Peanut Brittle: Patience is a Virtue

There are some things in life that take action and others that take patience. Sometimes it’s good to know your flaws and one of my biggest ones is patience; I have very little. My two little people take 95% of that little patience which leaves only 5% for everyone and everything else. However, it never stops people or things from testing that 5%.

Myself included. There are some challenging bakes and desserts that I have avoided making for the sheer knowledge that with very little patience I would not be successful at making them. I also have in the past behaved like a toddler when things didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted. Recently as I feel that I am getting older, funny how certain events make you feel like your growing up more then others, I am testing my patience more and more.

One day when I had some time to myself, meaning no kids or husband to distract me I set to making Peanut Brittle. My good friend has a partner who loves the stuff and would live off of it if he could. It was a surprise gift and one I will hopefully be repeating for him again soon. However, I will share the recipe here in case he or my friend ever wants to try making it themselves!

This is an American recipe using cups and American ingredients. The light corn syrup can be bought online or at bigger Tesco’s that have a World Food Section. You will also need a medium or large heavy bottom sauce pan, a sugar thermometer that has the sugar stages listed on it and easily clips to side of said pan. The last thing you need is patience! You don’t want to rush this otherwise you could burn yourself; hot sugar can give 3rd degree burns so be careful!

Peanut Brittle

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
1 cup of light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups (1 pound) of unsalted shelled peanuts

Heat the oven to 200F or 390/400F grease and line two baking sheets, I used ones that had a slight side to them and store the sheets in the oven. That way when the peanut brittle is poured on them, it will spread smoother. Also grease a metal spatula generously with butter.
Mix the baking soda aka bicarbonate of soda with the water in a small bowl and set aside.
In the medium to large sauce pan, I mentioned above, mix the sugar, water, and corn syrup and heat on a low to medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes until it reaches 240F or soft ball.
Add in the butter and peanuts, continue to cook on a medium heat for about 13-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until it reaches 300F or hard crack. This is where you’ll want to be diligent to make sure it doesn't burn. Take off the heat and stir in the baking soda mixture, it will froth up and be all frothy and bubbly.
Pour about half of the mixture onto each prepared baking sheet (after you’ve taken them out of the oven) and quickly spread until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick using the already buttered spatula! Leave to cool completely for a minimum of an hour. Then have fun breaking it into pieces. I started by slamming the baking sheet down on the counter and continued to break up with the handle of my spatula. Keeps in a sealed container for 2 weeks…if it lasts that long it’s really addicting!

notes: recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s Red Book

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