Classic peanut brittle = old people and Christmas, old people and Christmas, old people and Christmas. For whatever reason, those are the two reasons people purchase peanut brittle. If you are old, or if it's the Holidays. I'M GOING TO TRY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND, okay?
Classic peanut brittle is sweet, salty, crispy, and crunchy, It is melt in your mouth satisfying that packs a flavorful punch that other salty snacks like pretzels, or other hard candy like jolly ranchers, just can't compete with. Need a snack for watching Netflix? Peanut brittle. Need something to pair with your mid day apple so it's not as sad and boring? Peanut brittle. Need something while you are drinking and have to fill your mouth so you don't speak poorly about your in-laws? Peanut brittle.
Make it. Chocolate cover it or don't. Join me on team peanut brittle, it's the place to be.
Ingredients - classic peanut brittle
- white sugar is best for peanut brittle. brown sugar may pull too much moisture and leave the brittle not crispy enough while eating.
- corn syrup
- baking soda
- unsalted peanuts
- using salted peanuts will cause the brittle to be too salty. It is best to control the salt level by adding it in to the syrup mix.
- chocolate for dipping
- you do not want to use chocolate chips. I like to use Barry Callebaut chocolate, but you can use chocolate bars from the store as well.
Equipment - classic peanut brittle
- large, heavy duty, thick bottomed pot
- candy thermometer
- heat proof spatula or wooden spoon
- 12" x 17" sheet pan
- dipping fork for covering brittle pieces in chocolate
- large glass bowl for melting and tempering chocolate
The cool thing about peanut brittle is almost all of the ingredients go into the pot at once to cook. Only a few get left out to be added at the end.
- Prep your baking sheet for pouring the hot brittle on once it's done cooking. You'll be stirring the whole time and will not have time to do this while it is cooking. Prep the sheet by either using a light layer of cooking spray on the sheet or parchment paper without cooking spray.
- Weigh out all of your ingredients and have them ready to go before putting them in your pot.
- Have the final ingredients: baking soda, peanuts, and vanilla, set beside the cooking pot. You'll add them in immediately once the cooking is done.
My top tips:
- Peanut brittle lasts a long time if you store it properly. Airtight containers will give you a shelf life of at least 3 months. If you happen to have a nitrogen flush machine you're looking at a year long.
- Peanut brittle shouldn't be eaten right away. It takes around 24 hours for the sugar structure to set up and give you that really crispy melt in your mouth texture.
- Don't press out all the air the baking soda gives you. Spread, don't press.
Storage and shelf life
Store an an airtight container. Chocolate covered peanut brittle will last around 6 months before flavor changes are noticeable.
Confused about if brittle and toffee are the same thing? You need to check out my article on brittle, toffee, and butter crunch.
Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle
- thick bottomed heavy duty pot 8 quart minimum
- large sheet pan, at least 12 x 17
- 500 grams sugar
- 230 grams butter
- 475 grams corn syrup
- 8 grams salt
- 160 grams water
- 28 grams baking soda
- 5 grams vanilla
- 336 grams unsalted cocktail peanuts
- 3 pounds tempered chocolate or candy melts
- Prepare your workspace by lining your sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a heavy duty thick bottomed pot, combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, water, and salt. Don't start cooking yet.
- In separate containers, measure out your baking soda, vanilla, and peanuts. Set aside but have them close by.
- Cook your syrup slurry over high heat until 308F. This takes approximately 25 minutes from start to finish. The syrup will be a light blonde color.
- When syrup reaches 308F, turn off the heat. Add in vanilla, stir.
- Add in baking soda, stir until combined but not vigorously. You want to keep the air trapped in the syrup. Fold in peanuts. When you add the baking soda, the syrup will change to a golden hue.
- Spread on prepared sheet. Spread the mass to keep it from being thick, but do not press all of the air out.
- Cool completely. Break once cooled. Store in an airtight container if not chocolate covering.
- Melt and temper chocolate. Dip peanut brittle pieces, place on parchment. Drizzle if desired.