For as long as I can remember, my mother’s childhood best friend, Betty (I’ll call her “Aunt” Betty since she’s loved and been there for us like one of my real aunts), has made peanut brittle — and it’s the best peanut brittle I’ve ever tasted. Hands down. My siblings and I still crave it every Christmas season.
Last December, I introduced this wonderful easy candy to my (new) kids, and my niece Jade, to become one of our own Christmas traditions as a newly married family. The kids had a blast cooking the brittle, breaking it up, and packaging it into cute little gift bags to take to their friends at school. This year, our 15 year old daughter Kellie got the added bonus of earning extra credit in her honors chemistry class for the candy-making process!
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup karo syrup
- 2 cups raw peanuts
- 2 teaspoons baking soda (plus extra for greasing the cookie sheets)
- 1 tablespoon butter (we used unsalted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine the sugar, water and karo syrup in a medium saucepan.
- Cook until the mixture spins a thread (300F).
- Add the peanuts and cook until the mixture turns the same color brown as the peanuts (approx 3 minutes). Remove from the stove.
- Add the baking soda, the 1 tablespoon of butter and the vanilla. Stir well.
- Pour onto 2 buttered cookie sheets (do NOT line with wax paper).
- Once cooled and hardened, use a spatula to break into pieces.