Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Just Desserts: Peanut Brittle

Holidays or not, there always seemed to be a tin of peanut brittle around -- you could call it the Methodist version of pralines.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup white syrup (Karo)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups raw spanish peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook the sugar, syrup and water to soft ball stage. (See below)

Add peanuts and cook to 300° F. Set off stove, add butter & soda. Add vanilla and stir well.

Pour onto two well-greased cookie sheets -- stretching as soon as it cools slightly. When cooled, break into pieces and serve.

Candy-making Stages:

  • Thread - begins at 230°
    The syrup will make a 2" thread when dropped from a spoon.
  • Soft Ball - begins at 234°
    A small amount of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a ball, but flattens when picked up with fingers.
  • Firm Ball - begins at 244°
    The ball will hold its shape and flatten only when pressed.
  • Hard Ball - begins at 250°
    The ball is more rigid but still pliable.
  • Soft Crack - begins at 270°
    When a small amount of syrup is dropped into chilled water it will separate into threads which will bend when picked up.
  • Hard Crack - begins at 300°
    The syrup separates into threads that are hard and brittle.
  • Caramelized Sugar - 310° to 338°
    Between these temperatures the syrup will turn dark golden, but will turn black at 350°.


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