Many, many years ago (in the late ’70’s) I subscribed to a new magazine called Sphere. It was one of those magazines that didn’t take advertising – which was kind of unusual. It was all about cooking, crafting, sewing, and fashion. Later Sphere became Gourmet.
The first Christmas issue featured a story on a small town church Christmas bazaar and included all the recipes. I could not resist the peanut brittle recipe. I love peanuts and probably would have died without peanut butter as a child.
My first attempt turned out well and I was hooked. I have made this recipe every year since – some years I have to begin in November in order to satisfy all the requests. I’ve shared this recipe with anyone who wants it but most say it doesn’t turn out like mine, and I know why.
It’s the peanuts. The recipe calls for large raw peanuts. Unless you live in the South, you probably can’t buy these at the store. I initially got mine from a place called “Jimbo’s Jumbos.” They merged or went out of business and I started ordering from Aunt Ruby’s. To save money and time I would order 25 pounds once a year. When we lived in Utah, it cost as much to ship them as to buy the peanuts but I still felt it was worth it. Those peanuts that didn’t end up in the brittle were stored in the freezer to be oven roasted year round. (As luck would have it, I now live about 45 minutes from Aunt Ruby’s. This could be bad.)
If you are looking for a great Christmas gift idea, this is it! Give this recipe a try – I know you will like it. And so will any lucky recipients.
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups raw peanuts
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon butter
Prepare baking soda and butter and set next to the stove. Butter a jelly roll pan and place on a cooling rack.
Put sugar, corn syrup and water in heavy 3 qt. sauce pan, Stir with a wooden spoon to combine, Cook, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees (soft ball).
Add raw peanuts. Stir constantly until thermometer reaches 310 degrees (hard crack). No need to stir vigorously, just keep the peanuts moving to prevent burning.
Remove from heat and remove thermometer. Add baking soda and butter. Stir vigorously for about 5 seconds – until candy stops expanding. Pour immediately onto jelly roll pan scraping pot as necessary. Be careful – this stuff is HOT!
Let cool completely then break into pieces with a meat mallet or small hammer,