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Peanut Brittle

This classic peanut brittle recipe is easy to make, full of buttery peanut flavor, and is great for packaging up as holiday gifts.

overhead view of peanut brittle on white plate

Peanut Brittle

One of the best things about the holidays is biting into a crunchy, butter shard of peanut brittle.

It's such a classic treat around this time of year. One that my family has enjoyed for decades.

I love making edible gifts for the holidays! Chocolate espresso spoons are often my go-to choice along with chocolate truffles, praline pecans, and peanut brittle.

There are, in fact. many variations of brittle all around the world! This old-fashioned recipe for brittle comes from the United States and uses very basic ingredients like sugar, corn syrup, salt, peanuts, butter, baking soda, and vanilla.

There's a good amount of corn syrup in this recipe to prevent the sugar from crystallizing so the brittle isn't grainy.

The end result is shiny shards of sugary brittle that dissolve on your tongue with crunchy peanuts that are toasty and flavorful.

It is so good and anyone would be happy to receive this edible gift for Christmas!

peanut brittle scattered over silicone mat

Peanut brittle ingredients

The ingredient list for peanut brittle is very basic. To make this old-fashioned peanut brittle, you will need:

  • Water - Needed to dissolve the sugar
  • Sugar - Granulated white sugar is best for making brittle
  • Corn syrup - To help prevent the sugar from crystallizing as it melts
  • Salt - I like to add a little to help balance the sweetness
  • Peanuts - I like to use unsalted, dry roasted peanuts for the best flavor
  • Butter - Adds a buttery richness that peanut brittle is known for
  • Baking soda - Needed to create little air bubbles so the brittle isn't so hard it breaks a tooth
  • Vanilla - Use a high-quality vanilla extract so you get the best flavor
peanut brittle on white plate

How to make peanut brittle?

You will be so surprised at how easy homemade peanut brittle is to make!

1) Start by having all the ingredients measured out beforehand. You need to work fast when making brittle and won't have time to measure as you go.

2) Grease a large baking sheet with nonstick spray or line it with a silicone mat.

3) Cook the water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat until it begins to boil.

4) Insert a candy thermometer and boil without stirring until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 238°F.

5) Stir in the peanuts and continue to boil until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage, 300°F. The syrup will begin to turn golden brown. (It's important to note that once you add the peanuts, keep stirring so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.)

6) Remove the pot from the heat as soon as it reaches 300°F. Immediately stir in the butter, baking soda, and vanilla. The mixture will bubble rapidly and steam up so take care when mixing.

7) Quickly pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a thin layer using the back of a wooden spoon.

It takes about 10-15 for the brittle to cool completely. Once it has cooled, you can gently shimmy a spatula underneath it to loosen it from the pan and break it into pieces.

close up of piece of peanut brittle

Can you pour peanut brittle on parchment paper?

If you want to line your baking sheet with parchment paper, that will work also. But I suggest lightly misting the paper with nonstick spray just as an extra precaution to prevent the paper from sticking to the bottom of the brittle.

How long will peanut brittle last?

Peanut brittle will keep for well up to 2 months if it is stored correctly.

How to store peanut brittle?

Place the peanut brittle in zip-top bags, jar or containers with tight-fitting lids and store in a dark and dry location that stays fairly cool.

The brittle must remain completely dry so refrain from putting in a humid environment like next to the stove or in direct sunlight. It's also best not to store it in the refrigerator.

Fun edible gifts for the holidays

This peanut brittle is perfect for packing up as Christmas gifts. Other fun gifts to pair with brittle are candied orange slices and Mexican hot chocolate fudge bites.

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peanut brittle on white plate

Peanut Brittle

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This classic peanut brittle recipe is easy to make, full of buttery peanut flavor, and is great for packaging up as holiday gifts.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (170 g) light corn syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (146 g) unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Have all the ingredients measured and set out before you begin!
  2. Grease a large baking sheet with butter or nonstick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized heavy bottom pot, stir together the water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. 
  4. Boil without stirring for about 5 minutes until it reaches 238°F on a candy thermometer. 
  5. Add the peanuts and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring constantly, until it reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer. The mixture will be golden brown.
  6. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the butter, baking soda, and vanilla. 
  7. Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it with the back of a wooden spoon until it's the desired thickness and even. 
  8. Let cool 10 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces, using a large spoon. 
  9. Store in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag. The brittle will keep for up to 2 months stored in a dark, dry place that stays fairly cool. 

Notes

Refrain from storing the brittle in the refrigerator, next to the stove, or in direct sunlight. This will degrade the quality and shorten the shelf life.

**Use a heatproof silicone spatula or wooden spoon. If you are unsure if your silicone spatula is heatproof, use a wooden spoon instead. Avoid using plastic or nylon utensils for stirring the brittle because they will melt.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 33g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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Denise

Sunday 20th of December 2020

I have made this many times, but, this year it turned out sticky, everything went well until I bagged it up and tasted it and realized that it stuck to my teeth :( ? could humidity affect the outcome? it was raining outside. If so, how much humidity is to much?

Jen Sobjack

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

It's possible the humidity had an effect. But I also recommend double checking your thermometer to make sure it is accurate. If the brittle doesn't reach the proper temperature, it will not harden properly.

Lauren

Monday 14th of December 2020

This recipe is amazing. I made this during my lunch break, that's how simple it was. I followed the recipe 100 percent and it worked!! Having everything measured out at the beginning really helps with this recipe. Will definitely be making again!

Lori L.

Friday 20th of November 2020

I have never made peanut brittle before but I was up for a challenge. I made this yesterday and it turned out perfect!! I husband finished it off already and I will be making more very soon... Thanks for the video it was also very helpful...

Sheila Flay

Saturday 28th of December 2019

I made this peanut brittle recipe as written on Xmas Eve. I was very disappointed as it would not harden. I had to remake it on Xmas morning and the same thing happened it would not harden. I threw out both the batches. Can you tell me why it did not harden? I followed the recipe to the T.

Karen

Friday 18th of December 2020

Can this recipe be doubled?

Jen Sobjack

Sunday 29th of December 2019

This can happen if you don't let the mixture reach the right temperature. Make sure you are using a candy thermometer. The recipe itself is a solid one and has had a lot of success. You can see photos from others who have made it on Pinterest.

Jo

Monday 11th of November 2019

I make a similar recipe but I like Spanish peanuts and sometimes I use cashews. I do store in mine in the fridge because of the butter. To warm in AZ to keep out.

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