Saturday, November 20, 2010

Grandma Mimi's Peanut Brittle

My mother-in-law was a true Southern belle with the cutest little drawl she never completely lost, even though she lived here in Minnesota for many years. She was an amazing cook and shared lots of great recipes with me. This is her recipe for a truly fantastic peanut brittle that's easy to make. It's still one of my husband's favorite treats.

Mimi always said it had to be very cold outside to make good peanut brittle. If it was too warm or humid, it wouldn't set up right. Consequently, we only made it around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once the peanut brittle was in the pan, Mimi would set it to cool out in the garage, on top of her old Buick.

Be sure to have the ingredients measured out and ready when you begin since you won't have time to measure anything once you get started. You have to work quickly and carefully, because the mixture will be VERY hot and will harden very fast. I've burned myself on the hot brittle, so I really want to stress caution. This makes a perfect hostess gift and a yummy addition to a plate of Christmas cookies!

2 cups white sugar
1 cup Karo (white) syrup
1/2 cup water
2-3 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
3 scant cups unroasted peanuts
2 tsp. baking soda

1. Boil the sugar, Karo, water and salt until mixture “cracks” on the side of a cup!
2. Add butter and unroasted peanuts. Boil approximately 8 minutes or until the syrup around the edges starts to turn yellow and you can smell the odor of roasted peanuts.
3. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Stir briskly for 1 second to mix in the soda.
4. Pour immediately onto a large, previously buttered, baking sheet with sides. With 2 forks, lift and pull peanut mixture into rectangle.
5. Cool completely. Snap candy into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

It's very important to work quickly because the peanut brittle will start to get hard as it cools.

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