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Peanut Brittle

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Peanut Brittle is a classic holiday candy. Package your homemade brittle up in pretty tins for a delicious homemade holiday gift.

Plate stacked high with pieces of peanut brittle

I always associate peanut brittle with the holidays, even though you can make it any time of year.

My nana – who taught me how to make pumpkin rolls, among other holiday favorites – always had a tin of peanut brittle out during the holidays. When I want to feel like I’m with her again, a piece of peanut brittle always does the trick.

This easy homemade candy is a crowd pleaser thanks to that crunchy sweet and salty combination. It is so great to add to a holiday cookie platter or package up to gift to friends and neighbors.

Really, you can’t go wrong with this classic!

Peanut brittle ingredients arranged on a white countertop

WHAT IS BRITTLE? 

You’ve probably enjoyed pecan brittle or mixed nut brittle before, but you might not know what exactly it is.

Brittle is a candy made of hard, cooked sugar and pieces of nuts. It’s usually very thin, which allows it to break easily — hence the name brittle!

There are variations of brittle around the world made with things like pistachios or sesame seeds (I really can’t stop thinking about sesame brittle), but my favorite is peanut brittle.

Peanut brittle starting to cook in a saucepan with a candy thermometer

INGREDIENTS FOR THIS PEANUT BRITTLE RECIPE

Homemade candy seems intimidating, but you only need a few ingredients. In fact, you might already have everything on hand!

  • Granulated sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Salted peanuts
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
Peanut brittle halfway cooked in a saucepan

Don’t be concerned about the corn syrup here. It helps the candy form without sugar crystals to make it smooth. It also ensures the candy cools with a nice hard crack.

Be sure to use salted peanuts. You can use lightly salted if you prefer, but the salt adds so much flavor to the recipe. 

For a variation, you could add a small amount of ground chile pepper to make a sweet and spicy candy!

Peanut brittle fully cooked and ready to spread on a baking sheet

RECIPE TIPS

To make homemade peanut brittle, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Gather your ingredients and tools ahead of time! When making candy, the process goes from slow to quick in the blink of an eye, and having everything ready will ensure a successful batch.
Peanut brittle cooling on a parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Use a candy thermometer. This is an absolute essential for making candy. Candy thermometers are inexpensive and can be found at big box stores or even the grocery store. Plus, they clip onto the side of your pot, so you don’t need to worry about holding it in place.
  • Pour the cooked candy carefully onto the baking sheet. Remember, you just brought it up to 300°F!
  • Let the peanut candy cool completely before breaking it into pieces. The brittle should snap apart easily without needing to use a knife.
Broken pieces of peanut brittle on a baking sheet

STORAGE TIPS

If you’re making this peanut brittle recipe for gifting, you’re in luck! It stores beautifully packaged into holiday tins. Be sure to line the tins with waxed or parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Homemade peanut brittle should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Do not store it in the refrigerator, as it can take in moisture and lose its snap. 

Close up of a white package filled with peanut brittle. The package is tied with red and white twine and has a tag that reads "peanut brittle"

However, you can freeze it! Place the brittle into an airtight, freezer-safe container. It can last for up to 3 months. 

When storing on the counter, make sure the container is tightly sealed. Brittle should last for up to 3 weeks.

White plate with several pieces of peanut brittle on it

If you live in a humid climate, I recommend layering your brittle between pieces of waxed paper to prevent any sticking.

Pack this peanut brittle recipe with chai spiced candied pecans for the perfect holiday gift!

Several twine-tied packages of peanut brittle, tagged and ready for gifting
Broken pieces of peanut brittle on a baking sheet

Peanut Brittle

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Peanut Brittle is a classic holiday candy. Package your homemade brittle up in pretty tins for a delicious homemade holiday gift.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  1. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Since this recipe moves quickly, I recommend you measure out and organize your ingredients before you start the cooking process.
  3. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add in peanuts and stir until combined.
  5. Place a candy thermometer into the mixture and continue cooking, stirring  frequently until temperature reaches 300°F.
  6. Immediately remove saucepan from heat and quickly stir in butter, vanilla, and baking soda.
  7. Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a rubber spatula, spread the mixture into a rectangle about 14x12 inches.
  8. Cool completely at room temperature.
  9. Snap candy into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 10
Amount Per Serving Calories 233Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 6mgSodium 268mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 1gSugar 34gProtein 4g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on social! I want to see what you made! @jamiemba

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Carol Jean Painter

Saturday 26th of November 2022

Do you have to use salted butter?

carol hawley

Sunday 26th of December 2021

would you have a recipe for microwave peanut brittle

Jamie

Monday 17th of January 2022

Hi Carol- I am sorry, I don't have one. Thanks for stopping by though. -Jamie

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