Remember this post? I made my yearly attempt once again to re-incarnate my grandmother's amazing peanut brittle that she made for us every year for Christmas. A few days after the kids started our Christmas break, I gathered all my ingredients and set off for candy perfection.
If you want to make this for yourself, it's best to get everything measured out and ready to go beforehand, 'cuz once you start the cooking you really shouldn't walk away, that is, unless you enjoy small kitchen fires and the smell of burnt peanuts permeating your holiday fragranced home for weeks after.
Here is the sugar, corn syrup and water cooking. As much as I am dying to get a wooden spoon in there, I've learned by experience not to touch or stir while the sugar is cooking or you end up with a chunky, crystallized sugar mess. As Da hubby's favorite chef would say, "Not good eats."
After cooking the sugar, it's time to add the peanuts and butter and cook for a little while longer. Now Meema could just look at the color and know when the mixture is ready to take off the heat. Me? Well, I am not that brave. In fact, I tried that one year and got peanut taffy. From then on I use my trusty little candy thermometer and waited with baited breath until it read 300 degrees.
Oh, during this last part of cooking, you MUST stir the peanuts constantly. Why? Didn't you wonder why I discourage walking away while cooking. I think my exact words were, "...you really shouldn't walk away, that is, unless you enjoy small kitchen fires and the smell of burnt peanuts permeating your holiday fragranced home for weeks after." Ahhh, the blessing of experience talking.
When the temperature was just right, I pulled the pot off, added in the vanilla and baking soda (Be sure to mix in quickly, but thoroughly.), and poured the scalding hot goo into a buttered cookie sheet. Wait until cool to break into pieces, or as in my case, long enough to only suffer 2nd degree burns to taste (approx. 2.5 seconds).
So, here is the final product. Soooooooooo yummy! Definitely better than last years and not near as glassy! Like Meema's? Uhm, well, there's always next year!