Remember when the traveling carnival would come to town? My friends and I would excitedly get tickets to go on all the crazy rides and then buy a sugary treat, often peanut brittle. The peanut brittle was always sweet and crunchy and the perfect snack for wandering the game booths or riding the bumper cars.
I decided to try and replicate that old time peanut brittle using this recipe but with a a couple of twists and one or two shortcuts.
One change I made was to give the brittle a nice topping of Maldon Sea Salt to give it a more sweet & salty flavor. Maldon Sea Salt is a delicate, light finishing salt that is made to sprinkle over the tops of finished foods before serving. This salt is very light and melts quickly so the salty flavor is not overwhelming like a coarse Kosher salt might be. I sprinkled the sea salt on top of my peanut brittle after I spread it out to cool.
I also added 1 tablespoon of butter with the vanilla, to add a slightly creamy buttery undertone that compliments the peanuts and the caramelized brittle.
Here is a tip to tell if your brittle has reached the right temperature: I keep a glass of ice water and spoon next to my pan of sugar. When the sugar temperature reaches around 260-270 I dip my spoon into the hot sugar and then plunge it into the cold water. I can then check the texture of the cooled sugar – if it’s squishy then its not hot enough. If it’s hard and keeps its shape then it’s probably ready to come off the heat. Sugar goes from brown to burnt really fast so keep a sharp eye! Always remember when making candies that it is very easy to get burned by the molten sugar, so keep a bowl of ice water on hand for emergencies.
When it’s time to spread the brittle out to cool, the recipe tells you to butter your baking sheet, but I lined mine with a nonstick Silpat pad, which works great and is easy to clean up.
When your brittle has cooled completely, break into nice size shards. This peanut brittle has that great crunchy sweet peanutty flavor that I remember with an extra nice slightly salty tang. The outside is glossy and smooth with a nice crispy crunch that’s filled with buttery peanutty goodness.
Next time you’re in the mood for something sweet, crunchy and slightly nostalgic try this peanut brittle! Enjoy!