Since Thanksgiving came to an end, I’ve been busy planning what Christmas cookies and candies I will make this year. I love trying new recipes, but there is something about making what you grew up eating. When I was a child, my mom spent a lot of time in the kitchen before Christmas. Every year she would make my favorites: oatmeal raisin cookies, sugar cut out cookies, ice box cookies, divinity, and, of course, peanut brittle. To me, Christmas is not the same without at least one of those.
Now that I’m a mom, I want to bake and make cookies for my girls. I know by doing so it will help create memories for them (and me, too). And, even though they won’t eat the candy or even most of the cookies, I can’t help but plan for a season full of baking and candy making.
I decided to start with my mom’s peanut brittle. It is pretty easy for a candy, and the result is always delightful.
Before I began cooking the brittle, I pulled together all my ingredients. It is important to do so because there is not much time to run around the kitchen getting what you need.
To start, in a large saucepan, I combined 3 1/4 cups sugar, 1 1/4 cup light corn syrup, and 1/3 cup water over medium high heat. I stirred constantly until the brittle mixture came to a boil. Then, I covered the pan and let it steam for 2 minutes.
Next, I removed the cover, gave the mixture a quick stir, and let it boil for 10 minutes without stirring.
After the 10 minutes passed, I added a pound of raw peanuts*, 2 Tbsp butter, and 1 tsp salt. I stirred this mixture constantly until the mixture reached 310°. It took about 10-15 minutes before it reached that stage. I usually can tell it is about to hit that temperature because the color of the mixture also changes. It goes from clear to a golden brown.
Once it reached 310º, I removed the pan from the heat. (Since I use a gas oven, I just turned the heat off.) I then added 1 tsp baking soda and stirred until it was well-combined. Now I poured the peanut brittle on an ungreased cookie sheet (without spreading it). I let it cool before breaking it into pieces.
*While the recipe did call for 1 lb raw peanuts, I couldn’t find 1 lb raw peanuts. Instead, I was forced (due to the crappy selection at all the local grocery stores) to buy a 14 oz package of roasted/salted Spanish peanuts instead. This substitution worked great. If you are going to sub, use Spanish peanuts.
- 3 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 1 lb raw peanuts
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium high heat. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Covered the pan and let it steam for 2 minutes.
- Uncover the pan and stir.
- Let the mixture boil for 10 minutes without stirring.
- Add the butter, peanuts, and salt. Mix well.
- Stir the mixture constantly until it reaches 310 degrees.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add the baking soda and stir until well-mixed.
- Pour brittle mixture on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Cool, then break up and serve.