MUST HAVE!... Heavy 6 quart Dutch Oven pot. Mine is an old 1970's Club Aluminum. It's perfect! You need a heavy THICK pot so it won't scorch. (They can be found at thrift stores & garage sales.)
TIP: Simple to measure out 3 Tbsp's by reading wrapper. Just cut off section.
TIP: I set butter on top of peanuts as they're both poured into hot mixture at once when you need to move quickly.
Gather supplies. Heat oven to 270°. Measure and mix 1-1/2 Cups sugar & 1 cup each light corn syrup and water into your pot. Attach candy thermometer to edge.
You also need short tiny spatula & small plastic bowl so vanilla, soda & water is ready to add quickly.
Using paper towel, grease 2 cookie sheets with butter. I use non-stick pans.
It's important to generously grease entire surface.
Place cookie sheets into warm oven. The key to being able to spread peanut brittle is having the cookie sheets WARM.
Measure vanilla, soda & water into small container. TIP: Use tiny spatula and have it mixed and ready. It WILL separate so at the last minute you'll have to mix again & pour in QUCKLY!
You'll have to re-mix again at the last seconds.
I fill to 1 cup line with HOT water, them pour corn syrup on top to 2-cup line. TIP: hot water just makes it easier to pour both out into dutch oven.
Mix sugar, 1 cup water and 1 cup corn syrup into Dutch oven pot.
Stir to mix with wooden spoon.
MUST HAVE... Oven mitts. (I know of someone who needed 3 surgeries due to peanut brittle burns.) Be very careful!
I set burner to high and watch closely.
Early on it boils vigorously but only needs occasional stirring.
As it approaches 240°, you'll need to stir more.
First step is to get it to 240°. TIP: You need to scoop mixture up onto thermometer to get accurate reading.
Approaching 240° it. Gets thicker and turns more of a yellow color. Be ready to pour in peanuts and butter as soon as it reaches 240°!
Now you will stir vigorously to 300° and move cookie sheets from oven to counter. I often get my husband's help with this if he's around & to stir in the soda,water, vanilla mixture. Otherwise I do it
I hold the thermometer and edge of pan together. The oven mitts are critical.
You MUST keep the mixture moving to avoid scorching. You WILL feel it in your wrist.
TIP: peanut brittle MUST REACH 300° ! This is what makes it a hard crack.
Once it reaches 300° remove from heat IMMEDIATELY pour in soda, water, vanilla mixture in. My husband filmed the stirring for this guide and he poured in the vanilla mixture.
It will sizzle & steam when the soda, water, vanilla hits it. You must stir it in QUICKLY. It will brown up the peanut brittle and smell delicious at this point.
Pour onto WARM, buttered cookie sheets and quickly spread.
First I spread with wooden spoon and then switch to my Pampered Chef silicone spatula because it doesn't stick and won't melt from the HOT mixture.
This spatula works great!
Since sheets are warm, you have a couple minutes to spread evenly.
Let cool on sheets on wire rack.
Once cooled, it should lift right off cookie sheets.
Because it was cooked to 300°, it will be nice and brittle!
I give Peanut Brittle as gifts at Christmas. It stores well in covered container at room temperature away from high humidity.
If you're a Peanut Brittle fan, I guarantee you will love this! I didn't really eat it much for almost 40 years. For me it was fun to make it for others.
I dedicate this to my Dad who loves Peanut Brittle. Because of him I first learned to make it & for 40 years, was his birthday, Fathers Day & Christmas gift. He suffers dementia now at 84. Love ya Dad