Tis the season for peanut brittle! We’re going to give you the best recipe for this delicious, holiday favorite that would make for the perfect go-to snack or gift giving.
North Carolina produced 479.7 million pounds of peanuts in 2017 and ranks 5th in the nation in peanut production. Leading peanut-producing counties are Martin, Pitt, Halifax, Bertie, Edgecombe, Hertford, Chowan, Northampton, Gates and Greene. Most N.C. peanut farmers grow the Virginia-type peanut that is most often sold as cocktail peanuts or as the in-shell peanuts popular at ballgames.
This season makes it especially easy to find fresh local peanuts at the farmers market. Support your state’s farmers and keep an eye out for local produce and NC products in your neighborhood grocery store and farmers market.
2 cups granulated sugar (Stovetop Method)
1 cup light corn syrup (Stovetop Method)
1⁄2 cup water (Stovetop Method)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt, optional (Stovetop Method)
3 cups raw shelled peanuts, skins on (Stovetop Method)
2 Tablespoons butter (Stovetop Method)
2 teaspoons baking soda (Stovetop Method)
1 1⁄2 cups raw shelled peanuts, skins on (Microwave Oven Method)
1 cup granulated sugar (Microwave Oven Method)
1 teaspoon butter (Microwave Oven Method)
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup (Microwave Oven Method)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Microwave Oven Method)
1⁄8 teaspoon salt (Microwave Oven Method)
1 teaspoon baking soda (Microwave Oven Method)
Stovetop Method: In a heavy saucepan heat sugar, syrup, water and salt to a rolling boil. Add peanuts. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly. **Cook to hard crack stage (293° to 300° F.) Add butter, then baking soda. Beat rapidly and pour on a buttered surface spreading to 1/4-inch thickness. When cool break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 pounds.
**Note: In the absence of a candy thermometer, test for hard crack stage by dropping a tiny bit of syrup into ice water (let it thread from a spoon into the water). When the threads are brittle (not pliable) it has reached the hard crack stage.
Microwave Oven Method: Combine peanuts, sugar, syrup, and salt in a 2 -1/2 quart microwave safe container. 700 watt oven: Microwave 4 minutes on high power; stir, microwave 4 minutes longer on high power. Stir in butter and vanilla. Microwave 2 minutes longer on high power.
1200 watt oven: Microwave 4 minutes on 60 percent power; stir, microwave 4 minutes longer on 60 percent power. Stir in butter and vanilla. Microwave 1 minute longer on 60 percent power.
***Add baking soda and quickly stir until light and foamy. Immediately pour onto lightly greased baking sheet; spread to ¼ inch thickness. When cool, break into pieces. Store in airtight container.
This quick dessert is sure to be a favorite this season. Be prepared to share this recipe with friends and family after they get a bite! This recipe is courtesy of the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association.