This is a great brittle and quick and easy to make, thanks to an unusually good Internet recipe. The only caveat is to have everything ready to use at once when needed, and to move as quickly as necessary, particularly at the end of the cooking process when the butter, vanilla and baking soda are used, right before the hot brittle is poured onto a cookie sheet. I have slightly modified the Internet recipe by adding more nuts and a small amount of vanilla.
The brittle is great. The recipe worked very well. A family member found this brittle in a bag of goodies given to the whole family at Christmas, and he proceeded to eat all of it at one sitting. I am not surprised.
1 cup of white sugar
½ cup of light corn syrup
¼ tsp. of salt
¼ cup of water
1 cup of roasted peanuts or chopped roasted blanched almonds
2 tbsp. of butter, softened
1 tsp. of vanilla
1 tsp. of baking soda
Put the sugar, salt, corn syrup and water into a heavy two-quart saucepan. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then stir in the peanuts or almond pieces.
Put a candy thermometer into the saucepan and continue cooking on a low to medium low heat until the temperature reaches 300ºF. Stirring is necessary as the final temperature is approached. Initiate some stirring around 260ºF and thereafter about once a minute. I recommend using a long, medium size wooden spoon. A gradual instead of rapid increase in temperature is desirable especially as the final temperature is approached, so that it isn’t quickly passed by, resulting in too high a temperature, which can ruin the brittle and burn/darken the almonds.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, then the vanilla. Then add the baking soda and stir rapidly and thoroughly so the brittle can be poured ASAP from the saucepan before it cools too much and sets/hardens.
Pour/scoop the hot brittle out of the saucepan at once onto a cookie sheet, moving the saucepan quickly, to avoid having the brittle form a mound. Use the wooden stirring spoon or a spatula as necessary to flatten and form the hot brittle into roughly a rectangle about 14" by 12". Let the brittle cool close to room temperature, for about 20 minutes. Then it is time to pry the brittle from the cookie sheet. You may have to pry the brittle from the cookie sheet using a kitchen knife or thin spatula on one end to get started, but in general it pops off the cookie sheet in one or more large pieces without much trouble. Snap the brittle into bite size pieces.
Note that the cooled brittle should be stored in an airtight container to keep moisture from the air away from it, else you will wind up with yucky goo that sticks together instead of peanut or almond brittle. This is a perfect example of a product that will remain fresh best if vacuum sealed.