The best recipe for peanut brittle — a buttery sweet confection candy, crispy and crunchy and perfect for homemade holiday gifts for the holiday season or great recipe for the Christmas desserts table! You can make an easy peanut brittle recipe in microwave, but we decided to cook this candy the old fashioned way like grandma used to make! This classic peanut brittle is definitely a family favorite candy recipe for any time of year.
The Best Recipe for Peanut Brittle (Candy Recipe For Holidays and Homemade Gifts)
Learn how to make this homemade candy recipe for the holidays or throughout the year. Fun cooking kids activities! This is the best homemade peanut brittle for eating and gifting and gifts from the kitchen for Christmas.
How do you make peanut brittle from scratch?
Peanut Brittle Recipe Ingredients:
- Granulated sugar
- Light corn syrup
- Roasted or Raw Peanuts (shelled, salted peanuts or un salted peanuts)
- Baking soda
- Vanilla (optional)
Learn how make peanut brittle with the full recipe card printable below and important tips for making peanut brittle thin and crunchy, how to store peanut brittle, and more!
What is peanut brittle?
Peanut brittle is almost like a caramel mixture that hardens into a candy that is like English toffee. It has a buttery flavor and if cooked to the right texture is crispy without being too hard or chewy.
Peanut Brittle vs Toffee
Is peanut brittle the same as toffee?
Peanut brittle is made with a sugar mixture while toffee is made with a milk or cream and butter base. Toffee is thicker than peanut brittle and generally not as sweet.
What does baking soda do in peanut brittle?
This is a peanut brittle recipe using baking soda because baking soda is a leavening agent. It creates a chemical reaction with the peanut brittle ingredients and foams. It’s what helps the peanut brittle become more light, porous, and softens the brittle to make it a little chewy. This is a fun science project part of cooking for kids!
To make proper peanut brittle (or any kind of candy), you definitely need a candy thermometer. (I like the ones that clip right to the side of your pot like this one.)
These Christmas cookies are great gifts to go with the nut brittle recipe:
Before we get to the peanut brittle homemade recipe, let’s answer some common questions.
(It’s good to read through these FAQs because it might help you prevent issues some people have when making peanut brittle.)
Peanut Brittle Recipe FAQs
How long does it take for peanut brittle to harden?
Once you’ve spread your peanut brittle onto parchment paper or a silicon mat to cool, it can take around 20-30 minutes for the peanut brittle to harden. Weather may affect the peanut brittle and if it’s more humid than it may take a little longer or may not harden completely.
Is peanut brittle supposed to be chewy?
Peanut brittle is supposed to be crispy instead of chewy. However, once you bite into the candy it becomes a little chewy. If your peanut brittle doesn’t harden and stays chewy, you may not have cooked it to the right temperature using a cooking thermometer.
If you’re wondering how to fix chewy brittle, it may be because you didn’t cook it to the right candy temperature.
What is the best way to store peanut brittle?
Once you have made the peanut brittle and broken it up, allow it to cool. Then, store peanut brittle in an airtight container, away from humidity and moisture. Do not store your peanut brittle in the refrigerator.
Does humidity affect making peanut brittle?
Yes, the moisture in the air can affect how your peanut brittle turns out. Also, it can make it sticky when stored. Be sure to store it in an airtight container at room temperature.
Does peanut brittle go bad?
So, how long will peanut brittle last? Peanut brittle stored properly (in an airtight container, away from moisture) will generally keep 2-3 months or more. The peanut brittle shelf life is fairly long!
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Can I freeze peanut brittle?
You may be wondering can peanut brittle be frozen. It’s not recommended to freeze peanut brittle. Because moisture makes this brittle candy sticky and soft, after it has been frozen and defrosted the peanut brittle may lose its crunch and just be sticky.
How do you break peanut brittle?
Breaking apart peanut brittle is one of the best parts of the process. Once cooled, you can turn the peanut brittle sheet over and break it apart with your hands. However, if you have kids helping, using a wooden mallet is a lot of fun! Just be sure that you show the kids how to break the peanut brittle into bite-sized pieces (and not smash it to dust!). Let the peanuts brittle cool first before breaking it up.
That’s my daughter’s favorite part of this easy homemade peanut brittle!
Why is my peanut brittle too hard?
Are you wondering why isn’t my brittle peanut brittle recipe soft? The most likely reason your peanut brittle got too hard is because the cooking temperature was too high. It’s important to use a candy thermometer when making peanut brittle to get the right temperature for the correct consistency of the brittle mixture.
Why did my peanut brittle not get hard?
A homemade peanut brittle recipe can get sticky and stay a softer texture if you do not cook it long enough at the right temperature. Peanut brittle must reach a “hard crack stage” during the cooking. That’s why it’s important to use a candy thermometer for peanut brittle recipes to make sure it gets to 295-300 degrees F for the sugar mixture over medium heat.
Why is my peanut brittle sticky?
How do you keep peanut brittle from getting sticky?
Peanut brittle must be stored properly or it will become sticky. Do not store peanut brittle in the refrigerator. Store peanut brittle in airtight containers away from moisture in a cool place.
How To Fix Sticky Peanut Brittle
It can be sticky to fix sticky peanut brittle. (Sorry.) Sometimes you can reheat the brittle on the stove top or in the oven and melt it down to the heating point and then try to let it set to harden again.
You can make macadamia nut brittle, peanut brittle with pretzels recipe, or use items like pistachios, cashews, or even sesame seeds in their brittle! If you want to try it, just substitute them for the peanuts and make a no peanut brittle recipe!
Can you double peanut brittle recipe?
You can double a peanut brittle recipe, but it becomes more difficult because it takes longer to cook, may alter the peanut brittle recipe temperature, and then you have to work quickly to add the additional ingredients. Be sure to have all your ingredients measured and ready to go, along with the baking sheets and other supplies.
To be honest, I never double brittle recipes because it adds an extra element of difficulty. I don’t think this is a recipe you want to play the guessing game with!
IMPORTANT TIP: Before you start this cooking project, it is a must that you have a candy thermometer like this. You may be tempted to make this yummy easy peanut brittle recipe without candy thermometer, but just… don’t.
(Trust me, we tried other candy recipes without the thermometer a few weeks ago and it did not work out. At all.)
If you want a yummy peanut brittle recipe, a thermometer for candy is a MUST. The candy thermometers are relatively inexpensive and can be used for a variety of cooking projects.
Let’s get to our recipe for peanut brittle candy (aka: grandma’s peanut brittle for crispy candy)!
How To Make Peanut Brittle Step-by-Step
This is the recipe for old-fashioned peanut brittle and makes the best ever nut brittle! This will quickly become your favorite old-fashioned recipes for candies.
(Some people make it as a peanut butter brittle recipe, but this recipe doesn’t have peanut butter as an ingredient. Some people also make a very light peanut brittle, but peanut brittle has a golden brown color.)
It was honestly the best peanut brittle candy recipe I’ve ever had — not too hard candy, but crispy enough — it’s not a super soft peanut brittle recipe. It’s a crunchy candy, but a peanut brittle recipe that won’t break your teeth!
You can also make it this peanut brittle recipe thin or thick, based on what you like!
We make peanut brittle recipe with raw peanuts (which is the perfect peanut for this recipe!), which makes it recipes with unsalted peanuts.
You can use roasted peanuts, too (or even make it a peanut brittle recipe with pecans for an old fashioned pecan brittle recipe, macadamia nuts, or any other nuts you love!).
Although I’ve never tried it, you can probably make this as a brittle recipe no nuts. The brittle is really good alone!
We made this one year as homemade Christmas gifts and my mom said it was the peanut brittle recipe old fashioned way that she remembered as a kid! (Dare I say the best peanut brittle in the world???) This old fashioned candy makes a Christmas peanut brittle recipe easy gift!
The recipe is made with simple ingredients, but this is not a quick easy peanut brittle recipe in that it takes a little time to get the brittle temperature right. So, pay close attention!
Any time you have a homemade candy recipe or are doing candy making at home it takes a little longer. (But, it’s worth it. I PROMISE.)
Before you get started, get everything you need set up. Once you start cooking everything will move fast and you’ll have to pour the nut sugar mixture onto the prepared baking sheet quickly.
IMPORTANT: Once the brittle starts cooking, keep an eye on the mixture until the brittle sugar syrup reaches the right temperature. Go by the temperature reading not the time to indicate the end of the cooking process!
Here’s how to make peanut brittle from scratch…
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 16 ounces of roasted or raw peanuts (shelled)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-slip baking liner.
- In a pot, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook over medium-high heat until it boils.
- Reduce heat to medium and carefully attach candy thermometer to the pot, taking care that the thermometer is in the liquid and not touching the bottom or side of the pot.
- Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer reaches 250 degrees F (around 20-30 minutes).
- Stir in peanuts and salt.
- Cook until the mixture reaches 295 degrees F (can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes).
- Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and baking soda. It’s at this point that the mixture will change colors. (You will also see it foam. This is completely normal!)
- Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread with a spatula.
- Cool completely and then break into bite-sized pieces. Store leftovers in an airtight container away from moisture.
Cooking time will vary based on altitude and other factors, so watch the candy thermometer instead of time!
We have also used raw peanuts in our peanut brittle, but just know that you have to cook raw peanuts before you eat them. (You can't eat them from the jar like roasted peanuts.)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 208mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 28gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
RECIPE AND READ FOR KIDS: The Life and Times of the Peanut Children’s Book paired with the Best Peanut Brittle Recipe
If you’re new here, you may not know that we always pair our cooking recipes up with a related book or two!
For our recipe and read to make the best peanut brittle recipe, we decided to learn more about peanuts! (Of course!)
It makes a great pairing with learning how to make peanut brittle at home.
The Life and Times of the Peanut is a great book to read with this cooking project because it talks all about peanuts—the life cycle, how they grow, what category they belong to, who invented peanut butter, and even the historical influences of peanuts! (Who knew?!)
There are also a ton of great illustrations in the book!
Listed Age Range: 4-7 years