It has been many many years since I have made nut brittle. It was something I thought was too dangerous to make with the boys when they were younger and I'm a little meh about peanut brittle myself but in my quest to find more gluten-free treats for our family holiday dinner coming up, I thought I would give it another go.
I was inspired by Martha Stewart's nut brittle recipe and used almonds, cashews, macademia nuts and added some coconut as well. There's a great little video on her site showing the different steps and what the syrup should look like at different stages. Her guest for that episode just happened to be Thomas Gibson who is on one of my favourite shows, Criminal Minds. The photos below were taken late afternoon in December...not the best lighting and I don't like using a flash unless absolutely necessary.
unsalted butter, room temperature, for baking sheet
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup cold water
pinch of table salt
2 1/2 cups dry-roasted nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1) Brush a 9x13 rimmed baking sheet with butter including the sides of the pan.
2) Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil.
3) Continue to cook, swirling pot occasionally to stir. Using a pastry brush and cold water. brush away any sugar crystals on the sides of the saucepan to prevent recrystallization. Use a candy thermometer and keep cooking until syrup reaches soft ball stage (238-240 degrees F).
The syrup is very very hot. Be careful while cooking or syrup is pouring. Make sure to use a wooden spoon to avoid a rubber spatula melting or a metal spoon conducting the heat.
Cooking the solution to softball stage took about 10 minutes.
Cooking the candy with nuts to a light amber colour took about another 10 minutes.
Try not to spread the mixture out in the pan as you will deflate all the lovely bubbles that make the brittle crispy and tender to eat!
The brittle can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
All different kinds of nuts and seeds can be used!