Homemade Peanut Brittle is sweet and salty, crispy and crunchy. This classic Christmas treat is easy to make and better than store-bought!
Peanut brittle is one of my husband’s favorite holiday treats so I decided to learn how to make it. It is so delicious that from now on it will be a holiday tradition!
Start by greasing two large, rimmed baking sheets very well with softened butter. Place them in the oven at 175˚F to keep them warm.
Next, mix together the vanilla, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set it aside until later.
Why make the baking soda mixture?
Once the peanut brittle mixture gets to the right temperature and you remove it from the heat, you need to work quickly to add the remaining ingredients before it starts to harden. Combining the vanilla, baking soda, and salt into one bowl makes it convenient to add all three ingredients at the same time.
Then, put the sugar, water, and light corn syrup in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to combine.
Can I use a smaller saucepan?
It is very important to use a large saucepan for this recipe. When you add the baking soda mixture to the syrup, it will foam up and there needs to be enough space so that it doesn’t boil over.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the syrup reaches 240˚F (soft ball stage).
Can I make this peanut brittle recipe without corn syrup?
Corn syrup plays an important role in this peanut brittle recipe. It prevents the sugar from crystalizing and gives the candy a smooth texture. Many of the common corn syrup substitutes aren’t a good choice when making candy. Although if you do want to use a substitute, golden syrup would be the best option for this recipe.
Add the dry, roasted, unsalted peanuts and stir until combined.
Would salted peanuts work?
We made the peanut brittle with unsalted peanuts in the traditional way. But yes, you can use dry, roasted, salted peanuts instead. If you do, you’ll want to skip adding salt to the brittle.
Continue cooking the peanut brittle over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 300˚F.
Can I make this peanut brittle recipe without a candy thermometer?
We highly recommend using a candy thermometer or instant read thermometer (this is the one we used) when making candy. If you don’t have one available, you can use the cold water method to check the different stages.
The first stage of peanut brittle is soft ball stage (240˚F). Drop a small amount of the candy into very cold water. It should form a ball that can be picked up but then flattens when pressed between finger and thumb.
Finally, you’ll want the peanut brittle to reach the hard crack stage (300˚F). Drop a small amount of the candy into very cold water. The candy should separate into hard, brittle threads.
Remove the peanut brittle mixture from the heat and set the hot pan on a trivet. Working quickly, stir in the butter and the prepared baking soda mixture. The peanut brittle mixture will foam up at this point so it is important that your saucepan is large!
Pour half of the peanut brittle mixture into each of the warm, buttered baking sheets.
It is really helpful to have someone available to help you with this step. One person can grab the pans from the oven and scrape the saucepan with a spatula while the second person pours the hot mixture from the saucepans onto the baking sheets.
Allow the peanut brittle to cool and then break it into pieces.
Store the peanut brittle in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two months.
Want more candy recipes? Try these next:
This Toffee Recipe is a homemade version of Almond Roca. A buttery, crunchy treat with milk chocolate that’s perfect for the holidays!
These Nut Goodie Bars are melt-in-your-mouth amazing! The combo of chocolate and maple nougat with peanuts is one of my family’s all-time favorites.
This microwave Caramel Candy recipe makes soft, melt-in-your-mouth caramels that everyone loves! Made with only 5 ingredients, they are a family tradition.
Homemade Peppermint Patties are so easy to make and more delicious than the store bought ones! Cool and minty on the inside with smooth chocolate on the outside, they are a Christmas holiday tradition.