Peanut Brittle Is A Crackling Good Time

With simple ingredients and 5 minutes of prep, you can have homemade Peanut Brittle within the hour.

Video Transcript

JUNE XIE: Y'all, if you like peanuts and sugar as much as I do, come along with me and let's make some peanut brittle. Needless to say, peanuts are amazing on their own. Nutty, aromatic, toasty and delicious. But to really pump up the flavors in this brittle, we're going to go in with two kinds of sesame seeds as well.

Growing up, my mom loved to buy sesame brittle. So I thought, why not marry the two together and have extra toasty deliciousness in one bite? In addition to just sugar, corn syrup, and water, we're also going to be flavoring our brittle with a little bit of honey, as well as some vanilla. You can use fake, you can use real, it's up to you. Whatever you want.

When candy making, for best results, you should have a thermometer. Now, if you don't, you can still make this candy, just use your eyeballs and use your nose and follow along. When making this recipe, I highly recommend that you use toasted peanuts. Dark roasted peanuts have a slightly nuttier toastier, slightly bitter taste that really offsets that sweetness quite well.

If you buy roasted peanuts from the store and they don't quite taste toasty enough, you can throw them into a 325 degree oven for maybe five to eight minutes until they look a little bit darker. Not burnt, just a little bit toastier. Alternatively, you can also buy blanched peanuts and toast them yourself, which is what I did here.

To make this recipe without it overflowing your pots, you need a pot at least six or seven inches across and about four inches deep. You will also need a rimmed baking sheet, as well as a silicone mat or parchment in order to land your brittle on something nonstick. This recipe takes only about 15 minutes or so. Everything is going to happen super fast, so pay close attention.

Into your pot, you're going to combine your sugar, your honey, your corn syrup, your water, and a pinch of salt together, making sure you're not splashing up the sides of the pan to eliminate that chance of crystallization. You're going to take your pot of sugary goodness. You're going to transfer it to the stove. Over medium heat, you're going to bring everything together up to a simmering boil. And you're going to let it cook until it hits about 280 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now, if you don't have a thermometer, what you're looking for here is a blonding, amber color. As soon as that caramel starts thicken, the bubbles get nice and glossy and glassy and that color starts to creep in, you know it's time. Depending on your pan construction and the size of your burner, this process might take you about seven minutes or so.

I want you to try to resist the urge to stir. All you need to do is if you see any unevenness in the bubbling activity is just to take your pan and just give it a nice, gentle swirl. (WHISPERING) And that's it. Set it back down. You're good.

About 3 and 1/2 minutes in, you'll start to see that the foamy bubbles give way to glassy bubbles. At around six minutes in, you'll want to start paying particularly close attention. Your sugar will probably climb from 260 to 280 in the blink of an eye. One way to tell is if your sugar is turning amber, that's a good sign.

Just when your syrup is 280 and/or slightly blonding, throw in your butter and your vanilla and give it a nice, good, even stir. You're going to watch it thicken and foam and evaporate a little bit, and that's the part where your peanuts and sesame goes in. Once your nuts are in, you'll start to see that it's a pale caramel. Keep going.

We want to push it until it's over 300 degrees for maximum crisp and hardness. And that won't happen until your sugar starts to caramelize and slightly smoke. You're going to stir those nuts until they're evenly coated in that syrupy goodness. And you're going to start to notice that color turning a deeper, deeper golden brown.

As soon as your thermometer hits 300 degrees and/or you start smelling smokiness, that means that your caramel is starting to burn. At the first smell of that burntness, you're going to take that pan off the heat, you're going to stir in you're baking soda, and everything's going to foam as you fold in that baking soda. This is all good, this is all normal.

You'll see that foam start to take your dark, golden brown into a lighter, creamier color. Perfect. As soon as the baking soda is fully folded in, we're going to splash everything gently onto that prepared sheet tray with the silicone and/or parchment. Your brittle will set and cool super fast, so work quickly to use a silicone spatula to smooth that brittle out to your desired thinness.

I know it's going to be really hard to resist, but you really have to let this cool completely. It is going to be really, really hot right now and it will get stuck to your mouth. And your mouth will burn and you will be in pain. (WHISPERING) And it's not worth it, even though this is delicious.

And once it is cooled, just go ahead and break it up into your desired chunks. It's crunchy, it's sweet, it's nutty, and it's fragrant. (WHISPERING) What more could you want?

For me, this has just the right ratio of sugary crunchiness to nutty goodness. It's just addictive enough that you're going to eat too much of it, but it's not that sweet so that you don't have to feel that guilty about it. Super nutty, vaguely buttery, a little bit sweet, and perfectly vanilla-y. I hope you enjoyed the super simple recipe for peanut brittle, and I hope you don't eat too much of it. But do indulge, please. Treat yourself.