Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peanut Brittle

So, here's the steps and recipe for the best peanut brittle ever (seriously, this is what many PPL say about it)! I have found out that you can get the silicone baking liners and use them and this eliminates the need to line and grease the pans.

Another thing about candy. Hard candy is dry candy. it's hard because you have cooked out the water. So, if you make hard candy on a humid day it will adsorb the moisture from the air and get tacky Which is why it's really popular in winter (the air is dry). This is also why it is important to make sure you keep it covered. And do not store softer candies along with hard candies. I did this once and my brittle got soft and tacky due to the moisture in the other candies.

Peanut Brittle

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Candies Holiday recipes

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound peanuts -- raw

1. Heat oven to 200°F. Grease 2 cookie sheets, 15 ½ by 12 inches and keep in warm oven. This makes the brittle easier to spread. Grease long metal spatula, or the back of a metal spoon and set aside.

2. Mix baking soda, 1 tsp. water and the vanilla; set aside. Mix sugar, 1 cup. water and the corn syrup in 3-quart sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 240°F on candy thermometer (soft ball stage).

3. Stir in butter and peanuts. Cook, stirring constantly, to 300°F (hard crack stage). Watch carefully so mixture does not burn. Immediately remove from heat. Quickly stir in baking soda mixture until light and foamy.

4. Pour half the candy mixture onto each cookie sheet and quickly spread with buttered spatula about ¼" thick. Cool completely, at least 1 hour. Break into pieces with butter knife handle and store in covered container.

"Betty Crocker cook book"
"2 pounds"
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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 4978 Calories; 258g Fat (43.9%
calories from fat); 117g Protein; 625g Carbohydrate; 39g Dietary Fiber;
93mg Cholesterol; 2728mg Sodium. Exchanges: 4 1/2 Grain(Starch); 15 Lean
Meat; 42 1/2 Fat; 37 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : It is easier to spread the hot brittle by pouring it out onto the sheets and then shaking and rocking to make it flow thin. You do not need a greased spatula or spoon this way. Click on any image if you like for an expanded view.

In this photo the sugar has just dissolved. Because brittle does not have the dairy in it like caramels, you do not need to tend to the pot as often because it will not boil up and over making a mess. Just keep an eye on the temperature.
Here it has reached 240ºF and is ready to have the peanuts and butter added. Make sure you have RAW peanuts because they will cook in the syrup for quite a while and roasted ones will simply burn. 1lb of raw peanuts equals just a bit over 2 cups. You can see the syrup has begun to yellow and the bubbles are a bit thicker. In the cup with the small spatula is my vanilla, water, baking soda mix for later.
Here i have added the peanuts and butter. This will greatly cool down the syrup and it can be a bit stiff to stir as it gets back up to temp. Once the peanuts are in it you will want to keep it moving. More so after they start to cook and darken so they cook evenly. I only use real butter. When it comes to candy, there are so few ingredients I don't dare cut corners!
Here it has reached 300ºF. At this point you will want to work fast! You can see how brown/dark the brittle has gotten and the peanuts are also quite dark. This is good! And by this time your house will be filled with the wonderful smell of roasted peanuts.
Remove it form the heat and take out the thermometer (you will be siring very fast and dumping out the syrup). Pour in your vanilla (again, I only use real vanilla extract), water and baking soda mixture and mix fast and hard. It will froth up as you see in this image. It's quite a neat process. This is how the brittle gets light, bubbly and crunchy. Without the baking soda it would just be a hard lolly pop type substance w/peanuts in it.
As soon as it is all evenly mixed quickly pour it out onto your pans and spread. Make sure you are pouring it onto a flexible surface (don't use pyres or stoneware for example). Candy makers use marble slabs and the candy cools on contact. When it is cooled and done break up and store.

This brittle is light and crunchy with rich flavors. IT does not tack to your teeth or hurt to bite it.
Cleanup is easy! This is just hardened sugar. So, no matter how bad your mess is, just soak in water and give it a bit of time and it will be easy to wash your pans.

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