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Heirloom Peanut Brittle — Four Generations and Counting

Grandma’s Homemade Peanut Brittle

Do not double this recipe. Make successive batches if you want more than one batch.

  • 2 cups granulated sugarGrandma's Heirloom Peanut Brittle [1]
  • 1 cup white Karo corn syrup
  • 2 cups raw Spanish peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

In a medium heavy pot, mix sugar and syrup and stir well while cooking. When it has melted and comes to a boil, add peanuts; cook until light honey brown colored (300 degrees on a candy thermometer). While this is cooking, in a small ramekin, stir butter and baking soda into a paste; set aside. Butter the marble slab. When peanut mixture achieves correct temperature, remove pot from fire and stir in butter-soda paste. Then pour mixture out on a marble slab that has been greased with butter. Using buttered hands, quickly pull very thin. Brittle is quite hot, so work quickly. When you have a piece at the edge that is as thin as you like, use a kitchen food shears to snip it off and set it aside. Continue working until all brittle is pulled thin and snipped off.

Makes 3 packages of peanut brittle.

Tips

  • This calls for raw Spanish peanuts, which generally start to show up in grocery stores in November, in time for brittle making. You can also find them in bulk at some health food stores.
  • For best results, do not make this when it is very humid or rainy. The sugar will get sticky and you won’t be able to pull it as thin as you want to.
  • Charlene gets her cellophane packages off the Internet, but advises that you can buy them at candy or paper goods stores, as well. She recommends cellophane bags with pleated sides, for the best volume.
  • Be sure to use a pretty bow – wire ribbon is useful for this.
  • You may also package the brittle on a nice plate and wrap in cellophane.

What are Spanish peanuts?

An answer that is a mashup from several Internet sources: “Spanish” peanuts are considered by many to be the most flavorful peanut, and this variety is one of the four most popular types of peanuts grown for commercial use today (others are Virginia, Runner, and Valencia). Spanish peanuts are high in oil and flavor, have smaller kernels than Virginia or Runner peanuts, have red skins and are used mostly for peanut candy, salted nuts, and peanut butter. They’re called Spanish peanuts because those varieties – now grown in South Africa and the U.S., mostly – were developed in Spain, in the late 18th century.