Of all the Christmas treats, I enjoy peanut brittle the most. Good peanut brittle, that is.
My friend Sue makes excellent brittle. It is because of her that I’ve haven’t made it much over the years. When I was carrying mail, I had a customer who gave me a bag as well.
With all the family here during Thanksgiving, I decided to try making a batch, remembering the way our neighbor who lived a mile west of where I grew up. Their names were Roy and Pearl. Each holiday they made peanut brittle and it was absolutely the very best—thin and tender. One year they invited us over to help make some. I was young, but I remember they cooked it slowly in a cast iron pot and poured it out on a granite slab that they took outside to get cold, then pulled it out into thin pieces.
I have a bunch of Mom’s old recipes and I thought sure I would find a peanut brittle recipe with their name on it. I did not, but this is the one I used. It turned out very good.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 pkg (16 oz) raw peanuts
- 1 teas. salt
- 2 teas. butter
- 2 teas. baking soda
- 1 teas vanilla*
In a 3 quart heavy saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook & stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and continue boiling at moderate rate stirring occasionally until candy thermometer reaches 250F; about 30 min. Stir in peanuts & salt. Cook until mixture reaches 295F about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; quickly stir in butter and baking soda (I use a teas. vanilla as well) The mixture will foam. Immediately pour mixture onto baking sheets or whatever you have. As it cools, pull and turn over. (It works best to have plenty of soft butter to smear on the surface as you mess with it) Note: be sure not to let it cook too fast.