As I’ve mentioned before I hate working with hot sugar so I tend to stay away from recipes that involve standing over a vat of hot bubbling sugar. But every now and then I come across a recipe that makes me toss my inhibitions aside.
The idea to make peanut brittle is no different from the other recipes I post. I’m usually hit with a craving, sometimes it’s for something I haven’t had in years but I can taste it as though it was just yesterday. Peanut brittle or Nuttin as it’s referred to in Guyana, is one those things that you just can’t stop eating. There’s something about the flavor combination of peanuts and candy that is just so darn addictive.
So I set out to find a recipe for peanut brittle but I soon hit a wall. The brittle recipes that I found were made with baking soda which cause the sugar to foam, this results in a lighter, more porous brittle. This was not what I was looking for. I need a brittle that was clear like glass and these recipes weren’t going to cut it. Eventually I stumbled upon 2 recipes that seemed to be what I was looking for. Let’s just say the first failed miserably. Despite my disdain for cooking confections, I was prepared to make up to 3 batches. Sugar is more of a exact science and a split second could turn perfection into the inedible.
The second recipe was from Martha Stewart, it was a recipe for candied hazelnut but I substituted the hazelnuts with peanuts and added a pinch of cinnamon for and added kick. It was perfect! It was sweet, crunchy, peanutty and addictive just like I remembered. Phew…
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup salted peanuts or dry roasted
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Place a silicon mat or greased parchment paper on a baking sheet; set aside.
Mix peanuts and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Over medium heat add sugar and water to a heavy saucepan. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Cook without stirring, let mixture come to a boil. DO NOT STIR. Using a wet brush, brush the sides of the pot to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Boil until sugar turns amber or until it reaches a temperature of 340-350 degrees if using a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat and add nuts. Stir quickly to combine. Pour onto prepared pan and spread to form a single layer of peanuts. Cool completely, then break into pieces.
- It is important not to stir this mixture after it has dissolved. This will cause the mixture to crystallize and will result in a gritty, cloudy product.
- When the nuts are added to the sugar mixture this will lower the temperature, so work quickly when spreading the nuts.