Classic Peanut Brittle (No thermometer needed!)

Peanut brittle is such a classic holiday gift. Don’t buy an expensive package of it this year! Buy a few half sized mason jars, make your own brittle and wrap with pretty bows! Brittle usually gets a bad rap, but it’s really not difficult. The only complication you would have is if you walk away from it, it will burn. If you don’t, then you’ll be golden! Having patience, young padawan, is the KEY to making beautiful brittle!



1/2 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp water

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tbl butter

1 cup peanuts (unroasted for that classic peanut brittle taste)

In a saucepan, add the water, sugar and corn syrup. Stir and cook over a medium flame until a candy thermometer reaches 240º F.

If you do NOT have a thermometer, here’s what you do. Take a very small cup of cold water and drop a bit of the mixture in. If it dissolves into the water, it’s not ready. Mine took 18 minutes to reach the correct temperature, so around 15 minutes start trying the water test. When it turns into a hard goo in the water upon being dropped in, then it’s ready! (Watch the video to see what it should look like!)

Mix the baking soda, water and vanilla together. Set aside so it’s ready to grab later.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you are doubling the recipe, line 2 baking sheets so you are prepared!

When your mixture is at the right temperature, add the butter and peanuts. Stir and now you are waiting for it to heat up to 300º. Here is where there is potential to make a boo boo. Don’t walk away! Stay by it and stir frequently. If you want to be safe, I’d say stir once every minute. The peanuts can burn at the bottom of the pot if they are sitting there not moving. And if they do, the pot starts smoking and the smell will be unbearable! Check out what mine looked like after my first attempt… 🙂

burned brittle

Some people LOVE stuff burned. Me, not so much. My Poppou was thrilled when I brought him this completely burned batch! He didn’t have to know that I sacrificed my contacts from all of the smoke that was a result of the burning 😉

Should take about 10 minutes to get up to 300º. Drop some of the peanuts into the cold water again. If they come out hard and look like brittle, then it’s ready!

Immediately take off the heat and stir in the baking soda mixture we made earlier. Then pour all over the parchment. It will harden quickly so pour quickly and then spread out quickly or it will be VERY thick. Buttering a spatula will make it easier to spread. But if you do that, make sure it’s pre buttered, or else while you are buttering it, it will harden and be too late!

In about 30 minutes, it will harden, then you can break into pieces and pop one in your mouth! Mmm. The buttery, peanut, sugar flavor is just divine.

Enjoy! And send me a picture if you make it!!!


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