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Regular Peanut Brittle


Varmint
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Someone has already posted about non-sugar based peanut brittles, but I need help with a standard brittle. I want to make a peanut brittle that has a thin layer of the "brittle" with lots of the peanuts. I'd like the brittle to be fairly translucent, rather than opaque. I do not like the brittle to be the main component -- that's for the peanuts. What's the best way to do this?

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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It may require some experimentation. Straight sugar candy (hard crack) in anything more than a thin layer can break into sharp edges just like glass, and can be a little dangerous. The baking soda introduces air and makes it easier to chew. It also increases the volume of the sugar/corn syrup part, and turns it opaque, which is the opposite of what you want.

My first instinct would be to simply add more peanuts. You'll have to work with it a bit as it's poured out and begins to cool. Some commercial versions involve "stretching", where they literally pull the cooling candy in all directions, which can help thin it out. This would still need baking soda, and would still be opaque. Then try using half of the baking soda if that does not do what you wanted it to. It may be enough to do what you want.

For a clear(er) candy component, you could perhaps use pure sugar vs. a corn syrup/sugar mix and ignore the baking soda Put down a thin layer of the cooked sugar, maybe 50-60% of the batch. Spread with an offset spatula, and use a Silpat. Trust me on that point. While it is cooling, toss the peanuts in the remaining mixture, just enough to coat, then drop them onto the thinned out and cooling candy. You shouldn't have any problems with adhesion this way, and you can control the thickness of the candy component. This will avoid a lot of air bubbles, and you will have a glass-like finish. I do not know how the final texture of this will be. As long as you are talking really thin layers, you should be OK.

You will probably have to experiment with sugar temperatures, but I'd start at about 310F and try until about 330F. Anything farther along than that, you start getting bitter. Which is fine if you are going to make a sauce and add something to mellow it out, but straight sugar cooked to 340+ (in my opinion) is unpleasant.

Peanut brittle. Love the stuff. (Can you tell?) :biggrin:

Edited so I could understoand what I was trying to say. I'm a little dain bramaged today.

Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)
Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I just made a fairly minimalist brittle and it was tasty. I simply boiled some sugar with a bit of water until it was a nice amber color, and then stirred in some lightly salted dry roasted peanuts that were tossed with some cinnamon and a tiny amount of cayenne pepper (try it its good). Then comes the important part. Dump it all onto a greased cookie sheet, and flatten with a greased spatula. Then using two forks stretch it out until the brittle is nice and thin. You can use your hands to stretch after it has cooled enough.

This recipe is pretty similar to Alton Brown's recipe (search on foodtv.com).

This recipe makes a brittle that is clear. Since you are looking for a translucent brittle steer clear of recipes that have baking powder or soda in them, or just leave them out of the recipe. They will cloud up the brittle with lots of little bubbles.

Edited by Scotty O (log)
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I'd use the silpat on the marble. The marble will help cool the candy down effectively, and the silpat will keep it from sticking. It's a good combination, but you would cuss me if you were to pour molten sugar directly on a marble countertop... :biggrin:

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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I would worry that the marble would cool the candy too fast, and you wouldn't have time to sufficiently stretch the brittle. For this reason I would suggest that you use the silpat, but if you don't have that just use a cookie sheet or the marble and make sure its greased and you're golden.

Elyse: The key to no-soda brittle recipes is to stretch the brittle very thin, that way you don't chip a tooth or pierce the roof of your mouth.

One more point I should make, is that in my experience the flavor improves a whole lot after a day or so, so don't be disappointed if the flavor is a little plain when fresh.

Edited by Scotty O (log)
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I wouldn't use marble or a silpat: like you said the marble will be too cool, and the silpat is not necessary. If you just rub a cookie sheet with a bit of peanut oil, so that the brittle will spread more easily, you can even warm your cookie sheet a bit if your kitchen is on the cool side. If you use corn syrup/ baking soda it will be softer and opaque. Toast your nuts and cook sugar to soft crack to make a pleasant texture/ toasty flavor.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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