 degrees. It will start getting thicker and darker. Keep stirring so that the nuts do not burn. Keep an eye on them too. Sometimes I have difficulty getting my thermometer to read 295, but if you see your nuts starting to get too dark, chances are your brittle is ready. You can double check by pulling your spoon out of the mixture....if the drips from the spoon instantly harden, then it is time to dump your brittle into your prepared pans.
Remove your pot from the heat and NOW
dump in the baking soda and vanilla (if using).
I can't tell you how many times I have forgotten to do this at the last minute, so place that little dish of soda next to your cookie sheets so you don't forget. If you do forget, the brittle will turn out okay, but not as good.
Stir it into the hot mixture...it will foam up a bit, and then
Pour into your greased cookie sheets, dividing evenly between the two pans. Tip cookie sheets a bit to spread the mixture....let it cool for just a minute and then, using the forks, start pulling the brittle toward the edges of the cookie sheet. Continue doing this until you can no longer pull the brittle. This goes rather quickly, but try to make certain you get it as thin as possible. It is nice to have a helper work on one pan while you do another. Mr. Whimzie usually helps me out. I don't like thick slabs of brittle, so we keep pulling until it is fairly see-through.
The hard work is done. Just let it cool completely, then you can break it into pieces. Store in zipper bags or airtight containers.
I give a lot of ours away each year by putting in it little cello bags, tied with a ribbon. Sometimes I add a tag or label too. Everyone loves it!
I have included the cute picture I used on my bags below, so feel free to right-click the image and save it to your computer...then print several out when you are ready to package up your goodies. I use clear packing tape to attach them to the bags.
See you tomorrow!