Sunday, December 22, 2013

Granny's Peanut Brittle

Every Christmas, for as long as I can remember, my grandmother made all the men in our family their own batch of peanut brittle. And as we all got married, that turned into a LOT of peanut brittle. The first Christmas after she had to move to assisted living, my husband commented on how much he was going to miss that peanut brittle. So I got her "special" recipe and made it for him. A few years later, I was comparing her recipe to the one on the back of the peanut bag. OMG! They stole my grandmother's recipe! I'm sure it was the other way around, but my mom and I had a good laugh over it.

Now I make the peanut brittle for James and Chris, and this year have added my gem of a son-in-law, Shaun. Since several people have asked how to make it, I'll share the recipe with you. I slightly changed it to make measuring easier (no one I know has a 1/3 tsp measure). Before starting, measure all ingredients and have them ready to use. Silicone is the peanut brittle maker's best friend! I use a silicone spatula for cooking, and two buttered silicone baking sheets to pour the peanut brittle onto. Makes it really easy to pick up. Traditionally, my grandmother, mom, and I all had big wooden bread boards that had been seasoned really well, which were used when pouring out the molten brittle. Most of the time this worked fine, but occasionally you'd get a batch that stuck to the board and that was NOT fun! I also use a candy thermometer so that I get really consistent results.

Sophie's Peanut Brittle

2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup white Karo (do not use generic brands if they list water in the ingredients)
2 cups raw peanuts
2 Tbl butter
1-1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, bring to a boil sugar, water, and Karo. When the mixture reaches 280º add the peanuts. Stir constantly until mixture turns amber (about 305º to 310º).
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Remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted. Add soda and salt, stirring briefly until creamy. Immediately turn out onto prepared surface.
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Use silicone spatula to spread mixture to thickness of single peanut, and allow to cool.
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Once cool, break into pieces and place in foil-lined tin. I don't know why it has to be foil, but that's the way Gran did it so I do too.
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