Southern-Style Peanut Brittle
Crispy, crunchy, golden buttery peanut brittle that would melt in your mouth if given the chance.
8 ounces peanuts (a bit over 1 1/2 cups) or substitute any variety of nut-salted or unsalted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons unsalted butter (plus additional softened butter to grease pans)
1 tablespoon baking soda
- Line a large cookie sheet with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and spread a thin layer of either butter or peanut oil from corner to corner.
- Preheat oven to 200°F (95°C), center oven rack. Spread the nuts in an even layer over an additional cookie sheet, keeping the nuts warm in the oven.
- Using a 5 to 6-quart saucepan butter the sides generously with softened butter. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in prepared pan, stirring the mixture over medium heat with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Let the mixture reach a boil and cook without stirring until it registers 275°F (135°C) on a candy thermometer. When sugar mixture has reached 275°F (135°C), add the warm nuts all at once, continuing to cook, stirring frequently until the mixture begins to lightly caramelize -- roughly 300°F (150°C). When the peanut mixture appears golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and working quickly add both the butter and baking soda stirring briskly, 3 to 4 seconds until the mixture appears foamy and pale, rapidly rising towards the towards the top of the pan. At this point quickly pour the risen foamy mass over prepared aluminum foil attempting to evenly pour in over the pan while resisting the temptation to smooth the top, or spread it out, only to deflate this airy, crunchy candy.
- Let the brittle cool on the foil-lined pan at room temperature at least 1 hour until set and no longer warm to the touch. Invert candy, peel off foil and wipe any excess butter or oil off with a paper towel. Break the brittle by hand into irregular pieces and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place up to two weeks.
Makes about 2 1/2 pounds peanut brittle.