My husband loves peanuts. Seriously. He buys them in the shell, and cracks them several times a week
In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. NOTE: Using a candy thermometer, I waited until the hot liquid reached 250F, before adding the peanuts. Reviews suggested this, so that I didn't risk burning the peanuts. Stir in peanuts.
Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking.
...we're going for a final temperature of 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
Once the candy reaches that hard ball stage, remove from heat; immediately stir in butter, vanilla and baking soda; pour at once onto a very heavily greased sheet (covered with foil) or on a Silpat mat.
You really have to move fast, so be sure you have your sheet ready to go. I simply tilted my baking sheet, with the silicone mat, to evenly spread the peanut brittle.
This is really hot, so be very careful!
See? Spreading with a spatula isn't the greatest idea. I'm glad that I used a silicone spatula, for easier clean up.
Once the brittle is cooled (and that happens pretty fast), break the candy into pieces.
here. The original recipes called for one cup of peanuts, but I used two cups--and I'm glad that I did! I also added vanilla, and that was perfect, too. Honestly, this brittle was as good (if not better) than the one I bought at that candy store. I was surprised at how easy it is to make, and I can see making these as Christmas gifts. CLEANUP: I found that, once my pot had cooled, that simply soaking it with water dissolved the leftover candy and the pot was as good as new. The silpat mat also made cleanup a breeze. If you don't have one, I definitely suggest foil wrapping a baking sheet, and grease it very well!
A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.
Oh, tomorrow morning we're off on a road trip, for a few days, to our timeshare in the Napa-Sonoma area for Fall Break. See what I mean? Working for a school district has it's perks-- and trust me, I'm very thankful.