A Little Brittle

Every Christmas when I was growing up my Mom, “Nanni” made peanut brittle. It was shiny, almost like glass and filled with Spanish peanuts. She used the 1970′s Better Homes and Gardens red and white checkered cookbook recipe. One of Naini’s secrets was to use Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup in lieu of light kayro syrup. I have used the same trick every time I make it and it always turns out divine. It tastes rich and buttery, more so than any other brittle I have ever had. The funny thing is, it doesn’t ever taste like maple? This season I decided to use a mixture of whole nuts instead of peanuts. It is not only pretty, but delicious and so festive! Here is the recipe.

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Mixed Nut Brittle

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup (I use Mrs. Buttersworth as does my Mom)
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 3-4 Cups Raw Mixed Nuts (I used whole almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and macadamia)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda

Combine sugar, syrup, and water in a heavy pot. (Oh wouldn’t a Le Cruset be lovely right about now) Cook to soft ball stage (test a few drops in a glass of cold water). Add nuts and salt and cook to hard crack stage stirring constantly. (Always remove candy from heat while testing) Add butter and soda and stir to blend, candy will bubble and kinda foam. Pour onto a standard size cookie sheet/sheet pan that is lightly buttered. Cool slightly by lifting edges with a spatula, keep spatula moving under mixture so it won’t stick. When cool enough turn it over and take off of pan… pull on edges to make thinner and more glass-like. Break into large pieces when completely cooled. If you don’t mind having a thicker more substantial looking brittle these last few steps aren’t necessary. Simply pour into pan and let cool. Then break the end.