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Easy Homemade Peanut Brittle

This Easy Homemade Peanut Brittle is sweet, salty, crunchy, buttery, nutty, and made the old-fashioned way (on the stovetop) with just 7 simple ingredients in only 25 minutes!

It’s a classic that’s incredibly delicious, totally irresistible, has the perfect texture, and is great for sharing with family and friends, especially during the holiday season!

Not only is it an excellent addition to any candy or cookie tray, it makes for a great homemade gift (which are my favorite type of all gifts!).

And if you’ve never made candy before, this is a great recipe to get started with. Just make sure you use a candy thermometer to ensure perfect and consistent results every time.

Now, I’ll admit that I am not the world’s biggest peanut fan. I do enjoy them occasionally, but they’re typically not my nut of choice.

However, what started as an I-need-to-use-up-those-dang-peanuts-that-have-been-sitting-in-the-cupboard recipe turned into one of my most favorite sweet treats ever!

Besides the deliciousness, I just love that this peanut brittle is smooth, light, airy and crunchy but easily bitten into and not tooth-breakingly hard.

The secrets? Baking soda and light corn syrup (which, according to Karo, is not the same as high-fructose corn syrup). No omissions or substitutions, please!

The baking soda adds lots of tiny little air bubbles (take a close look at the phots and you’ll see them) that create the awesome texture, and the corn syrup keeps the brittle smooth by keeping the sugar from crystallizing.

And let’s not forget the butter…I add a little extra because it sure does make everything taste better!

homemade peanut brittle scattered on a piece of parchment paper

Ingredients You Need:

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Butter
  • Roasted salted peanuts
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Sugar
  • Light corn syrup
  • Water

Equipment Needed:

  • 11×17-inch rimmed baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • 3-quart sauce pot
  • Candy thermometer

Note: The above video is just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable recipe with detailed instructions.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits:

  • A candy thermometer is essential to a successful outcome. If the temperature is off, you could end up with brittle that too soft/chewy, too hard or (worse) burnt.
  • An 11×17-inch pan is the ideal size for this recipe. You can use a larger pan if needed, but you won’t need to spread out the candy mixture all the way to the edges of the pan (try to keep it about ¼ inch thick; the thinner the brittle, the harder it will be).
  • I have not experienced any sticking with the parchment paper and don’t feel the need to grease it. However, you can spray it with cooking spray, if you’d like, for extra insurance.
  • Measure out all of the ingredients before you start cooking; there won’t be time to do it later.
  • Don’t use anything smaller than a 3-quart pot. The candy mixture will bubble up and foam up, and you will need that extra space.
    • Also, don’t use too big of a pot. You need the mixture to be deep enough to be able to submerge the candy thermometer so it gives you an accurate temperature.
  • Don’t try to speed things up by cranking up the heat; you’ll only end up with a burnt, unusable mess.
  • After making the brittle, fill the pot with hot soapy water and let it sit for several minutes (stick your utensils in there too). This should loosen up any hardened candy and make clean-up easy.
  • If you’re not into peanuts, you can try using other nuts such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts, or even a mixture of nuts!
several pieces of homemade peanut brittle on a white plate with a tray of additional peanut brittle in the background

Make-Ahead, Storage and Freezing:

  • Make-Ahead: Yes! Stored properly at room temperature (see next), peanut brittle should last for several weeks, so it’s perfect for making ahead (although, in our house, we eat it much faster than that!).
  • Storage: Store your peanut brittle in an airtight container or sealed storage bag at room temperature in dry place. It should last for at least 2 weeks to one month (and maybe even up to 2 months).
    • Don’t store it in the refrigerator, as the moisture can make the brittle soft.
  • Freezing: Yes! Place the peanut brittle in an airtight container or freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months.
several pieces of peanut brittle stacked on a piece of parchment paper

And let me just say that this is also sooo good crushed up and sprinkled on top of some ice cream. YUM!

I hope you try this Easy Homemade Peanut Brittle recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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More Recipes You Might Like…

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

homemade peanut brittle in a cookie tin

Easy Homemade Peanut Brittle

This Easy Homemade Peanut Brittle is sweet, salty, crunchy, buttery, nutty, and made the old-fashioned way (on the stovetop) with just 7 simple ingredients in only 25 minutes!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time (approximate): 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 32 (1 ounce each; recipe makes about 2 pounds total)
Estimated Calories: 143

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups salted dry-roasted peanuts
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup water

Special Equipment

  • 11×17-inch rimmed baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • 3-quart sauce pot
  • candy thermometer

Instructions

  • Line an 11×17-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (make sure the paper goes up the sides as well); set aside.
  • Measure out the butter, peanuts, vanilla, and baking soda; set aside.
    You want to do this now because you won't have time to do it later when the candy is cooking.
  • Place the sugar, corn syrup and water in a 3-quart sauce pot; stir until combined.
  • Attach the candy thermometer to the side of the pot, making sure that it is submerged in the liquid but not touching the bottom of the pot (if it is touching the bottom of the pot, you could get an inaccurate temperature reading).
  • Put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally; continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 280°F.
    This will take several minutes. Don't try to speed things up by cranking up the heat; you'll only end up with a burnt, unusable mess.
  • Stir in the butter and peanuts.
  • Continue boiling, now stirring constantly, until the temperature of the mixture reaches 300°F.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and baking soda (the mixture will foam up quite a bit).
  • Immediately (and carefully) pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and quickly spread it out evenly in the pan, all the way to the edges, with a spoon, knife or spatula.
  • Allow to cool completely (about 1 hour).
  • Break into pieces and enjoy!

Notes

  • An 11×17-inch pan is the ideal size for this recipe. You can use a larger pan if needed, but you won’t need to spread out the candy mixture all the way to the edges of the pan (try to keep it about ¼ inch thick; the thinner the brittle, the harder it will be).
  • I have not experienced any sticking with the parchment paper and don’t feel the need to grease it. However, you can spray it with cooking spray, if you’d like, for extra insurance.
  • Don’t use anything smaller than a 3-quart pot. The candy mixture will bubble up and foam up, and you will need that extra space. Also, don’t use too big of a pot. You need the mixture to be deep enough to be able to submerge the candy thermometer so it gives you an accurate temperature.
  • Not into peanuts? Try using other nuts or even a mixture of different nuts!
  • Store your peanut brittle in an airtight container or sealed storage bag at room temperature in a dry place. It should last for at least 2 weeks to one month (and maybe even up to 2 months). Or freeze for up to 3 months. Don’t store it in the refrigerator, as the moisture can make the brittle soft.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (11th Edition).

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