Yesterday I made Peanut Brittle for the first time. Mama didn't like peanuts so we never made peanut brittle and I have just never gotten around to making it before.
Julie makes it every year with her family and some friends, and she brought some to Creative Sisterhood the other night. I've had it before and it's just delicious. Of course, how could something who's main ingredients are sugar and liquified sugar (syrup) not be yummy?
Once I had the mixture cooking I realized that neither of the two candy thermometers I had were working properly. So, some guess work entered into the process.
My mother always made candy without a thermometer, but I ain't my Mama. I need tools to help me. Even with them sometimes I get it just right and sometimes I get it close to right.
I think I cooked my peanut brittle a little longer than Julie did because mine is a more carmelized color. But, it's tasty. And, I have to confess, I love the crunch when you twist the cookie sheet and it cracks on its own. Fun!
OK, so maybe I'm easily amused. OK, so I know I'm easily amused. But, hey, I'm happy most of the time, too... so there you go.
I'm sure this will not be my last batch of peanut brittle. I'm also thinking cashews or almonds would be good instead of peanuts. Again, what can't be improved by being encased in cooked sugar?
As I write this, I have a sponge cake in the oven. Oddly enough, I've never made a sponge cake either. Considering how much I cook it's amazing I haven't, but I haven't. There has to be a first time for everything.
I used the recipe from the nut factory:
Traditional Peanut Brittle
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
2 cups raw Spanish peanuts
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. baking soda
Heat and stir sugar, syrup and water in a heavy 3-quart saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Add salt. Cook over medium heat to soft ball stage (234 degrees). Add peanuts at 250 degrees. Cook to hard crack stage (290 degrees), stirring often. Remove from heat.
Quickly, stir in butter and soda. Beat to a froth for a few seconds. Pour at once onto 2 well-buttered 15-1/2x10-1/2x1-inch pans, spreading with spatula. If desired, cool slightly and pull with forks to stretch thin. Break up when cold.
Yield: About 1-1/2 pounds of peanut brittle.