I remember tins of peanut brittle although I don’t remember exactly where they came from so when King Arthur Baking sent out this Microwave Nut Brittle recipe in a weekly email blast, it seemed like an opportunity to try something from long-ago memory.
When I think of handmade gifts for giving at the holidays, I’ve shied away from making nut brittle, especially now, as I don’t do enough candy-making to warrant having a candy thermometer in my tool drawer. Also, the making part of this involves corn syrup, something I don’t often keep in the pantry.
With a thought that perhaps COVID lockdowns are making me a bit nostalgic, I decided to give this candy a try. It looks similar to the peanut brittle we used to get out of those tins and by preparing it with a microwave, it seemed pretty easy to pull off. The original post on King Arthur’s website contains nutritional information.
- 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (156g) light corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups (213g) salted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon (14g) butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Spray a wooden spoon (or other heat-proof stirring implement) with non-stick cooking spray. Lightly grease a 10″ x 15″ or larger baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
- Mix together the sugar and corn syrup in a large microwave-safe bowl and stir until well combined; the mixture will be stiff and hard to stir. Be sure to use a large enough bowl; the sugar/corn syrup should fill it no more than 1/4 to 1/3 full.
- Microwave the sugar mixture uncovered on high power for 5 minutes; it will bubble vigorously.
- Add the peanuts and butter, and stir well to combine. Speed is key! The cooler the mixture becomes the harder it will be to stir.
- Replace the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 2 to 4 minutes, until the mixture turns a nice medium-brown caramel color. Start watching carefully around the 2-minute mark, and remove when the caramel color is achieved. (I found 2 minutes to be the right timing)
- Add the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will bubble furiously upon the addition of these ingredients — this is what gives the candy its hallmark airy texture. (This is also why you need to use a large bowl.) Stir quickly to combine. The finished mixture will look creamy and caramelized.
- Working quickly, pour the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and spread it as evenly as possible. If you end up with an uneven spread, don’t worry — the candy should still set up nicely, even in the thicker areas.
- Once the brittle has set and cooled (30 to 60 minutes), break it into pieces.