Peanut or Cashew Brittle

Dave and Sarah Eickelberg —  December 15, 2011 — 7 Comments

Our mission is simple. We are here today to change your opinion about Peanut Brittle.

Peanut Brittle is usually the one item left on the cookie tray at the end of a Christmas party, and rightfully so. Most Peanut Brittle either breaks or gets stuck in your teeth. It can be annoying to eat, and can sometimes be kind of flavorless. Our recipe, passed down from my (Dave) mom, will change your opinion on Peanut Brittle. GUARANTEED.

When we experienced our first Christmas season as a married couple, it was my mom’s goal to teach the ins and outs of the brittle making process…and it is a process. I have memories of my mom literally sitting in a chair in front of the stove, stirring away. When my mom taught Sarah how to make the recipe, she pulled a chair up and told Sarah to have a seat. Sitting in a chair while cooking is optional for the recipe. :)

Years back, my mom realized that you can really make brittle out of any type of nut. She experimented with pecans and cashews. Cashew Brittle became the overwhelming family favorite. It will blow your mind.

We have made both peanut and cashew brittle every year since we have been married, and it is always a huge hit. One of Sarah’s Aunts takes cashew brittle to bed with her at night! Another Aunt always takes a small baggie with her for her drive home on Christmas Eve night. It is difficult to explain why this brittle is so much better than other recipes we have had, but the best way that we can explain it is that it is smooth and creamy. That sounds like a weird description for hard candy, but it’s accurate. It doesn’t stick in your teeth and it doesn’t break into 47 pieces when you try to eat it. It’s just buttery, nutty goodness.

Peanut or Cashew Brittle 

2 cups sugar
1 cup Karo
1/2 cup water
2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
3 cups roasted peanuts or cashews
1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine sugar, Karo and water in a 3 quart saucepan. Cook and stir on medium to medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. When the syrup begins to boil, blend in the butter.

Stir frequently after the mixture reaches the syrup stage (230° F).

Add nuts when the temperature reaches the soft-crack stage (280° F).

Stir constantly until the temperature reaches the hard-crack stage (305° F).

Remove the pan from the heat. Quickly stir in baking soda, mixing thoroughly. Pour onto two cookie sheets, sprayed with cooking spray. Stretch mixture evenly across pan using the back of a metal spoon, sprayed with cooking spray.

After brittle cools (30-45 minutes), remove from pan and break into pieces.

If the brittle bends instead of breaking, it will need to cool longer.

The key to this recipe is having a good candy thermometer that you can hook to the side or your saucepan. Make sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan, or else your temperature will not be accurate. Doing each of the steps at exactly the right temperature is so important. If you do the steps too early or too late, the brittle will not turn out.

The first time you make the brittle, it can be a little stressful. Never fear!!! It gets easier each time you make it.


7 responses to Peanut or Cashew Brittle

  1. This looks wonderful. I’ve bookmarked it and hope to make it next week. If I do, I’ll link back here. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back.I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  2. You say to stir in butter when it begins to boil, however you do not have an amount of butter listed in the ingredients.

  3. ok Sarah……….I am just going to pay you to make it for your Uncle!!! I think mine is a little overcooked but it taste good but cannot get it out of the pan!!! (Yes I buttered it too)

  4. I really enjoyed making this brittle. I tried the fresh pecans and peanuts. I added real vanilla to enhance the taste. To my surprise the butter flavor was more enhanced than the vanilla.
    The mixture was a little soft. I placed it in the freezer for 30 minutes and it broke apart like brittle.
    It was Great. If you allow it to melt in your mouth before you chew it, you should have no problems with your fillings or dentures. TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

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