This homemade peanut brittle recipe is a buttery sweet confection candy, crispy and crunchy and perfect for holiday gifts or Christmas desserts! 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!
Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe
How do you make peanut brittle from scratch?
Ingredients For Peanut Brittle
So, what is peanut brittle made of?
- Granulated sugar
- Light corn syrup
- Roasted or Raw Peanuts (shelled)
- Baking soda
What does baking soda do in peanut brittle?
Baking soda is a leavening agent that 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.)
We made our peanut brittle recipe with raw peanuts, but you can make it with roasted peanuts, too!
Before we get to the full peanut brittle 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.
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.
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.
Can I freeze peanut brittle?
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-size pieces (and not smash it to dust!).
Why is my peanut brittle too hard?
The most likely reason your peanut brittle didn’t get 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.
Why did my peanut brittle not get hard?
A homemade peanut brittle recipe can get sticky and stay a softer texter 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.
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.
FUN FACT: Other countries use items like pistachios and sesame seeds in their brittle!
The Life and Times of the Peanut Children’s Book paired with the Best Peanut Brittle Recipe
For the peanut brittle recipe, we decided to learn more about peanuts! (Of course!)
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
REMINDER: Before you start this cooking project, it is a must that you have a candy thermometer. You may be tempted to make this peanut brittle recipe without candy thermometer, but just … don’t.
(Trust me, we tried another candy recipe without the thermometer a few weeks ago and it did not work out. At all.)
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!
How to Make Peanut Brittle
This is the recipe for old fashioned peanut brittle! It was honestly the best peanut brittle candy recipe I’ve ever had — not too hard, but crispy enough!
- 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: 114Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 205mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 28gProtein: 0g
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.