Sunday, March 20, 2011

Peanut Brittle Candy Recipe

Here's what I made to bring to Norooz (Persian New Year) tomorrow night. I adapted this recipe from an ancient edition of the Five Roses flour cookbook. My mom claims the book is from the late 70s or early 80s. She's had it forever. The cover is even missing and after searcing, I couldn't find another copy of it online. There's a new edition with a white cover but it's not the same one. There are at least 100 pages less in the newer version.

The technique for making brittle has changed since this book was written but I went ahead and followed the directions as stated in the book anyway. I'm no candy maker so I didn't want to mess with something that I have no experience with in the first place.

The recipe called for 2 cups of peanuts but I only had 1 so that's what I used. I found it a bit greasy and by the time all the sugar finally melted it seemed to be a bit overcooked. There's a strong possibility that my pot wasn't big enough. Had the sugar been in a thinner layer in the pot, it may have cooked faster and more evenly. It still tastes good though!

If you look up a newer recipe for brittle you may find that it recommends not stirring the sugar at all and also occasionally brushing cold water around the inside of the pot to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. There are also other versions that include corn syrup and baking soda. Either way, there will be foam once the margarine or butter is added so be careful.

3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup salted peanuts (or 1 cup unsalted peanuts plus a pinch of salt)
2 tablespoons margarine

Lightly grease a 10"x15"x1" jelly roll pan.

In a large heavy bottom pot, add the sugar and cook over high heat stirring with a wooden spoon until it starts to get clumpy. Here's what it looks like.

Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook stirring constantly until the sugar is melted and a dark golden brown colour. It takes some time but it will happen. Keep stirring. 

Add the peanuts and margarine and stir quickly (and carefully as it will start to foam). Immediately pour into prepared pan and smooth it out with your spoon. Set aside to cool. You can put it in the fridge.

Once cool, remove it from the pan and break it into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Tip: By now you're wondering how on earth you're going to clean the pot aren't you? No problem. Fill it with water and heat it up on the stove. The sugar will melt and your pot will be ready to wash. You can add any type of nuts you like or even sesame seeds. If you do use sesame seeds, you could try using 2 large pans and spread it out thinner.

- Peanut Brittle -

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