Are you ready to have your mind blown? This phenomenally delicate, light as air peanut brittle is the easiest candy making project on the blog, it’s even easier to make than truffles or bark, all thanks to the microwave. But I know easy doesn’t cut it if the finished product isn’t great, and this is the best brittle I’ve ever eaten. The crisp airy texture is due to billions of teensy bubbles created by a last minute dash of baking soda, which makes the hot molten candy fizz up like crazy. The roasted peanut flavor is perfect, I used tiny salted and roasted Spanish peanuts, still in their skin, which I highly recommend if you can find them. You can also use raw blanched peanuts, regular roasted peanuts, or even other nuts., but the tiny peanuts make an extra crunchy and delicate brittle. This is a must try.
Making candy can be a persnickety process, you have to take exact temperature readings and time everything just right. This method cuts through all that…the only tricky part is that you need to know your microwave wattage. Mine is 1000 watts, and that’s what this recipe is calibrated for. It’s a standard wattage, so chances are, unless you have an extra small or super duper microwave, it will work for yours. Check the inside of the door, the label on the back of the machine, or your manual. Otherwise, check the serial number and look it up online. 1000 watts is fairly common, but yours could be more or less. It’s worth taking a minute to determine your wattage because the microwave is a fabulous tool for candy and jam making. My 3 MINUTE MICROWAVE JAM was a revelation — imagine jam made from fresh fruit, no sugar at all, in minutes. And my EASY MICROWAVE FUDGE gives dorm bound students and younger kids without stove top privileges a chance to make fantastic candy.
The defining characteristic of brittles as opposed to toffee or caramel is their texture. Brittle is an accurate description, it isn’t hard on the teeth, like toffee can be, and it melts rather than sticks in the mouth. This one has a beautiful golden, glossy color.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup Spanish peanuts, roasted and lightly salted
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Set oven to its lowest setting.
- Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner like silpat. You can also lightly butter the pan, or use a layer of nonstick foil. Put the pan in the oven to warm.
- Put the sugar and corn syrup in a large glass bowl. Stir to combine.
- Microwave for 3 minutes, then stir. Microwave for another 3 minutes.
- Add the butter and peanuts and stir.
- Put back in the microwave for 2 more minutes.
- Stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
- Quickly turn out the mixture onto the warmed baking sheet. Spread the candy out with a flat spreading knife (I buttered it lightly) as evenly and thinly as you can. Don't worry about getting it symmetrical or neat.
- Let the candy sit until completely cool and hard, maybe 30 minutes or so, and then remove from the pan and break into pieces.
- Store the candy in cellophane bags.
I adapted my recipe from Cooks.com
Tips for success:
- Know your microwave wattage, this recipe is calibrated for a 1000 watt microwave.
- Have EVERYTHING ready BEFORE you begin.
- Pay attention to the type of nuts you buy. Raw peanuts can go in at the beginning of cooking, but roasted peanuts go in later to avoid burning. If using unsalted peanuts, add salt to the candy mixture, but if your nuts are already salted, you won’t need to add any.
- A silicone spatula or ‘spoonula’ works best for stirring without sticking.
- Make the candy on a dry day…too much humidity in the air can cause sticky candy.
- Don’t double the recipe, make another batch if you want more. If you try to work with too much candy at once, you won’t be able to spread it out before it cools.
- Yes this is easy, but the candy mixture will be HOT. Take care when stirring and pouring, and this is not a project for young children.
If you decide to give this a try, I would love it if you would report back to us in the comments. Especially give us your microwave wattage details and any changes you made to adjust. I highly encourage you to try this, it turned out better than any store-bought brittle I’ve had and it’s going to be the best holiday gift ever.