Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Name that blob
And so it begins...the time for candy-making is officially upon us. Today's confection? Peanut brittle. I love the stuff, but I don't think M shares my affinity for it. More for me, I suppose. After all, I am going to make Peppermint Fudge just for him.
Peanut brittle is one of those things that is full of bizarre memories. There was always peanut brittle at my grandma's around Christmas, but I seem to remember hers being store-bought. I don't know why...it's the easiest candy I've ever made. Much easier than the chocolate covered caramels I made a few years ago. I would imagine that apartment still smells of burnt sugar if you use the back left burner on the stove. I digress...I also remember making peanut brittle over the Bunsen burners in 9th grade science. Lastly, there always seems to have been a box or two of peanut brittle sitting over the microwave at M's parents' house. Amazingly, I've never seen anyone consume peanut brittle there. One of life's great mysteries- right up there with the Easter Island statues.
So, Christmas is really almost here, and I have the candy to prove it. Tomorrow I'll tackle English Toffee- one of M's perennial favorites that I've yet to master. I'll let you know how it goes.
For those of you who are now squirming with anticipation over peanut brittle, here's the recipe. Trust me, it is not a healthy snack.
2/3C Light Karo Syrup
3/4tsp Baking Soda
1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
1-1/2C Salted peanuts
In a heavy 3qt saucepan, combine the sugar, syrup, water, and salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a full rolling boil. Cover and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and insert candy thermometer into pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 300 degrees (hard crack stage). Remove mixture from heat and immediately stir in remaining ingredients. The mixture will bubble and foam. Pour the mixture onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Let cool completely and break into pieces. The candy will keep for a week at room temperature or up to a month in the refrigerator- in an air-tight container, of course.
Enjoy. For the record, you don't have to use peanuts. I've heard that Macadamia nuts are a very tasty alternative.