DIY Gift Idea: Peanut Brittle

Heather Bertinetti is the talented young pastry chef working her way through some of Manhattan’s most acclaimed restaurants. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America with a degree in baking and pastry arts, Heather joined Gramercy Tavern and, just two years later, Per Se. She then went on to open and receive rave reviews at Alto, Convivio, Marea, and Osteria Morini. Heather has been lauded by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and was named in Zagat's 2011 "30 under 30: New York's Hottest Up-and-Comers."

BakeitFakeit_peanutbrittle_400This old-time candy makes a wonderful hostess gift or take-home-from-dinner treat.

Once you understand the basic structure of the recipe, you can get creative. See the variation below for an easy swapout, then take the idea and run with it.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: candy thermometer

Bake It, Don’t Fake It!

Bake It, Don’t Fake It!

by Heather Bertinetti

  • Get Bake It, Don’t Fake It!
  • Get Bake It, Don’t Fake It!
  • Get Bake It, Don’t Fake It!
  • Get Bake It, Don’t Fake It!

Cooking spray, for greasing the pans
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups raw blanched peanuts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
11/2 teaspoons baking soda pinch of salt
1 teaspoon light honey, such as acacia

Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large, high-sided pot, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and vanilla just to combine. Bring up to a bubble over high heat and cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240°F. Add the peanuts and cook, stirring constantly, until the syrup reaches 300°F. Add the butter and baking soda and stir to combine. The mixture will bubble up and be hot, so stir carefully. Continue stirring until it foams up and is golden brown, about 10 seconds. Stir in the salt and honey.

Carefully pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and let sit at room temperature until cooled and hardened, about 1 hour.

Break into smaller pieces and store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Hawaiian Brittle: Replace the peanuts with macadamia nuts and add 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut when you stir in the nuts.

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