It's the holiday time again, and we are sweet makers, cookie bakers, candy breakers around here... I started making cookies when I was a kid... and still have the cookie book my grandma bought me when I was a teenager and inscribed this lovely note to me... I admit, I was her favorite... I think she tried to make up to my mom through me, but however it happened, she had a special spot for me, and I worshipped her. Baking and making candy always brings me back to those days I spent at her house, testing cookie recipes, learning how to cook standing on a chair pulled up to the stove next to her. She taught me how to make Rouladen when I was in the 3rd grade and I won a blue ribbon at the 4-H cooking contest with it. She was so proud!
I made this peanut brittle recipe today, it is from the family cookbook I made a while back. It is from my cousin Donna Wrfight, who I think got it from the Joy of Cooking... Let me say it BLOWS AWAY the Sees peanut brittle if you are a fan... here is a photo, and the recipe follows. It calls for 1 lb of peanuts. This makes a very peanutty brittle... you could use 1/2 pound and be fine. I have also made it with other nuts and it is just as good. Try your own version using macadamias, marcona almonds, pecans, pistacios, cashews, whatever nuts are your favorite. I make one batch at a time, because the pot I have boils over when I add the baking soda mixture if I double it... so beware of the foaming in the end....
I will be posting more family favorite holiday recipes all this month, so check back.... or subscribe and follow me on facebook....
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cups light corn syrup
1 cup water
3 Tbspns butter
1/2 lb shelled unroasted peanuts (I have used the roasted salted ones too and it comes out fine)
Butter 2 cookie sheets and set aside.
Mix baking soda, vanilla and 1 tsp water together, set aside
Mix sugar, water and corn syrup together in 3 qt saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until 240 degrees or soft ball stage. Stir in butter and then peanuts. (recipe calls for 1 lb but I use a ½ lb and make a double batch that way I get more and it is still just as good) Continue cooking to 300 degrees, or hard crack stage. Be careful as it can burn easily at this stage… remove from heat and add in vanilla baking soda mixture. Candy will foam up and double in volume as well as darken, quickly spread out on cookie sheets and stretch with wooden spoon to desired thinness. You must work fast. Allow to cool. Break into pieces and serve. Can be stored in an airtight bag for 2 weeks.