1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 ½ cups (12 ounces) dry-roasted, salted peanuts
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon baking soda
Line a jelly roll pan with a Silpat or parchment. If you are using parchment, spray it with oil and flour baking spray.
Combine sugar, and corn syrup in a large heavy saucepan. Set over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Use a large saucepan as the mixture will double in size when you add the remaining ingredients.
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Continue boiling, without stirring, until temperature reaches 295 degrees, about 6 minutes. Using a candy thermometer is essential because even a few degrees can make the difference between brittle that hardens properly and overcooked burnt caramel. When the sugar begins to brown, add the nuts and stir gently to ensure even cooking. Once the nuts are coated with the sugar mixture remove saucepan from heat, and stir in the butter or margarine and baking soda; the mixture will begin to foam up, so mix quickly and carefully. Once it is fully combined, pour the mixture onto the prepared baking pan. Using a greased spatula spread the mixture as thinly as possible on the pan.
Allow the brittle to cool completely, about 45 minutes, and then break into bite-size pieces. Store airtight up to 2 weeks.
Baking soda is added to lighten the sugar and give an "easier bite" to the peanut brittle, causing it to break easily when you bite into it. It also makes the sugar base around the peanuts opaque by foaming up and causing small air bubbles in the sugar syrup. If the brittle is to be used for a cake garnish, you can omit the baking soda so that it’s clear instead of opaque—but it will also be harder to eat.
Foods with high sugar content, like peanut brittle, tend to draw moisture from the air, so try to make this candy when the weather is sunny and dry rather than humid or rainy.
Combine your homemade peanut brittle with our ready-made caramel and store-bought ice cream for an extra special dessert.