Thursday, October 11, 2012

Peanut Brittle?

So...I make peanut brittle.  Really good peanut brittle.

The chocolate covered peanut brittle in question
A few months ago, I started making peanut brittle.  And it wasn't nearly this pretty.  Or yummy.  That came with skill.  That came with...the vision.

Okay, not a vision-vision, but it was pretty damn magical.

One of my batches...didn't turn out right.  The previous attempts were okay, but this time something went wrong.  What poured out of the pan was certainly was brittle, and it contained peanuts.  But it looked pale and lifeless--and this is prime pot/kettle territory here as I actively avoided the sun all summer. 

I was disappointed and candy-less.  I went to bed and, bestowed like an angel from the heavens, the answer woke me from my sleep.  (Read:  My life is so boring dreams about peanut brittle send me racing from bed.)

For this particular batch, I forgot to add butter.  I secured my house from the wrath of a deranged Paula Deen, and tried making the peanut brittle again the next morning.

The result? Perfect Peanut Brittle.

And it has remained tasty, golden brown, and, occasionally, smothered in chocolate ever since.  I deemed myself the peanut brittle prophet, though my family has refrained from addressing me as such.

Not the greatest story, but it might alleviate some confusion about the blog title.  For anyone curious, the recipe follows:

Peanut Brittle!
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp (probably more) vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup corn syrup
3 TBS butter
Peanuts (Probably 2 cups, depending on your peanuty preference) 
Palmful of cinnamon and nutmeg
Greased cookie sheet
*Candy Thermometer!*

  • Combine the water, sugar, and water in a sturdy pot at a medium-high heat
  • Stir the mixture until it begins to boil
  • (Alton Brown's trick) Once the mixture boils, cover with a lid for three minutes.  
    • This will form condensation on the side of the pot
    • The condensation will roll down along the sides and dissolve any errant sugar crystals
  • While the mixture is boiling, toss your peanuts with a little cinnamon and nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice
  • Once the mixture reaches 300 Degrees F, add in your peanuts and butter
  • Stir like CrAzY until the mixture turns a golden amber color
    • This might take a few minutes, just keep stirring to prevent burning
  • Remove from heat and add your vanilla and baking soda
    • Be warned! The mixture will foam with the addition of baking soda
  • Immediately pour out onto your cookie sheet and spread the mixture thin with a greased or silicone spatula
  • Wait for the mix to harden and say goodbye to your functioning pancreas

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