Friday, December 9, 2011

Peanut Brittle with Mere

Yep folks I STILL haven't finished getting up the Christmas decorations around here and I have a couple of really really really cute Pinterest inspired crafts that we've done but today we are starting the holiday baking!
Actually WE started it last weekend but I'm so far behind on every stinkin' thing that I'm just now getting to this post.   The Mere bear has been over most of this week and last Sunday she wanted to make peanut brittle.  I'm sure there are just a fabulous amount of equally delicious recipes out there but you know, I just found my dear Momma's recipe and we went with that.  I have learned that making candy is precise work, not difficult, just precise and when you are teaching someone else, go with what you know.  It was good and Mere can now add peanut brittle to her list of goodies and we are making more this weekend!  Yeah, hubster likes the peanut brittle.

Let's do this....
My best tip for candy or any kind of baking....measure and lay out all your ingredients first.
When you need something quickly it's already there and ready.

So get this stuff out and measured and ready:
1 cup sugar
1 cup light Karo syrup
1/2 warm water
1 cup raw unsalted peanuts
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp baking soda

(on a butter note...please use butter really is it worth a couple of extra calories using all those chemicals in that weird margarine stuff???)

Boil your water, sugar and Karo syrup until it reaches 238 degrees and spins a thread

(side note on thermometers....sorry if you make candy you need a thermometer and if you are like me and middle age has crept into your eyesight then visit Williams- Sonoma they have a delightful digital oil & candy thermometer which I have since purchased)

Now when you have extra hands in the kitchen it's super nice because one person can be buttering up the wax paper.  And butter it but goooood people, otherwise you have wax paper stuck to your candy and that is not tasty no matter how you slice it!
I just butter the wax paper and then place on top of a cookie sheet for stability

Keep cooking that sugar syrup mixture

see it gets to boiling up real good too

My lovely assistant who was less thrilled about her dad shoving the camera in her face than making the peanut brittle.  Oh to be 17 and have that youthful glowy skin again!!

Once that hits the 238 degree mark

toss in the peanuts 

Stir and boil until mixture reaches 300 degrees and turns an amber color

ours probably could have ambered up a bit more but it hit 300 and we panicked.
no kidding three people in the kitchen can panic a lot when it comes to peanut brittle
Did I mention, I'm not sure I've ever actually made peanut brittle without my momma??!!!

Stir in the butter, remove from heat

Then stir in your baking soda
Now you need to move tom foolery at this moment
Stir that baking soda up really good

Then dump out onto your cookie sheet spreading it thin 
Two sets of hands are especially nice right now

all dumped out now spread thin

and leave it alone

just let it hang out and cool

then bust it up into bite size pieces

then eat and enjoy
or if you have restraint package up in an airtight container
we have no restraint
we do not apologize for this 

See, not hard, just precise.  I seriously believe that when you measure out and line up your ingredients you have a greater success rate when candy making and baking.  Now, if I can just remember that and wait for low humidity and try that divinity again!! 

What are some of your favorite family Christmas treats?   I love baking and as soon as I get these decorations up I'm going to bake something new everyday!  Yes I am and then I should get on the treadmill ....**Sigh**

Peace, Love & Christmas Yummies!

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