This easy peanut brittle recipe is golden, buttery, and perfect as a treat or to package up for holiday gifts. This homemade candy is salty and sweet and only has six ingredients!
How to make Peanut Brittle
Homemade candy is a favorite during the holiday season – hard candy, crockpot peanut clusters, peanut butter fudge, and this old fashioned peanut brittle recipe.
I loved Planters Peanut Bars when I was little but I don’t think they make them anymore. This peanut brittle is similar and so easy to make yourself!
You do need to use a candy thermometer but don’t let that intimidate you. You’ll be fine as long as you don’t get distracted (speaking from experience).
Why you’ll love this Easy Homemade Peanut Brittle
Easy Recipe – Candy making doesn’t have to be intimidating, this one is a breeze! Even if this is your first time making candy, you’ll be fine.
Simple Ingredients – You only need a handful of ingredients, six to be exact, that you likely already have on hand.
Family Favorite – This candy recipe is great any time of year but makes a great holiday gift if you bag it up into treat bags to pass out.
Equipment you’ll need
- Baking Sheet – Use a lipped baking sheet to keep the peanut brittle on the pan.
- Candy Thermometer – Nothing fancy, you just need a basic one, but it is helpful to have a clip to hook to the pot.
- Silicone Spatulas – I use these for everything in the kitchen.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- SUGAR – Granulated white sugar.
- CORN SYRUP – Use light corn syrup. I use Karo syrup.
- BUTTER – Unsalted butter, cubed.
- BAKING SODA – The baking soda creates a chemical reaction causing little air bubbles to form. The candy becomes porous and brittle, making it easy to break into pieces.
- PEANUTS – I like to use roasted peanuts for flavor but raw spanish peanuts were traditionally used.
How to make peanut brittle
This brittle candy is so easy to make, but it does require you to watch the temperature so don’t get distracted!
- STEP ONE: Grab a large cookie sheet with sides (like a jelly roll pan) and cover it with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- STEP TWO: Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil until the temperature reaches 340 degrees F. It should be golden brown after about 15 minutes.
- STEP THREE: Remove the pan from the heat and add butter and baking soda. It will bubble up (that’s the chemical reaction) so work quickly stirring with a silicone spatula until smooth.
- STEP FOUR: Pour in the peanuts and stir to evenly distribute. Quickly pour the peanut brittle mixture onto the lined baking pan and spread it evenly into a thin layer.
- STEP FIVE: Let the candy harden, at room temperature (about 30 minutes), and then break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Which types of nuts should I use?
Peanuts are the classic choice to use in nut brittle. Roasted peanuts have great flavor. Raw Spanish peanuts were traditionally used but either work. You could also use almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans…just about any will work.
What does baking soda do to peanut brittle?
Baking soda might seem like an odd addition to the peanut brittle and not everyone adds it, but baking soda creates a chemical reaction that creates little air bubbles. It is added once the sugar mixture has cooked down and becomes acidic. The candy becomes porous and brittle, making it easy to break into smaller pieces.
Why is my peanut brittle chewy?
There is where the candy thermometer becomes important. The biggest reason your peanut brittle is chewy and sticky is because you didn’t cook it long enough. It’s not something you can guess at, you need it to reach the hard crack stage. that means the strands of sugar break easily and feel dry, as opposed to sticky.
If you take it off the heat too soon, it doesn’t set up and makes a sticky mess, but let it cook too long and it becomes scorched and bitter.
Another possible cause might be humidity in the air. You should store finished peanut brittle in an airtight container so humidity doesn’t get to it.
How long is it good for?
When stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, peanut brittle will keep for 6-8 weeks. Do not put it in the fridge as it as the moisture will cause the brittle to soften.
It can also be frozen and stored up to 3 months.
Need more homemade candy recipes? Try these:
Christmas Oreo Bon Bons
Grinch Christmas Cream Cheese Mints
Crockpot Salted Caramel Fudge
Peanut Butter Balls
Crockpot Cinnamon Sugar Candied Almonds
Click here to view my entire collection of candy recipes.
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Originally published December 13, 2020.
This recipe first appeared on Yellow Bliss Road.
Kathleen Duncan says
5 Stars. Peanut Brittle is excellent. The recipe is easy to follow, the key to this recipe is the candy thermometer.
Melissa Williams says
Thank you, Kathleen!