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Classic Peanut Brittle

There are some flavors and recipes that just take me back in time. Peanut Brittle is one of them! My Grandmother loved it and I loved watching her make it every Christmas, as it’s a labor of love. It’s a sweet crisp candy that has salted peanuts throughout, with a dark vanilla flavor. This old-fashioned stovetop Peanut Brittle recipe is the classic version! It doesn’t get more vintage than this.

Old-fashioned Peanut Brittle recipe

If you’ve never had Peanut Brittle before, it’s light and crisp. You can easily break it apart and nuts add a great salty flavor. I say it’s a labor of love because there’s a lot of stirring over a hot pot. Nothing is baked, but you’ve got a little bit of work over the stovetop.

The end result is worth it and people pay for Peanut Brittle that tastes this good. I make it every Christmas and give it away as gifts. Neighbors, friends and family members look forward to their Peanut Brittle every year. It’s much more unique than cookies and has such a delicious flavor.

Do you need even more Christmas candy recipes to make? I’ve got some classic candies that people love making during the holiday season:

How To Make Peanut Brittle On The Stovetop

For this recipe, you’ll need a deep pot and a candy thermometer that clips to the side of your pot. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid metal and stir with a wooden spoon (so heat can’t transfer up to your hand) and I wear an oven mitt. The candy needs to eventually reach 300ºF, so protecting your hand and using a deep pot is so important.

The brittle goes into a half-sheet pan to set. Measurements for the half-sheet pan are 18 x 13 x 1 inches high.

Classic Peanut Brittle Recipe
This Peanut Brittle is just like what your Grandmother used to make! Such a classic!

Brief History of Peanut Brittle Candy

Did you know that National Peanut Brittle Day is January 26th? Like many great recipes in the kitchen, the brittle might’ve been made by accident! It’s said it started in Europe before it came to the U.S. The story goes that a woman was making taffy and accidentally added baking soda. She kept making the candy and invented brittle!

Read more about the History of Peanut Brittle and some of the theories that exist about its origin.

What To Serve With Peanut Brittle

I love to crunch on Peanut Brittle by itself, but it makes a great ice cream topping if you crumble it. My husband loves to enjoy his with a hot cup of coffee. Its truly a dessert that’s great on it’s own. At Christmas, I’ll bring a big tray of cookies and candies out after dinnertime. Everyone reaches for the Peanut Brittle first.

How To Prepare BEFORE Making Your Peanut Brittle

You have to work fast when you’re making candy. I like to prep everything beforehand, so I’m not running around the kitchen when there is piping hot ingredients that could burn. Prepare your butter by chopping it into chunks and add it to a bowl with the salted peanuts.

Measure out the vanilla extract and baking soda. Keep all of those ingredients nearby, BEFORE you start to make your candy.

I also make sure my candy thermometer is securely fastened onto my pot because you’ll depend on it. After that is all prepped, you can begin to make your candy. I DO NOT recommend starting the recipe without prepping your ingredients. Or else you’ll burn the candy while collecting ingredients in the kitchen.

How To Keep Peanut Brittle Fresh

Here’s what I love about this recipe! It will last for months. Store your brittle in an airtight food storage container and keep it away from direct heat. I keep ours in the pantry. I’ll make the brittle in November and serve it throughout the holiday season. The sugar acts as a preservative.

Can You Freeze The Candy?

You don’t need to! I’m sure you can freeze it, but it will last such a long time in the pantry that you don’t need to do so. Save your freezer space for the Christmas cookies.

Recipe Substitutions

Not a fan of peanuts? Don’t worry! Make your brittle with peanuts, almonds, or pecans. It will still break into pieces and come out beautifully. Other than that, there’s not many other recipe substitutions because there’s so little ingredients to begin with.

What You’ll Need From The Grocery Store:

  • Light Corn Syrup
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Water
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Lightly Salted Peanuts
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Baking Soda

How To Make Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle

Line a half-sheet with parchment paper and butter the sides generously. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, light corn syrup and water. Bring it a boil, over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

light corn syrup and granulated sugar

Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 280ºF on the candy thermometer. Add the butter and peanuts. Continue to cook, vigorously stirring, until the candy reaches 300ºF (about another 7 minutes).

Peanuts and Unsalted Buter in Bowl

When the candy reaches 300ºF, immediately remove it from the heat. Add the baking soda and vanilla extract, stirring vigorously to combine.

Immediately pour the hot brittle mixture onto the baking pan. Tilt and jiggle the brittle until it spreads out. Let the Peanut Brittle set until completely hard (about 30 minutes) and cooled.

Pouring brittle into baking pan

Use a mallet, or back of spoon, to break the brittle in the center. After that, break of additional pieces using your hands. Store in an airtight container.

Peanut Brittle Pieces
Yield: 36 Servings

Classic Peanut Brittle

Classic Peanut Brittle Recipe

This old-fashioned Peanut Brittle recipe has a crisp and light texture, with salted peanuts throughout.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Cubed
  • 3 Cups Lightly Salted Peanuts
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

Instructions

1. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper and butter the sides generously. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, light corn syrup and water. Bring it a boil, over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

2. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 280ºF on the candy thermometer. Add the butter and peanuts. Continue to cook, vigorously stirring, until the candy reaches 300ºF (about another 7 minutes).

3. When the candy reaches 300ºF, immediately remove it from the heat. Add the baking soda and vanilla extract, stirring vigorously to combine.

4. Immediately pour the hot brittle mixture onto the baking pan. Tilt and jiggle the brittle until it spreads out. Let the Peanut Brittle set until completely hard (about 30 minutes) and cooled.

5. Use a mallet, or back of spoon, to break the brittle in the center. After that, break of additional pieces using your hands. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Store leftover Peanut Brittle in an airtight food storage container.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g

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