Peanut Brittle

December 20, 2019 (Last Updated: December 8, 2020)

No Southern Holiday would ever be the same without Homemade Peanut and Pecan Brittle on the table, ready for those lovely family members and holiday guests. Making peanut and pecan brittle is a family tradition in our Southern homes during the Christmas Season.

For as long as I can remember, right after the Thanksgiving holidays, we immediately began preparing for Christmas. That meant we would start baking up a storm and making homemade candies such as Peanut and Pecan Brittle with momma in the kitchen. Those are the best memories of childhood. It was what I call a holiday frenzy.

 

No Southern Holiday would ever be the same without Homemade Peanut and Pecan Brittle on the table ready for those lovely family members and holiday guests.I always make large batches of Brittle, so the recipe below is for a three-pound quantity. My motto always has been to go big or go back home.  Besides, we only get to enjoy homemade candies such a peanut brittle during the Christmas Holidays.

Peanut and Pecan brittle are perfect for placing out for the holiday company to enjoy. Or for a holiday goody bag to send home with your guests. You can even bring small metal Christmas tins of Peanut Brittle and give away at your work holiday party to co-workers.

 

 

 

 

No Southern Holiday would ever be the same without Homemade Peanut and Pecan Brittle on the table ready for those lovely family members and holiday guests.You are going to be so shocked by how easy it is to make this Peanut Brittle. All you need are the right ingredients and proper equipment, and you’ll be fast on your way to making peanut brittle just like your Granny or momma did when you were a child. It’s that easy to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 Fun Facts about Peanut Brittle

  • The first peanut brittle recipe appeared in an American cookbook, but the exact origin of the confection is uncertain. According to one account, peanut brittle was a Celtic dessert. The Celts covered peanuts in sugar and baked them, and this eventually evolved into a caramel bark.
  • Some folks believe that peanut brittle was first originated in the Southouthern states. Civil War soldiers survived on peanuts because of its protein content, coupled with the Southern peanut farming boom in the 1900s.
  • Another version credits a Southern woman for inventing the candy purely by accident in the year1890. It was said that while attempting to make taffy, she accidentally added baking soda to the taffy recipe instead of the cream of tartar.
  • The term brittle first appears in documented writing in the year 1892.
  • Traditionally, brittle is a mixture of sugar and water that is heated to the hard crack stage corresponding to a temperature of approximately 300 °F.
  • In parts of the Middle East, brittle is made with pistachios, while many Asian countries use sesame seeds and peanuts.
  • January 26th is National Peanut Brittle Day.

 

 

 

 

No Southern Holiday would ever be the same without Homemade Peanut and Pecan Brittle on the table ready for those lovely family members and holiday guests.

 

 

 

Ingredient shopping List

  • One tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • One tablespoon baking soda
  • One tablespoon fine kosher salt
  • Eight Tablespoons or one stick of unsalted butter + 2 Tablespoons to grease sheets
  • Three cups of granulated sugar
  • One cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Three cups unsalted peanuts or pecans

 

 

 

 

Equipment needed for the recipe

  • Two small bowls
  • Heavy bottom saucepan
  • Candy thermometer
  • Old spoon
  • Two large metal cookie sheets, pretreated with heavy butter.
  • Heatproof area mats to cool  the candy

 

 

 

 

Pro Tips for the recipe

  1. The most important tip is testing your candy thermometer. Bring a large saucepan to a boil at a rolling boiling; it should read 212.
  2. Gather all the ingredients needed before getting started, measure each one, and reserve them until ready to use.
  3. Use a heavy bottom saucepan.
  4. Do not use salted peanuts or pecans, only unsalted.
  5. Only use real unsalted butter. No margarine.
  6. Do not take temperature above 300 degrees, or the peanut brittle will become too hard.
  7. Prepare two large baking sheets with unsalted butter.
  8. Place in a heat-safe area and let completely cool before attempting to handle the peanut brittle.
  9. Once cooled, break into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days or so.

 

 

 

 

 

Candy Temperature Stages

  • Thread 223-234 degrees F 106-112 degrees C  Syrup will form a loose, thin thread. Used for sugar syrups.
  • Soft Ball 234-240 degrees F 112-115 degrees C  Syrup will form a soft, sticky ball that can be flattened when removed from the water. Used for caramels, fudge, pralines, fondant, and buttercreams.
  • Firm Ball 242-248 degrees F 116-120 degrees C Syrup will form a firm but pliable, sticky ball that holds its shape briefly. Used for caramels, buttercreams, nougat, marshmallows, Italian meringues, gummies, and toffees.
  • HardBall 250-266 degrees F 122-130 degrees C  Syrup will form a hard, sticky ball that holds its shape. Used for caramels, nougat, divinity, and toffees.
  • Soft Crack 270-290 degrees F 132-143 degrees C  Syrup will form strands that are firm yet pliable. Used for butterscotch, firm nougat, and taffy.
  • Hard Crack 295-310 degrees F 146-155 degrees C Syrup will form threads that are stiff (brittle) and break easily. Used for brittles, toffees, glazed fruit, hard candy, pulled poured, and spun sugar.

 

 

 

No Southern Holiday would ever be the same without Homemade Peanut and Pecan Brittle on the table ready for those lovely family members and holiday guests.

Peanut brittle

hmccallum
The best simple to make Old-fashioned Southern Peanut Brittle to date.
5 from 29 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Candy
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 72 servings
Calories 105 kcal

Equipment

  • Two small bowls
  • Heavy bottom saucepan
  • Candy thermometer
  • Old spoon
  • Two large metal cookie sheets
  • Heatproof area mats 

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Natural Baking Soda Bob's Red Mill
  • 1 tablespoon Fine Kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons Unsalted butter 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Light Corn syrup do not use an off-brand
  • ½ cup Water
  • 4 cups Unsalted Peanuts or pecans *Unsalted ONLY*

Instructions
 

  • Measure the pure vanilla into a small bowl and set it aside. Combine the natural baking soda and kosher salt in another small bowl and set aside. Butter metal baking sheets with sides or unsalted butter. Set aside until needed.

  • Combine the granulated sugar, light corn syrup, and ½ cup water in a large heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then attach the candy thermometer and cook over medium-high heat until the syrup spins a thread when poured from a spoon or reaches 250° degrees F° on the candy thermometer. Stir in the unsalted peanuts or pecans and continue cooking and stirring until the candy becomes golden brown or reaches 300 degrees F°

  • Remove the mixture from the heat immediately and quickly add the 1 stick butter and the pure vanilla, natural baking soda, and kosher salt. Stir only until the butter melts, and then quickly pour the peanut brittle onto the pretreated metal sheet, spreading the mixture thinly. When the brittle has completely cooled, break the candy into pieces and store in a tightly covered container.

Notes

Pro Tips for the recipe
  1. The most important tip is testing your candy thermometer. Bring a large saucepan to a boil at a rolling boiling; it should read 212.
  2. Gather all the ingredients needed before getting started, measure each one, and reserve them until ready to use.
  3. Use a heavy bottom saucepan.
  4. Do not use salted peanuts or pecans, only unsalted.
  5. Only use real unsalted butter. No margarine.
  6. Do not take temperature above 300 degrees or the peanut brittle will become too hard.
  7. Prepare two large baking sheets with unsalted butter.
  8. Place in a heat-safe area and let completely cool before attempting to handle the peanut brittle.
  9. Once cooled, break into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days or so.
 
 
Candy Temperature Stages
  • Thread 223-234 degrees F 106-112 degrees C  Syrup will form a loose thin thread. Used for sugar syrups.
  • Soft Ball 234-240 degrees F 112-115 degrees C  Syrup will form a soft, sticky ball that can be flattened when removed from the water. Used for caramels, fudge, pralines, fondant, and buttercreams.
  • Firm Ball 242-248 degrees F 116-120 degrees C  Syrup will form a firm but pliable, sticky ball that holds its shape briefly. Used for caramels, buttercreams, nougat, marshmallows, Italian meringues, gummies, and toffees.
  • HardBall 250-266 degrees F 122-130 degrees C  Syrup will form a hard, sticky ball that holds its shape. Used for caramels, nougat, divinity, and toffees.
  • Soft Crack 270-290 degrees F 132-143 degrees C  Syrup will form strands that are firm yet pliable. Used for butterscotch, firm nougat, and taffy.
  • Hard Crack 295-310 degrees F 146-155 degrees C Syrup will form threads that are stiff (brittle) and break easily. Used for brittles, toffees, glazed fruit, hard candy, pulled poured, and spun sugar.

Nutrition

Calories: 105kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 146mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 39IUCalcium: 5mg
Keyword Peanut Brittle, Pecan Brittle
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

 

 

 

 

No Southern Holiday would ever be the same without Homemade Peanut and Pecan Brittle on the table ready for those lovely family members and holiday guests. Making peanut and pecan brittle is a family tradition in our Southern homes during the Christmas Season.

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Cindy
    December 14, 2020 at 1:41 am

    I love a good peanut brittle and have been searching for a good recipe that’s easy to follow. Thanks for sharing! This was my first time making it since I usually get my fix from holiday parties. I can’t wait to share these with my family!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    December 13, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    Peanut brittle is so awesome for the holidays! This recipe came out perfect too. Thanks for taking the guesswork out of it as well.

  • Reply
    Sara
    December 13, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    I have always wanted to try making homemade peanut brittle but thought it would be so much more complicated. Thanks for providing such easy to follow instructions.

  • Reply
    Ramona
    December 13, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    This peanut brittle was delicious! I’ve never actually tried to make peanut brittle before today! I will definitely try to make this recipe again.

  • Reply
    Marisa F. Stewart
    December 13, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    This brings back such great memories. My sweet mother-in-law would make peanut brittle every Christmas. She passed away several years ago, and I never got the recipe from her. Yours looks just like hers, and it was so good. I couldn’t wait to make it – I’m so appreciative that I found a recipe like hers.

  • Reply
    Maggie
    December 13, 2020 at 12:33 am

    My family surely did love this Peanut Brittle! It was really delicious and satisfying!

  • Reply
    Eva
    December 12, 2020 at 4:10 am

    I loved reading the historical info about the recipe. I think it’s so fascinating that most recipes happened by mistake! Brittle is not a tradition at my house, but I might make it one after making this recipe.

  • Reply
    Aleta
    December 9, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    It’s not Christmas without Peanut Brittle, and WOW, this recipe is incredible! I was supposed to give it to my friends and family, but my husband and I happen to eat the whole to ourselves… Whoops! It SO looks like I’ll be making another batch!

  • Reply
    Amy
    December 8, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    “Go big or go home”! Hahaha! Love it! Too scared to make a smaller batch now! These will actually make for great edible Christmas gifts. Adding it to the hamper I’m making for my daughter’s teachers.

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