Easy Peanut Brittle


Easy Peanut Brittle Recipe – This Old-Fashioned peanut brittle has a crackly sugar coating, and it’s easy to make. Brittle is a holiday staple in Little Rock, but it doesn’t have to be rich or expensive to make. This recipe creates a brittle that is chewy and sweet with only three ingredients! This brittle is so easy, all you need is corn syrup, sugar, and your favorite nuts. Enjoy this snack as an anytime treat.

Quick peanut brittle

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:2 mins
    • Cook:5 mins
  • Easy
  • Makes 300g

Break this salted peanut brittle into shards to decorate puds or give as a gift to a foodie friend. It will keep for several weeks in an airtight container

  • Vegan


  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes


  • STEP 1Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Melt the sugar in a medium frying pan over a medium heat for 4-5 mins until caramelised – it should be a dark amber colour. Don’t stir, as this causes the sugar to crystallise – instead, tilt the pan slowly so the sugar melts evenly.
  • STEP 2Add the peanuts, stir with a wooden spoon, then quickly and carefully tip onto the prepared tray. Immediately sprinkle over the sea salt flakes and leave to cool until set. Will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.

Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle is easy to make at home and great for holiday gifts, or just to have around the house when unexpected guests show up. Breaking apart the brittle is a fun holiday tradition!

How to Make Peanut Brittle

Peanut brittle was one of those candies we always had around the house when I was a kid because my dad was obsessed with it. Though I would sneak a bite of it every now and then (I was more of a chocolate guy than a peanut brittle guy), my dad would nibble on it nearly every night after dinner as we watched TV and serve it whenever it was our time to host “bridge club” with his friends.

But of course, it turns out that peanut brittle has a history that goes much farther back than the mid-1980s.

Peanut Brittle Recipe

How to Make Peanut Brittle

The History of Peanut Brittle

Stella Parks, in her cookbook BraveTart, says one of the earliest peanut brittle recipes dates to 1843 from a Philadelphia woman named Deborah Fisher who sold “The Original Pea or Groundnut Candy” in her 8th Street shop. Recipes for peanut brittle evolved using molasses as an ingredient, and the Boston cookbook The Art of Confectionery mentions adding baking soda “to render it tender.”

Other stories on the internet say that peanut brittle was a Southern invention, made by an unknown woman in 1890 who accidentally used baking soda instead of cream of tartar when trying to make taffy. Its popularity is often associated with the American south—most of the country’s peanut farms are located in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.

Peanut Brittle Recipe

How to Make Peanut Brittle

Homemade brittle is actually fairly easy. Start by placing sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan and heating it to make a caramel—which happens when sugar is heated to a specific temperature, melts, and starts to decompose.

Once the caramel is ready, add baking soda (see below for why!), and then the peanuts. Pour the entire mixture onto a pan and spread out it while it’s still liquid (and hot).

As the candy cools, it hardens and becomes brittle. Once totally cooled, it can be broken into smaller pieces to enjoy!

The Role of Baking Soda

The introduction of baking soda to the molten caramel is what differentiates brittle from standard hard caramel candy.

The baking soda reacts with the caramel in its liquid state, aerating it and producing tiny pockets of air as it cools and solidifies. This results in a treat that is, well, brittle in nature.

How to Make Peanut Brittle

Do You Really Need Corn Syrup?

This peanut brittle specifically uses corn syrup to make keep it smooth and keep the sugar from crystalizing. Often, making caramel can be a scary thing, not only because you’re cooking over direct heat (which can potentially cause the sugar to burn) but also because caramel candy can sometimes develop a gritty graininess.

Grittiness can happen when a stray sugar crystal doesn’t melt properly or is introduced while the caramel is cooking. The stray crystal causes the surrounding sugar to crystallize, resulting in that gritty texture once the caramel has cooled.

The water added initially to the pot helps dissolve all the sugar to reduce this risk, while corn syrup interferes with crystals forming as well. These two things combined will ensure you have a smooth caramel.

I don’t recommend substituting honey, molasses, or agave for the corn syrup. Those other liquid sugars have impurities that will burn at the higher temperature of making caramel, leading to a bitter-tasting brittle.

When (and When Not) to Stir the Caramel

Make sure to stir the mixture at the beginning of cooking to dissolve all the sugar. However, do NOT stir the caramel mixture once the butter and sugar have dissolved (if you stir it after the water has boiled off, you could create graininess).

If you are concerned about whether or not the caramel is cooking evenly, just swirl the pan a little bit to stir it. But don’t use a spoon or any utensil.

Homemade Peanut Brittle

How to Know When the Brittle Is Ready

Using a candy thermometer is recommended — cook it to 340°F. But if you don’t have one, don’t let that stop you from making peanut brittle!

You want to cook the molten sugar until it reaches the color of an older penny.

You have a little leeway on the temperature, but if you are relying on color alone, I’d recommend cooking the sugar at a lower heat. It will take longer but you’ll have more of a cushion with the timing; you don’t want the caramel to burn and become bitter.

Best Peanut Brittle Recipe

Suggestions and Substitutions for Peanut Brittle

Peanut brittle is an easy candy recipe to adapt to your own taste. Feel free to substitute a different type of nut, such as pistachio or hazelnut, for the peanuts. Just chop the nuts to the size of peanuts if they are large.

You can also dip the cooled and broken brittle into melted chocolate if you like!

Storing and Freezing Peanut Brittle

Store the peanut brittle in a zip-top bag or an airtight container. Humidity and moisture are its enemies, so keep it as airtight as possible. You can also layer the brittle between parchment or wax paper so it doesn’t stick together. As long as you keep the brittle in an airtight container, it should last for up to 3 weeks.

Who invented peanut brittle?

It is unknown exactly who invented peanut brittle. It was first found in an American cookbook, but it is believed to be based on a celtic recipe of caramelized nuts.

What is peanut brittle made of?

Peanut brittle is a mixture of sugars (white sugar and corn syrup) along with butter, vanilla, water, salt, peanuts and baking soda. These are basic ingredients that you’ll most likely have in your pantry. The key to a good brittle recipe is in the technique. We’ll talk about that below.

Why do you add baking soda to peanut brittle?

Baking soda is a key ingredient in making homemade brittle. When you add peanut brittle to the sugary syrup, it lets out tons of air bubbles (don’t worry…they are tiny!) and it is what gives the candy such a light, airy texture. Don’t skip it!

Without baking soda, the brittle will be hard and chewy.

How to Make Peanut Brittle

  1. Heat the mixture to first the soft ball stage and then the hard crack stage. What in the world are these stages? There are several different stages to candy making and in order to get it right you need to have a good candy thermometer.peanut brittle. I love it because it has clear markings for the different stages of candy making. You’ll first heat the sugar, corn syrup and water until it reaches the soft ball stage (235-245 degrees). Then you add butter, peanuts and salt and heat it until the hard crack stage (295-310 degrees). It’s called “hard crack” because the when the mixture cools, it will be hard and crisp. Seems simple, right? The hardest part of the recipe is having the patience to wait until the sugar syrup mixture gets to that temperature. I cooked my sugar mixture over medium heat for about 20 minutes to get it to the soft ball stage and then an additional 10-15 minutes for the hard crack stage. You don’t have to stir the mixture constantly…just stir it a few times here and there, mostly in the first 10 minutes or so while you are waiting for the sugar to dissolve completely. You definitely don’t want to stop cooking the mixture before it reaches the hard crack stage. That’s where the patience comes in. If you take it off the heat too early, your brittle will not be crisp. Again, I highly recommend using a candy thermometer. It completely took the guessing game out of candy making and gave us success!
  2. Add baking soda to the mixture. When the sugar mixture reaches the hard crack stage, you’ll take it off the heat and add the baking soda. It’s going to foam and the mixture will “grow” as you stir it, doubling in volume. Don’t leave out the baking soda. The carbon dioxide that is created when the mixture foams is what gives the brittle its texture. Snap a piece of brittle apart and you’ll see little bubbles or air pockets inside. Light….airy.
  3. The last step is pouring this foamy mixture out on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread the mixture to the thickness that you’d like. Our brittle is about 1/4″ thick.  Then let it cool. Before you know it, you’ll be able to snack on this amazing little salty & sweet snack.

Why is my peanut brittle soft?

If your peanut brittle is too soft, you didn’t cook it long enough. It’s important to use a candy thermometer and cook the sugar mixture until it reaches the hard crack stage. Watch it closely…you may be tempted to take it off the stove sooner, but don’t!!

How long will peanut brittle last?

You can store peanut brittle in an airtight container at room temperature. If you store it properly you can keep it for about 2 months. This is great for make-ahead gifts!

Can you refrigerate peanut brittle?

There is no need to refrigerate peanut brittle. In order for it to stay crisp you’ll want to keep moisture away from it. It is best stored at room temperature.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

Prep Time2 minutes

Cook Time9 minutes

Total Time11 minutes

Old fashioned candy made with simple ingredients in the microwave or on the stove top.

Easy, delicious Microwave Peanut Brittle recipe ready in 10 minutes! Old fashioned candy made with simple ingredients in the microwave or on the stove top.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup peanuts, dry roasted, salted
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Lay a piece of parchment paper over a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
  2. Combine sugar and corn syrup in a 2qt. glass bowl. Microwave (on power level  7) for 4 minutes.  {I use a 1500watt microwave}
  3. Remove and stir in peanuts quickly using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Return to microwave and heat for 3 ½ minutes (on power level 7).
  4. Remove and stir in butter and vanilla extract. Return to microwave for an additional 1 ½ minutes (on power level  7).
  5. Remove and stir in baking soda, mixing until light and foamy. Pour over parchment paper and spread to desired thickness, working quickly.
  6. Allow peanut brittle to set and harden at room temperature (about 2 hours). Break into desired sized pieces and store in an airtight container for up to one week.


The bowl gets very hot. You’ll see I recommend using hot pads. Learn from my mistake and always use them.Finally, clean up. The brittle hardens in the glass bowl very quickly. Fill with HOT water and allow to soak until you can scrub it off.Store peanut brittle in an airtight container (or ziploc bag) at room temperature for up to three weeks. We prefer not to freeze brittle as it changes the texture and makes it chewy not crunchy.

Nutrition Information:


 24Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 90Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g

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