I bought myself a pre-Christmas present this year. It’s my very own candy thermometer!
So break in my new thermometer, I thought it was only proper to make some peanut brittle…with a twist.
This brittle is still sweet but its got a little heat hidden under all that sweetness. And then it’s dipped in chocolate, because, come on, if it’s not chocolate, it’s just not dessert!
*If you like your brittle less spicy, cut down the cayenne by half or even omit it completely. I wouldn’t recommend using any more than 1 ½ tsp unless you want people screaming for a glass of milk.
*The warmed cookie sheets keep the brittle from setting up too quickly, giving you time to smooth and thin it.
*Since the bottom on the brittle was a little greasy from the pan, I moved it to paper towel lined baking sheets after it was broken up.
*The shortening thins the chocolate so it clings to the candy more evenly.
Spicy Peanut Brittle
Adapted from Betty Crocker
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb (about 3 cups) roasted, salted peanuts
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper (see recipe note)
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
3 tbsp butter
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 tbsp vegetable shortening
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray and place in the warm oven.
Stir together the baking soda, 1 teaspoon of water, and vanilla; set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together the peanuts and the cayenne, set aside.
Combine the sugar, 1 cup of water, and the corn syrup in a 3 quart pan and mix. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F (soft ball) on a candy thermometer.
Remove the cookie sheets from the oven. Place on hot pads, near the stove.
Quickly stir in the butter and peanut mixture. Cook, stirring constantly to 300 degrees F (hard crack), turning up to medium-high heat if necessary. Watch carefully so the peanuts don’t burn.
Remove the mixture from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda mixture until light and foamy.
Pour half the candy onto each prepared cookie sheet. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the candy to a uniform ¼ inch thickness. Cool completely (about 1 hour), and break into pieces.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler. Stir in the shortening. Dip each piece of peanut brittle into the chocolate. Place on waxed paper lined baking sheets to set.
Store in a covered container.