Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sinful Peanut Brittle

Everyone once in a long,long while, my husband gets an enormous case of candy cravings and I head to the kitchen. I love making candy, but with only the two of us to eat it, candymaking usually waits for the holidays. Or when the Great Norwegian Gimme Candy Monster appears. Peanut brittle has been the focus of this fall's appearance and I've got it down to a no brainer recipe at last.

I even thought I had a million dollar idea when I decided to add cinnamon and cayenne into the syrup. Until the very next week on Good Eats, Alton Brown did exactly the same thing and now every Food Network host has also used the same combination in some way. I guess it was a cosmically brilliant idea floating around and we all grabbed it at once. Make it. This is totally addictive stuff. Join the rest of us addicts who will put ourselves at risk of losing fillings before we'll stop eating this sinfully sweet and spicy peanut brittle.

Ps...if you cook it right, I doubt you'd loose a filling. It's hard and has a great snappy crack to it!

Sinful Peanut Brittle

3 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 1/2 Cups Light Karo Syrup
3 Cups Raw Peanuts
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Butter

Put the sugar, water and Karo syrup into a deep 2 quart pan. Stir to mix, then stop stirring. Bring to a boil and allow to boil until the hot syrup reaches 300 degrees F, or a hard crack stage. Carefully remove the thermometer and add salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and peanuts. Stir to mix. The temperature will immediately drop. Continue cooking until it again reaches 300 degrees. Remove from heat. Carefully stir in the butter until it is completely melted. Next stir in the baking soda and blend well.

Immediately pour onto 2 buttered cookie sheets and allow to cool. When completely cooled, smack the cookie sheet on the counter to break into serving size pieces.

1. When you pour out the hot candy, it will immediately set up. If you like thin peanut brittle, give yourself some working time to spread it out by keeping your cookie sheets in a 200 degree oven while the syrup boils. Remove just before you need them and apply butter or spray with cooking spray. Warm cookie sheets will let you spread the mixture out as thin as you like.

2. If you like things on the spicy side, adjust the cinnamon and cayenne carefully. I am a medium bite person. I use a rounded teaspoon of cinnamon and a level one of cayenne. Keep in mind that you have to complete a batch before you actually know what it tastes like, no taste testing of the hot syrup!

3. Be sure to let the syrup really cook to 300 degrees.Cooking to 305 degrees is ok too. I know every website and most cookbooks tell you that you can recook candy that is just too soft, but don't believe them. How I know? Well, lets just say that it took a trip to see Super Son-In-Law and his trusty Dremel tool to have the rock hard burnt sugar wire brushed off of my favorite pan. My favorite pan that is no longer in the candymaking arsenal.


Chia said...

I started making Peanut Brittle a couple of years ago. It was such a big hit the first year that the following year Karl decided I needed to make enough for him to give to all his co-workers. That's a lot of Peanut Brittle. I learned the hard way that it is important to have the right size pot. If it is too large you will have a hard time hanging onto it when you pour it out and you will end up with it on your hand. Not fun.

Anonymous said...

You might want to try peanut brittle from here...