Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Peanut Butter Brittle

Peanut Butter Brittle
Dorcas Annette Walker

How well I remember snow days when my children were small. It seemed like an endless parade: wet mittens, coats, and muddy floors, getting everyone all wrapped up and outside to play only for them to turn around and come back inside. By noon the excitement of no school had worn off and my little angels would start to snarl at each other like tigers. I found the best remedy was to get out some bowls and spoons and begin making up a batch of cookies. Even if the camel’s heads were a bit lopsided and the recipe made only half the amount- thanks to little fingers sampling the cookie dough- it kept my kids occupied and happy. Not only did we make memories together, but I ended up with Christmas cookies. Whenever frigid winter winds are howling outside, there is something comforting about working in my kitchen. I always like to stock up ahead on items needed for holiday baking so I don’t have to venture out when bad weather hits. This week during a snowstorm, I made up a batch of Peanut Butter Brittle.

Don’t think I’m bragging, but my family and I believe that my homemade Peanut Butter Brittle is quite superior to any store bought. The other year when I first made up a batch I thought it had flopped when it didn’t turn out rock hard. The candy tasted delicious and disappeared so fast- not to mention being easier to chew- that I had to make up another batch. This year I made a double batch and before it had even hardened my husband and son were trying to snitch some. With a success like that I don’t care if my Peanut Butter Brittle never gets teeth-busting hard. Don’t get discouraged or give up if a recipe doesn’t turn out perfect. You may accidently stumble onto a brilliant idea.

My Peanut Butter Brittle is a quicker version of the cooked one and easy to do making a perfect gift idea when wrapped in a Christmas tin. You can substitute almonds for peanuts or any use other nuts, and replace one cup of honey for one cup of sugar. Make on a dry day as humidity tends to make the finished product sticky. Use pot holders or oven mitts when handling as the candy will be very hot. Preparation time for my Peanut Butter Brittle is around six minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave cooking time may vary) and this recipes makes close to 2 lbs.

Peanut Butter Brittle

3 c sugar
3 c peanuts
1 c light corn syrup
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tb margarine
2 tsp baking soda

In a microwave-proof bowl, microwave on high for four minutes (stirring halfway) the sugar, peanuts, corn syrup, and salt. Mix in vanilla and margarine and microwave for two more minutes or until runny. Add baking soda and stir until the mixture becomes light and foamy. Pour onto two large cookie sheets covered with wax paper and spread the candy to about ¼ inch thick. Let completely cool. Turnover and break with a hammer. Peel off wax paper and store candy in an airtight container!

Weekly tip: If you are a chocolaholic, who thinks a bit of chocolate makes everything taste better, melt a couple squares of chocolate or some chocolate chips in the microwave, dip the ends of the Peanut Butter Brittle into it, and let harden for some one-of-a-kind candy!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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