Peanut Brittle. That’s what that funny little cluster in the photo is. Ridiculously delicious. Ridiculously unphotogenic. Ridiculously “more-ish”. Ridiculously easy to make. Ridiculously easy to burn. Ok, now that that’s all out of the way, let’s have some brittle…
It’s been a while since I made a nut brittle — years. The last time I attempted making some without regular sugar I ended up with a sticky maple mess, so the prospect of trying it again was not very appealing — hence “years”. But somehow the sight of coconut sugar on my shelf alongside some peanuts sealed the deal. Before I knew it, I was holding delicious dark and handsome brittle in my hand… and I was happy.
Ok, confession time… maybe it wasn’t exactly “before I knew it”. Maybe it was “a few burnt pots later” but you know what I mean… It just took me some to figure out how to make it work with coconut sugar. And speaking of burnt pots — a few tips:
1. It’s very easy to burn sugar when working on candy recipes, so watch your pot and thermometer like a hawk as that temperature rises. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction… and you have a “situation.”
2. To avoid burns, better take it slower and heat up the sugar on a lower heat setting (I know, it can be a slow process sometimes… but nothing is more daunting than having to scrub off that pot if things go awry, so in fact you’re saving yourself time by going slower here). P.S. if you ever do burn the pot, try the baking soda trick (boil a bit of water in the pot mixed with a layer of baking soda — the bubbling action helps the burnt residue to separate a bit, which makes it easier to scrub off later. I do this on repeat sometimes — because I’m a serial pot burner no matter what I make ??).
3. You’re heating up a sticky substance to A VERY HOT temperature. Please be careful not to burn yourself.
4. You sort of need to work quickly once the mixture is ready, so make sure you have all your things lined up and ready to go beforehand so you’re not scrambling.
- 1 cup roasted peanuts (I roasted some raw ones in the oven)
- 1 cup coconut palm sugar
- 6 tbsp water
- ¼ tsp salt
- Have your roasted peanuts, salt, a wooden spoon, a rolling pin, and 2 sheets of parchment paper ready on the counter.
- Place sugar and water in a medium-small heavy-bottomed sauce pan (heavy-bottomed is important, otherwise the sugar is more likely to burn. I used one that’s 2.5QT). Warm on medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved into the liquid, stirring occasionally. Once mixture begins to simmer, lower heat (I had mine set somewhere between 3 – 4 out of 9 settings). Stick a candy thermometer in the pan and allow the mixture to cook until it reaches 275F (close to hard crack stage). Keep a close eye to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn towards the end of the process.
- Once sugar mixture is ready, take it off the heat, quickly stir in salt and peanuts. Scoop the mixture out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a second piece of parchment and roll out into a flat shape with a rolling pin (it helps to hold the edges of one corner in place by pressing it to the counter with your waist / hip as you roll away from yourself). Allow the brittle to cool an hour or two — until dry. Remove the parchment paper and snap the brittle into pieces. Enjoy! Store in an air-tight container at room temperature or refrigerate.