The possibilities are endless! But my favorite thing to do with my BFF sugar* is making candy.
I usually save my candy making for the holidays, but I got an early start this year with one of my favorite recipes, peanut brittle.
If you’ve never made candy at home before, fear not. It’s not as intimidating as it may seem. As long as you can read a thermometer, you can make candy.
Pastry near alert! In order to make brittle, we need to cook our sugar all the way to hard crack stage or 300°F. Sugar cooked to this stage is free of water and snaps when bent. The trick is getting your brittle hard but not so hard that’ll it’s crack teeth. Enter, baking soda.
Adding baking soda to cooked sugar creates millions of bubbles of carbon dioxide. Don’t be startled if your brittle quickly foams up after mixing it in. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to Potions Class at Hogwarts. Relish it. Most of the carbon dioxide remains trapped in the brittle when it’s poured out to cool, and those tiny bubbles create an airy texture that won’t send you to the dentist.
Once the brittle has cooled into a slab of caramely peanut goodness feel free to tap into any anger you’ve been holding on to and bust up the peanut brittle into pieces. Now resist the temptation to eat it all in one sitting.
*Personal Admission #30: Between work and blogging I probably spend more time with sugar than any other person or thing. Sad? Probably. Sweet? Definitely.
- 3 cups (16 oz.) white sugar
- 2 cups (12 oz.) corn syrup
- 1 cup (6 oz.) water
- 3 cups (12 oz.) roasted salted peanuts
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Coat a sheet pan with non-stick spray, cover with parchment paper, and coat generously with nonstick spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized pot, cook sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium heat. Stir often until boiling.
- Stop stirring, and insert a candy thermometer into sugar syrup.
- Cook sugar to 250°F.
- Add peanuts and butter, stirring occasionally.
- Cook to 300°F.
- Remove from heat, and add vanilla and baking soda. Quickly stir to fully incorporate baking soda. There should be no white streaks.
- Pour out brittle onto prepared pan.
- Using a metal spatula coated in non-stick spray, gently spread out brittle into one even layer.
- Allow to cool completely, about an hour.
- Once cool, break brittle into bite-sized pieces.
- Store in air-tight container.