We used to make this every Christmas and store in tall tins saved up from canned cherries.
There’s nothing better than good old fashioned peanut brittle. It was fun to watch Mom closely eye the sugar and corn syrup simmering on the stove. Then when she would add the soda, the action really began. It would foam up quickly and then she would quickly pour the golden molten mixture with the peanuts on the pan to spread out to cool. It was like a golden lava trail.
I remember every fall Mom would purchase big tins of cherries that we would can for making pies and cakes during the winter. Since she never wasted anything, she would recycle (long before recycling was ever made popular) the tins and save them for storing peanut brittle, rosettes, snowball cookies, and sandbakkels in for Christmas.
Prep your pans:
- You’ll need a large sauce pan for stove top cooking.
- Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or brush it with butter. Mom didn’t have any pp paper so she used butter. You'll probably only need one, but she made two ready just in case. There's no extra time when you're quickly pouring the brittle to run and get another buttered pan.
2 C Roasted Peanuts
¾ C Sugar
1 C Corn Syrup
1 C Water
2 T Butter
1 t Vanilla
1 t Soda (baking soda)
Make your brittle:
- Combine all the items, except the peanuts, in the sauce pan.
- Cook it on medium or medium high heat for about 15 minutes until it turns golden brown or reaches 220F degrees on your candy thermometer. I don’t remember Mom ever having a candy thermometer, so she used the soft ball stage test. She would drop a couple drops of the boiled mixture into a cold cup of water. If you could form a soft ball by moving it around, it was done.
- Remove it from the heat.
- Quickly add the vanilla and baking soda.
- Stir it to blend and watch it bubble!
- Pour it quickly into the buttered or parchment paper lined pan and let it flow and spread out. Watch out - it's hot!
- Cool, then crack it into the sizes of pieces you like.
- Store it in a tin in a cool place. I don't believe that she never refrigerated it.
- It was an exceptional treat that she would bring out for special times during Christmas.
Enjoy this crunchy peanut brittle recipe and "Bake your own Memories."