The world wide web is indeed a fascinating world…so much to explore and you’d be surprised what you’d bump into after typing a word or two in the “search” line/field. I’ve made peanut brittle in the past and the recipes always include baking soda. So I was surprised to find a Domino recipe for an Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle not containing baking soda. I guess this recipe evolved before finding out the purpose of baking soda in peanut brittle. And that is…baking soda neutralizes the acidity in the candy and it makes candy lighter. But caution, too much baking soda makes candy very puffy and airy. Then I bumped into an interesting website, http://www.recipecurio.com. The title says it all, the website is filled with recipes of “the good ol days”. I found lots of these “handwritten recipes” from my mother-in-law’s recipe files that I inherited. I included 2 recipes from the website.
Product: Granulated sugar
BOB Recipe: Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
7 1/4 oz can (1 1/4 cups) salted peanuts
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 1/3 cups sugar
Melt butter or margarine in small saucepan over very low heat. Add peanuts and salt; allow to warm.
Place sugar in large thick skillet over medium heat. Stir continuously until sugar caramelizes into golden brown syrup. Stir peanuts into syrup quickly. Pour onto large buttered surface (pan) at once. With big spoon, stretch and pull candy into thin sheet. Cool; break into pieces.
Yield: 1 1/2 lbs. brittle
Carter’s Peanut Brittle
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Karo light corn syrup
3 cups raw, unblanched peanuts
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
In a three-quart sauce pan, stir together sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking until mixture reaches 232 degrees on a candy thermometer, or until it forms a two-inch thread when spoon is raised. Stir in peanuts, continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 300 degrees, or until a small amount of mixture when dropped into very cold water separates into threads which are hard and very brittle. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda, butter and vanilla. Quickly pour into 2 15½-by-10½-by-1-inch greased jelly roll pans. As mixture begins to harden, pull until thin. You can call this the candidate’s crunch.
GUY’S OLD-FASHIONED PEANUT BRITTLE
Makes about 2 pounds
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 (10-ounce) package Guy’s Raw Spanish Peanuts
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
In 3-quart heavy saucepan, combine sugar, syrup and water. Over medium heat, cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Cover; cook 3 minutes. Remove cover; cook to soft ball stage (234°). Add peanuts. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, to hard-crack stage (300°). Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread onto two large well-buttered baking sheets. As candy starts to cool, lift up and pull edges gently to stretch candy thin. Break into pieces when cooled completely.
This recipe for peanut brittle was written on a white lined index card and has yellowed a bit with age, date unknown. Recipe is typed out below along with a scanned copy (front side only).
Handwritten Peanut Brittle Recipe Card
Candy Peanut Brittle
2 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c white corn syrup
1/3 c water
1 lb. raw peanuts (spanish–no salt)
Cook sugar, syrup, & water to 260° (hard ball)
Add raw peanuts – lower flame
Stir occasionally until 286°
Set off fire
1 t soda dissolved in
3 t vanilla
Stir & pour on well greased slab
As cools stretch, cut, & turn over