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Peanut Brittle with Fleur de Sel

December 8, 2009

Over the weekend, my friend Emily came over and we baked up a storm. It was the perfect start to the holiday season for me — and because she loves to bake as well, we made a great team in the kitchen. Things hummed along smoothly, each of us measuring and checking things and stirring and gabbing away…it reminded me that even though I do spend most of my cooking time solo, I love to do it with someone else too (and it’s even better when that other cook knows their way around a kitchen!) We cranked out espresso chocolate shortbread (with toffee pieces added, upping the factor of deliciousness exponentially, in my opinion), chocolate gingerbread bars, and this peanut brittle with fleur de sel. It’s hard to say what our favorite sweet of the day turned out to be (because of course we had to sample them all!) but one thing we could agree on was that we were flying high on sugar by the end of the afternoon.

In Food and Wine magazine, this is called “Best Ever Nut Brittle,” and with good reason. It’s the perfect balance of sweet (yet, amazingly, not overly sugary), slightly salty and buttery, and the baking soda lightens it just enough so that you won’t break a tooth biting into a chunk (take a look at this article for an interesting read on why baking soda is added to some candies like nut brittles). And though you have to work quickly once the candy reaches temperature, overall it was an easy recipe to make — just make sure you have your nuts, baking soda, and a parchment-lined baking sheet ready to go before you start simmering the candy mixture (because 300 degree molten sugar is not the kind of thing you want to be sloshing around as you frantically try to measure your peanuts and baking soda – yow!)

For all those nut brittle lovers in your life, this would make a great edible gift for the holidays, packaged in a cellophane bag and tied with a bow.

Other Edible Gift Ideas:
Chocolate Peanut Toffee
Vanilla Bean Hot Chocolate
Espresso Truffles
Gingerbread Truffles
Hazelnut Truffles
Chocolate Biscotti
Almond Biscotti
World Peace Cookies
Pumpkin Butter

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Peanut Brittle with Fleur de Sel

From Food and Wine

view printable recipe

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces roasted salted peanuts (you could also use another kind of nut, like cashews, pistachios, pecans, etc.)
Fleur de sel or crushed Maldon sea salt

Directions
Measure out your nuts and baking soda and set near the stove. On a heat-proof surface, set a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper (or if you have a non-stick sheet pan, you can use that without the parchment — but we found the parchment allows for easy lifting off the pan when cooled.)

Combine the sugar, water, butter and corn syrup in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel is light brown and registers 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer (approximately 10 minutes.)

Turn off the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda (the mixture will bubble.)

Stir in the nuts, then immediately scrape the brittle onto your parchment-lined baking sheet. Use the back of a large spoon (oil it lightly if it sticks) to spread the brittle into a thin, even layer. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Break the brittle into large shards.

Makes 2 pounds of brittle.

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2009 2:09 pm

    This looks great, Amy! I still have your chocolate-peanut toffee from last year on the brain! And, would you believe that I too made the exact same chocolate-gingerbread bars over the weekend?! Hope you’re doing well!

    • December 8, 2009 2:52 pm

      Thanks Kristin! So funny that we both made those bars…great minds, right? ;)

  2. December 8, 2009 2:48 pm

    I LOVE peanut brittle and this looks like a great recipe. I made some chocolate gingerbread cookies from Martha this weekend that are AWESOME. I should have them up soonish.

    Baby soon no?

    • December 8, 2009 2:53 pm

      Ooh, those sound great! I love chocolate and gingerbread together. And yes, hopefully baby soon — any day now!!

  3. December 8, 2009 3:34 pm

    That picture is great, the brittle looks so thick and delicious!

  4. December 8, 2009 7:05 pm

    This looks so good! I think I’ll try it with blister peanuts for extra crunch! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. December 8, 2009 10:49 pm

    Mm, I loooove peanut brittle, but I’ve never tried making it before. This is going on my Christmas candy/cookie list!

  6. December 8, 2009 10:52 pm

    They do look perfect and I bet they tasted like the best-ever too! :)

  7. December 8, 2009 11:47 pm

    This looks beautiful… better than most peanut brittle I have seen in the stores. Great gift idea!

  8. December 9, 2009 2:23 am

    I make a peanut brittle in the microwave! It’s really good but since I have never made it the “real” way, I think this is a good place to start. I LOVE the salt here.

  9. December 9, 2009 8:27 am

    Genius, fleur de sel on peanut brittle! Breathtaking photo too!!!

  10. Allison permalink
    December 9, 2009 8:34 pm

    Looks delicious! Keep us posted on the baby news! :)

  11. December 10, 2009 12:03 am

    mmm, all this talk about fleur de sel in sweets is sending me over the edge! i must find some and have a try. fantastic photos – looks like something i shouldn’t try with my twin toddlers at my heels!!

  12. December 11, 2009 2:02 am

    I just found your blog and I love it! The peanut brittle recipie with witout a doubt make it into the stockings of my family this year. Oh how happy they shall be.

  13. December 12, 2009 2:52 pm

    That peanut brittle with fleur de sel looks delicious. I was recently given a box of fleur de sel from Mallorca and have started using it a lot in sweet dishes – Mousse au Chocolat with fleur de sel, Vanilla Cupcakes with a sprinkle of fleur de sel on top of a vanilla cream cheese frosting … it works almost everywhere!

  14. December 12, 2009 5:25 pm

    I cannot wait to try this! I adore gifts from the kitchen!

  15. Cole permalink
    December 16, 2009 7:20 pm

    Fleur de sel definitely makes everything better

  16. Allison permalink
    December 16, 2009 8:37 pm

    Anyone else wondering if Amy had her baby????

  17. December 23, 2009 12:14 pm

    This recipe is exactly what I was looking for! I’ve made two batches so far and will make more today to give to friends and neighbors as gifts. Congratulations on your precious baby girl. Many blessings…..

  18. January 1, 2010 5:46 pm

    Lovely, lovely, lovely!!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,….all the way!!

  19. January 30, 2010 12:43 pm

    I ended up making this with my 16 year old girl scouts, they loved it. Thanks for the post.

  20. February 1, 2010 5:25 pm

    Oh my lord…this sounds absolutely delicious.
    BODA weight loss

  21. Jackson permalink
    December 30, 2010 3:00 pm

    Mmm,,, this looks delicious. I think I will make a batch, melt some bittersweet chocolate, and enrobe half of each piece in it. I’ll report back on the results!

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