Classic Homemade Peanut Brittle – Crunchy sweet candy filled with toasted peanuts. A classic treat for the holidays and a fabulous edible gift.This peanut brittle is so easy to make at home and tastes amazing fresh! Everyone that tries it will be so impressed and love it. It’s one of the favorite candies my family includes in our yearly holiday chocolate boxes.If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you’ve seen the week of chocolates and candies I’ve posted. My sisters and mom get together every year around the holidays to make hundreds and hundreds of chocolates and candies for friends, family, and neighbors. This year we ended up making about 85 pounds. You can check out some of the recipes I’ve shared (I’m sure more will be coming). If you like holiday chocolates and candies you may also like these recipes:
- White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- Soft, Chewy Homemade Caramels
- 3-Ingredient Jingle Bell Fudge
- Old English Almond Toffee
- Homemade Peppermint Patties
- Almond Balls with butter truffle filling
How do I make perfect peanut brittle at home?It’s easy and so worth making at home. This peanut brittle only take a few ingredients (you probably have most of them in your pantry already). Start by adding the sugar, corn syrup and water in a large pot or kettle. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil. Wash down the sides to avoid sugar crystals that may splatter onto the side of the pot (if sugar crystals are left undissolved it may turn the candy grainy and sugary). Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature, add the raw Spanish peanuts. Cook until 305 degrees F. Add butter, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Pour onto greased cookie sheet. That’s it!It usually takes me about 20-30 minutes to make a batch of peanut brittle. It’s so worth it too!
Why is my peanut brittle grainy and sugary?Peanut brittle is primarily made of sugar and peanuts. The sugar mixture is heated to a very high temperature to melt and dissolve all the sugar crystals and thicken the mixture so it is brittle when cooled. Thus, where its name comes from. If any sugar crystals are left melted and come in contact with the sugar mixture, it can cause a chain reaction and make the entire batch grainy rather than brittle and smooth.
Here are a few tips and tricks to avoiding grainy and sugary candy:
- Don’t scrape the side of the pot during cooking. Refrain from scraping the sides of the pot with your spoon. Scraping the sides of the pot may cause undissolved sugar crystals to stick to the sides and cause a reaction (sugar to crystallize) when you pour the peanut brittle mixture onto a pan.
- Wash down the side of the pot with water and a basting brush. As the mixture boils some sugar crystals may spatter up onto the side of the pot. Washing down the sides helps those crystals fall back into the pot. I wash down the sides multiple times throughout the process. I also wash down the top of the wooden spoon I use.
- Don’t scrape the pot after you pour the hot peanut brittle onto the cookie sheet. Once the peanut brittle is done you’ll pour it onto a greased cookie sheet. Make sure you don’t scrape the sides of the pan when you pour the hot mixture out. If there happen to be some sugar crystals (sometimes they’re hard to see) you risk turning the whole batch grainy. It only takes a single crystal to trigger a chain reaction and make your smooth brittle goodness go “grainy.”
- Stir the sugar peanut mixture slowly. By mixing the sugar and peanuts slowly but continuously, this will lessen the risk of splashing sugar crystals onto the side of the pot. Stiring continuously will help to avoid burning the peanuts.
How much peanut brittle will this recipe make?This recipe will make about 2 1/2 lbs of brittle, (one cookie sheet or about 85-100 pieces that are about one inch by one inch). It’s a fantastic recipe to make and share. It makes for delicious holiday neighbor treats that will please chocolate and non-chocolate lovers. If you’re not feeling like sharing it also keeps well. You can store it for several weeks, if not months, if kept in an airtight container or bag.
What’s the difference between raw Spanish peanuts and regular peanuts? Why do I need to use raw Spanish peanuts in this recipe?According to the National Peanut Board, Spanish peanuts are the best type of peanut to use in candies such as peanut brittle because of it’s small kernel nature, and being given the title of “nuttiest” flavored peanut when roasted. We use raw peanuts in this recipe because the nuts are roasted during the cooking process. As the peanut brittle mixture is cooking, you will begin to smell the nutty aroma of the Spanish peanuts being roasted.There are recipes out there that call for roasted, salted peanuts but for this classic peanut brittle, I’d stick with raw Spanish peanuts. You can find these in prepackaged bags in the baking aisle of your grocery store or you make also be able to find them in your grocery store’s bulk bins. When I made this brittle a week or so ago, the raw Spanish peanuts cost me $1.40 a pound. There’s about a pound of peanuts (also about 3 cups) in this recipe.
What classic candy is your favorite?I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment!Here’s the full printable recipe:
Step 1 - sugar mixture (cook to 270 degrees F.)
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup white corn syrup
- 1 cup water
Step 2 - add peanuts (cook to 305 degrees F.)
- 3 cups RAW unroasted Spanish peanuts
Step 3 - remove from heat add remainder of ingredients
- 2 T butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Have ready in small bowl (mixed together), vanilla, salt, and baking soda)
- Add sugar, corn syrup and water to pan. Bring to boil over medium to medium-high heat. WASH SIDES OF POT with water and a basting brush to wash uncooked sugar crystals back into mixture. Using a calibrated candy thermometer, heat sugar mixture to 260 degrees F.
- Add raw Spanish peanuts. Stir mixture slowly but continuously to avoid burning peanuts. Wash sides if needed (if candy splatters onto sides of pot). Cook until temperature reaches 305 degrees F.
- Add butter.
- Remove pot from heat. Add baking soda, salt, vanilla mixture. Stir briskly. Mixture will foam. Pour out onto oiled/greased cookie sheet. DON'T SCRAPE PAN OUT as this can cause your candy to go grainy. Spread mixture quickly with the back of the spoon.
- When peanut brittle has cooled sufficiently to tough with the tips of the fingers, pick up the batch and turn it over. This helps force the peanuts to come to the surface on both sides (it looks much prettier).
- When hardened enough, break into pieces.