Of everything she made, she did do toffee and peanut brittle well. Very well. I don’t remember her making these annually, only a handful of times come to mind, but her peanut brittle really stands out in my mind. Her peanut brittle was just as peanut brittle should be, sweet and salty, hard and crunchy, packed with air bubbles to make it easier to chew, buttery and addicting. When she passed away my mother inherited many of her cookbooks and the last few years I’ve been asking for this recipe and finally got my hands on it this year. I even special ordered some corn syrup so I could make it authentically (corn syrup is not a thing here in the UK).
Before my mom found this recipe, I tried a different one, one with only two ingredients. I was doubtful, but I thought I’d try it out, especially since it didn’t call for corn syrup like so many other recipes I found did. It was not great. It wasn’t bad, but not what you search for in peanut brittle. I loved the idea of that recipe, how cool would it be for it to work out with just sugar and peanuts, but the toffee bits were just too hard, you really need the baking soda to give it those air pockets that allow you to easier chew through the bites. And as great as sugar is, it really is so much better when paired with a little butter and vanilla. So, with Christmas less than a week away, if you’re in search of a great neighbour gift, or just need a few more sweets in your life before starting those new years resolutions, go ahead and give this recipe a try. You can thank me later, or curse me for providing you with such an addicting recipe (I’ve eaten far too much of what we made…maybe it’s time to get to know my neighbours a little better so I have somewhere to unload all these sweets).
- 1 cup white corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups peanuts
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp baking soda
- Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a 2 or 3 quart sauce pan, cook syrup, water, and sugar to soft ball stage or 2 inch thread, stirring occasionally.
- Add peanuts and continue cooking, stirring constantly until mixture turns light golden in colour, this should happen around the hard crack stage.
- Turn off heat. Add butter, salt, vanilla, and baking soda and stir till combined.
- Pour on to prepared cookie cookie sheet and let harden about 10-15 minutes.
- Have butter, salt, vanilla and baking soda pre-measured and ready to go so you can throw them all in once you are ready to turn the heat off.