Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (2024)

by Melissa 25 Comments

Grandma’s Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe – golden brittle candy studded with roasted peanuts. Irresistibly sweet-and-salty.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle

My Grandma Wanda was the queen of Christmas candy. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of her kitchen counter filled with all kinds of homemade Christmas candies packed in a variety of Christmas tins. From toffee to divinity, she even had an amazing hard cinnamon candy, and I haven’t seen a recipe similar to it anywhere else. My aunt was kind enough to send me pictures of some of her handwritten recipes so I can share them with my kids and with my friends here on the blog. Grandma Wanda’s peanut brittle is very easy to make and perfect for homemade Christmas gifting.

Ingredients for Peanut Brittle

  • Kosher Salt: A coarse, flaky salt that enhances the sweetness of the peanut brittle and adds a subtle savory depth to the flavor profile.
  • Vanilla Extract: adds a subtle vanilla flavor to the candy.
  • Baking Soda: The secret weapon of peanut brittle! It reacts with the sugar and corn syrup, creating tiny air bubbles that contribute to the brittle’s light and airy texture.
  • Granulated Sugar: The primary sweetener, providing sweetness and contributing to the candy’s golden color and caramelized flavor.
  • Light Corn Syrup: Prevents the sugar from crystallizing, ensuring a smooth and glossy texture in the finished brittle.
  • Water: A key ingredient that helps dissolve the sugar and corn syrup, creating a smooth candy mixture.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and a luscious mouthfeel to the peanut brittle, enhancing its overall flavor and texture.
  • Dry Roasted Peanuts: The star of the show! These crunchy, roasted peanuts add a delightful textural contrast and a robust, nutty flavor to the candy.
  • For this recipe, you’ll need a candy thermometer (I like the kind that clip to the side of the pot), a large heavy bottomed pot, and a buttered sheet pan.

Essential Supplies for Making Peanut Brittle

  • Candy Thermometer – A candy thermometer is a crucial tool for making peanut brittle. It ensures that the sugar mixture reaches the perfect temperature for a smooth and brittle texture. Without a thermometer, it’s easy to overcook or undercook the sugar, resulting in a sticky mess or a hard brittle candy.
  • Heavy Duty Sheet Pan –A large sheet pan is ideal for spreading out the hot peanut brittle mixture to cool and harden evenly. This ensures that the candy breaks into nice, even pieces and prevents it from becoming too thick or uneven. Choose a half sheet pan that is at least 13×18 inches for optimal results.
  • Heavy Bottomed Pot – A heavy-bottomed pot is essential for cooking the sugar mixture for peanut brittle. It distributes heat evenly and prevents scorching, which is crucial for achieving the desired texture and flavor. A pot that is at least 3.75 quarts in size will provide ample space for the mixture to boil without overflowing.

How to Make Peanut Brittle:

Step 1: Prepare the Baking Sheet:

  1. Grease an 18×13 baking sheet with butter to prevent sticking and ensure easy removal of the finished brittle.
  2. Set the greased baking sheet aside while you prepare the peanut brittle mixture.

Step 2: Combine Dry Ingredients:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract.
  2. This mixture will be added later to contribute a subtle saltiness and warm vanilla flavor to the brittle.

Step 3: Cook the Sugar Mixture:

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water.
  2. Using a heatproof spoon or spatula, constantly stir the mixture over very high heat.
  3. Continue stirring until the mixture reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.

Step 4: Add Peanuts and Reach Final Temperature:

  1. Once the sugar mixture reaches 240°F, add the dry roasted peanuts.
  2. Continue stirring the mixture constantly until it reaches 320°F on the candy thermometer.
  3. Reaching this higher temperature is crucial for achieving the desired hard and brittle candy texture.

Step 5: Remove from Heat and Stir in Butter:

  1. Remove the pot from the heat and immediately stir in the butter until it melts completely.
  2. Incorporating the butter adds richness and contributes to the smooth, delicious texture of the brittle.

Step 6: Add Baking Soda Mixture and Pour onto Sheet:

  1. Quickly stir in the previously prepared baking soda mixture.
  2. The mixture will become foamy, but keep stirring until it is fully combined.
  3. Immediately pour the hot peanut brittle mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

Step 7: Cool and Break into Pieces:

  1. Allow the peanut brittle to cool completely at room temperature until it hardens and becomes brittle.
  2. Once hardened, break the candy into pieces and enjoy!

Tips for Making Peanut Brittle

  • Have all of your ingredients and tools ready to go before you begin, as the process moves quickly.
  • Use a candy thermometer to ensure that the sugar mixture reaches the correct temperature. This is the most important tip for making peanut brittle.
  • Work quickly once the sugar mixture reaches the correct temperature. The brittle will harden quickly, so you need to work fast to pour it onto the baking sheet and spread it out.
  • Let the brittle cool completely before breaking it into pieces. If you break it into pieces too soon, it will be sticky and difficult to handle.
  • Store the brittle in an airtight container at room temperature.

MORE Homemade CHRISTMAS CANDY RECIPES

  • Cinnamon Candy
  • Old-Fashioned Divinity Recipe
  • Grandma’s Peanut Brittle
  • Buckeye Peanut Butter Balls
  • Copycat See’s Candy Fudge
  • Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • Classic Peppermint Bark
  • Soft and Chewy Salted Caramel Candy

5 from 17 votes

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (7)

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Grandma's Peanut Brittle Recipe

Prep Time

5 mins

Cook Time

15 mins

Course:Candy

Cuisine:American

Keyword:Peanut Brittle

Ingredients

  • 1teaspoonkosher salt
  • 1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
  • 1teaspoonbaking soda
  • 3cupsgranulated sugar
  • 1cuplight corn syrup
  • 1cupwater
  • 1stick of unsalted butter8 tablespoons, cubed
  • 3cupsdry roasted peanutsone pound

Instructions

  1. Prepare an 18x13 baking sheet by greasing with butter and set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, mix baking soda, salt and vanilla extract and set aside.

  3. In a large heavy bottomed pot, combine sugar, corn syrup and water.

  4. With a heat proof spoon or spatula, stir mixture constantly over very high heat until it reaches 240 degrees on candy thermometer.

  5. Add peanuts and continue stirring until mixture reaches 320 degrees on candy thermometer.

  6. Remove mixture from heat and stir in butter until melted.

  7. Stir in baking soda mixture. It will be foamy, stir until combined.

  8. Pour mixture onto baking sheet and let set until hard.

  9. Break into pieces.

Recipe Notes

Handwritten notes from Grandma Wanda - Must be stirred constantly. Use a wooden spoon and a candy thermometer.

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Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (9)

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (10)PJ

    I made the Peanut Brittle over the weekend and it was like I was stepping back in time to when I was a child in my own Grandmother’s kitchen. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. My Grandmother’s recipes have mostly been lost, but this is exactly like her brittle.

    Reply

    • Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (11)Melissa

      That’s wonderful, PJ! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Merry Christmas!

      Reply

  2. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (12)Kendra

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (13)
    Delish! I have made this probably a dozen times. Perfect every time.

    Reply

  3. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (14)Dee

    Confused about the salt.do I use both 1 teaspoon of kosher and 1/2 teaspoon of table salt?
    Or is it one or another.

    Reply

    • Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (15)Melissa

      I’m sorry Dee. It looks like my new recipe card took out the parentheses and made it unclear. It should be 1 teaspoon of kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon regular salt.

      Reply

  4. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (16)Kristi

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (17)
    The beat peanut brittle recipe ever!! Will be making this for years to come!!

    • Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (18)Melissa

      I’m so glad! Thank you, Kristi!

      Reply

  5. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (19)Colleen

    How about the cinnamon hard tack candy recipe. My grandma used to make it and no one has the recipe anymore. I would love to get a good rec

    Reply

  6. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (20)Tara Franklin

    I just tried to make the peanut brittle and it didn’t get hard. I put it back in the pot to let it boil some more and ended up burning it. I didn’t have a candy thermometer so I used a regular thermometer that never reached 320 degrees. I just let it cook for about 10-15 minutes but I don’t know if that was long enough. If I don’t have a candy thermometer about how long should I let it cook? I love peanut brittle and I really want to make it for the holidays. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply

  7. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (21)Valerie

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (22)
    My Dad loves peanut brittle. Yours looks better than most I’ve seen in stores. He’d be thrilled if I made this for him.

    Reply

  8. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (23)Billy

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (24)
    This brittle is seriously so dang addicting! I also like that it just satisfies my sweet tooth enough without having to eat a big slice of cake or pie. These are delicious!

    Reply

  9. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (25)Betsy

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (26)
    Delicious recipe! I love the addition of dry roasted nuts. My family has traditionally used Spanish peanuts. The dry roasted gives it a distinctively different flavor! Yum!

    Reply

  10. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (27)Becky Hardin

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (28)
    Peanut brittle definitely reminds me of my grandmother and the holidays!

    Reply

  11. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (29)Laura Reese

    This is the easiest recipe! Will be making it year after year. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  12. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (30)Laura Reese

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (31)
    Really enjoyed this recipe. Peanut brittle is so easy to make. I had no idea.

    Reply

  13. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (32)Natasha

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (33)
    To a perfect crisp! My grandma would be proud of this one

    Reply

  14. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (34)Chelsea

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (35)
    This is so delicious!! We are seriously obsessed! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  15. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (36)Valentina

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (37)
    This peanut brittle is delicious! My kids love these delicious dessert bars!

    Reply

  16. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (38)Demeter

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (39)
    This is a holiday must have for us. It’s just gets us in the holiday spirit. We also love passed down recipes. They are always the best!!

    Reply

  17. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (40)Beth

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (41)
    This is one of my husband’s favorite recipes! I can’t wait to make this again!

    Reply

  18. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (42)Lily

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (43)
    This peanut brittle is so delicious and addicting, I could not stop munching on it.

    Reply

  19. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (44)Betsy

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (45)
    DELICIOUS brittle! I have a HUGE weakness for good brittle! So yum. So delicious. So incredibly addictive!

    Reply

  20. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (46)Kristen

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (47)
    I made this and now nobody in my family can stop munching on it.

    Reply

  21. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (48)Olivia

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (49)
    I tried making this peanut brittle last night and it turned out perfect! It was so delicious and easy to make. Everyone in my family loved it as well!

    Reply

  22. Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (50)Natasha

    Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (51)
    I will never buy store-bought peanut brittle again, this is so much better! It was easy to make and turned out perfect.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle Recipe (2024)

FAQs

Why didn't my homemade peanut brittle get hard? ›

The main reason why peanut brittle doesn't get hard and have the crunch we expect is because the sugar was not cooked long enough. The sugar needs to be cooked to what is called the hard crack stage, 300ºF.

Why put baking soda in peanut brittle? ›

Baking soda is also very important at this stage since it reacts to the heat, creating carbon dioxide that aerates the caramel, enabling it to snap when someone bites into it rather than requiring them to gnaw at it until it breaks or pulls apart.

How do you keep peanut brittle crispy? ›

Should you refrigerate peanut brittle? Store the brittle in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month to maintain the crisp. Moisture in the refrigerator would soften the brittle.

What makes brittle hard? ›

What Makes it Brittle? The sugar will be cooked to 300ºF (149ºC)—hard crack stage; which when set up would be hard like a lollipop. But peanut brittle is delicate and you can easily bite into it—how? The secret is in the baking soda.

Why is my peanut brittle not fluffy? ›

It is important to coat cookie sheets with butter and put in the freezer to get them really cold before you need to pour the brittle. After you pour the candy you should put the pans in the fridge or outside if it is cold, so the brittle will set up quickly and stay fluffy.

Can you overcook peanut brittle? ›

If you overcook the brittle, it could be bitter or burnt. If you undercook it, the brittle won't properly set and the end result will be sticky.

Why is my peanut brittle bitter? ›

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.

How do you make peanut brittle hard again? ›

How to Fix Chewy Peanut Brittle
  1. Break it apart. Break the candy apart just as you would if it were sturdier and not chewy and place it into a large pot.
  2. Melt the pieces. ...
  3. Reheat the brittle. ...
  4. Cool it.
Dec 8, 2023

Why is my peanut brittle like taffy? ›

Didn't get it hot enough. You have to hit hard crack stage heat or it's not going to harden. From internet: Hard-Crack Stage is a cooking term meaning that a sugar syrup being heated has reached 149 – 154 C (300 – 310 F.) It is a test of how hot a sugar syrup is, and of how much water is left in it.

Can I use foil instead of parchment paper for peanut brittle? ›

You will absolutely ruin your brittle if you pour it directly on the baking sheet or use foil, plastic wrap, or wax paper to line the pan. You can only use parchment paper or a silpat.

Should homemade peanut brittle be refrigerated? ›

To store: Store peanut brittle (once it's completely cooled) in an airtight container at room temperature. Do not refrigerate as the moisture from the fridge will cause the brittle to soften. Store for 6-8 weeks. To freeze: Peanut brittle can be frozen and stored up to 3 months.

Why is my peanut brittle too thick? ›

As mentioned in “how to make peanut brittle”, it's very important to move fast after the peanuts and baking soda are mixed in. If not, the peanut brittle will turn out too thick and clumpy. Don't play the guessing game and use a candy thermometer instead. This will ensure your peanut brittle turns out perfectly golden.

How long does it take for brittle to harden? ›

Don't try to spread the candy once it's on the baking sheet as it starts hardening almost immediately and spreading it doesn't work well. Let the peanut brittle cool for 30 minutes, then break it into pieces. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two months.

Is peanut brittle supposed to be hard? ›

Peanut Brittle is a smooth, flat candy (similar to toffee), with peanuts in it, that is cooked on the stovetop and poured onto a sheet pan to cool. Once it cools it's broken into small individual-size pieces of hard candy and lasts at room temperature for several weeks.

Why did my peanut butter fudge not get hard? ›

The main reason is that your Fudge has not reached the optimum temperature. If your mixture only reaches 110 or 112 degrees Celsius it will always be soft. That's why we recommend investing in a sugar thermometer. Another reason your Fudge is not setting is that the ratio of liquid to sugar is too high.

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